Masculinity In Tamora And Lady Macbeth

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Powerful women have long been feared in cultures around the world. A woman who presents signs of ambition is often labeled as cold, unfeminine, or a bitch. Here in the U.S. we have historical documentation of what can happen if a woman oversteps her bounds, and while the Salem witch trials were over 300 years ago we - as a society - still struggle with the concept of a woman in charge; ie our current presidential race. In Titus’ Tamora and Macbeth’s Lady Macbeth, Shakespeare has given us beautiful examples of powerful women using the means aloted them to achieve their base desires. Both Tamora and lady Macbeth are considered lower status and are assumed to have less power because of their gender, however they drive the stories with their desire…show more content…
In fact, both women help to form the concept of masculinity for the two characters as they insult and push their male counterparts to commit. Titus’s characterization as the masculine authority of Rome, in a sense, would not exist without Tamora’s urging and provoking him to retaliate against her actions. Titus was strongly opposed to the idea of revenge and it was not until Tamora instilled fear and anxiety through the organization of Lavinia’s rape and mutilation that Titus began to practice revengeful tactics. Throughout the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth is traditionally noted for acting as the more “masculine” character; while Macbeth’s meek and cautious qualities define him as…show more content…
Lady Macbeth encourages her husband to murder the king in Act I Scene 5 telling him to “look like the innocent flower, But be the serpent under’t. Another allusion to snakes, like Tamora before her.”More than any other character in the play, Macbeth looks to his wife for support and advice, valuing her opinion over both Banquo and the witches’ prophecy. Macbeth’s trust in his wife is extremely important to the play overall as it is through Lady Macbeth’s influence in their marriage that Macbeth is given the tough encouragement to advance his own status. “Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be What thou art promised: yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o' the milk of human kindness” alkdjbfa;iruhb “Only look up clear; To alter favour ever is to fear: Leave all the rest to me.” Lady Macbeth responds to her husband’s cautious and conscientious nature and questions his masculinity saying, “When you durst do it, then you were a man; And to be more than what you were, you would Be so much more the man.” Like Tamora, Lady Macbeth’s insulting and alluring language manipulates Macbeth into committing an act that he, most likely, would not have accomplished without her

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