Macbeth Masculinity Analysis

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In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, masculinity is not axiomatic, rather, it is constantly challenged and redefined by different characters throughout the play. After the murdering of King Duncan, Lady Macbeth ridicules Macbeth for behaving weak and naïve, by saying “my hands are of your color, but I shame to wear a heart so white” (2.2.63-64). Even after committing the murder of King Duncan, Macbeth’s masculinity is challenged, since he experiences feelings of guilt, shame and fear, all of which do not fall under the Macbeths’ definition of manhood. Lady Macbeth criticizes Macbeth, because even though she also plays a role in the killing of king Duncan, Macbeth, who is supposed to be brave, fearless and undaunted, cowers like an infant and allows his conscience to to guilt-trap him, proving that he is not evil, heartless or manly enough. On the contrary, Macduff has a different definition for manhood, for he believes that manhood is a matter of strength and responsibility, which he proves after his family is murdered in act four. When Macduff learns that his family has is slaughtered, he is overcome by…show more content…
Loyalty to his country is a trait of manhood , which is why Malcolm is the embodiment of all that is good in kingship.This is seen particularly in Act IV, Scene 3, in which he tests the allegiance of Macduff, by putting on an act in order to strengthen the prospect of good. This is in stark contrast to Macbeth’s definition of masculinity; the fact that only the evil and heartless men are truly masculine. In conclusion, the definition of manhood in Macbeth varies greatly from character to character, since Macbeth and his wife understand that evilness and brutality define masculinity, while Macduff and Malcom believe that loyalty, responsibility and strengths are signs of true

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