Masculinity And Cruelty In Macbeth

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“Fate is enigmatic to us all… one of the immutable common denominators of our condition; no career of rampant ‘manly’ self-assertion can hope to circumvent or control it” (Ramsey). Macbeth, a tragedy focused on the paradox of fate and free will, is the very tale of human flaws, where we stumble and grapple at the loose edges of fate’s rocky, monstrous barrier as we try to control our future; we desperately seek out manliness and strength, only to develop cruelty, which drags us down under fate’s shackle’s again. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, masculinity and cruelty are explored as a military genius, Macbeth, is confronted by three witches that prophesize his sudden rise to power. Overcome by ambition and driven by his wife’s insinuating doubts in his manliness, Macbeth resorts to cruelty as he fights to gain the throne and maintain his authority. By the end of the play, Macbeth’s defeat and death acts as a symbol suggesting a relationship between masculinity and cruelty.

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