If you don't fight, you are a coward. If you cry, you are weak. If you start to tease the child, you teach yourself that it is all right to devalue others. These are the problems that create stereotypes of masculinity and this can be shown in the play Macbeth and today. In Macbeth, William Shakespeare suggests that even though men and society have progressed in one's idea of a man during the 1600’s, society has not really progressed because society's modern stereotypes of masculinity as it relates to violence, emotions, and attitudes towards women.
Their tough archetypes were always present in many plays and reinforced the idea of male superiority. This fact held true, especially for a certain tragic classic by William Shakespeare. There was a misogynistic mentality towards women in Romeo and Juliet, evident through the way women were shown as objects, portrayed as weak, and made to seem unable to dictate their own lives. Men in Romeo and Juliet could be seen acting like owners towards women. Women were seen as nothing more than possessions, as illustrated when Romeo first described Juliet as, “My lady…/my love” (II.ii.10).
A Modern View of Feminist Criticism William Shakespeare 's "Othello” can be analyzed from a feminist perspective.This criticism focuses on relationships between genders, like the patterns of thoughts, behavior, values, enfranchisement, and power in relations between and within sexes. A feminist examination of the play enables us to judge the distinctive social esteems and status of women and proposes that the male-female power connections that become an integral factor in scenes of Othello impact its comprehension. I believe that the critical lens that provides modern society with the most compelling view of literature is Feminist Criticism because it analyzes distrust and disloyalty among relationships, women being treated as possessions
Gender is a common thread that is woven through most major Shakespearean plays. An argument that follows the story lines of works such as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and a more dominant role in Othello. Written in 1603, Othello examines the contrast between female and male characters, and where their place is in society. As this was written in a time where women were seen as the lesser sex compared to their male counterparts. Males take on more power hungry roles, drowning out the roles of females by minimizing their thoughts and actions.
Both greed and power, if not controlled, can lead to destruction. Throughout William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, Shakespeare uses both characters Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to demonstrate how ambition can change one’s personal relationships. As in the beginning of Act 1, Scene 7 Macbeth and Lady Macbeth do not share the same ambition, and it is because of this that their relationship lacks love and affection however through the use of persuasion and other means, Lady Macbeth is able to get Macbeth to pursue her ambition. This not only changes their relationship drastically but it also changes Macbeth’s attitude towards ambition.Throughout the play, Shakespeare shows us through Macbeth, the possibility for ambition to eventually turn into greed and how the lust for power may corrupt us. This type of sentiment can be seen when Macbeth says “ Bloody instructions,being taught, return to plague the inventor” (Act 1, scene 7).
For Shakespeare’s plays to contain enduring ideas, it must illustrate concepts that still remain relevant today, in modern society. Shakespeare utilises his tragic play Othello, to make an important social commentary on the common gender stereotypes. During early modern England, Shakespeare had to comply to the strict social expectations where women were viewed as tools, platonic and mellow, and where men were displayed as masculine, powerful, tempered, violent and manipulative. As distinct as this context is to the 21st century, the play exposes how women were victimised by the men who hold primary power in the community in which they compelled women to conform to the ideal world of a perfect wife or confront an appalling destiny for challenging the system. Moreover, Shakespeare utilises the main antagonist, Iago, to portray how men are desperate to achieve what they want and to indirectly fulfil the stereotype of masculinity and power through manipulation.
At that time in history, the status quo and social norm was simple. Patriarchy was the predominant force as men were regarded as superior to women, both in society as well as the relationship scene. Shakespeare attempted to change this perception through his multiple works of literature. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare uses the theme of gender roles to express the idea that the status quo and social norm in the Elizabethan era can be challenged through courtship, father-daughter relationships, and wedlock. The play commences with the courtship of multiple individuals.
In the play Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is more responsible for the deaths that occur in the play. Lady Macbeth accomplished this by infringing Macbeth’s comfort level, which made him uncomfortable and give into her desires. The four reasons why Lady Macbeth is responsible is she summons evil demons to fill her body with evil, her death pushes Macbeth over the edge, she has the gender power over Macbeth, and she drives Macbeth to become power hungry. During the course of the play most of Lady Macbeth’s actions cause a direct reaction from Macbeth. If Lady Macbeth had not exhorted Macbeth into murdering King Duncan, then he would have remained a sane man and decided against killing Duncan.
Throughout the history of Shakespearen literature, Shakespeare tends to develop the characters in to a way that complements the story. For an example, in Macbeth, he shows the digression of the main character by an internal conflict residing from a mental condition, if he did not explain every detail of his thought process then the story would be bland and not a literature masterpiece. Another key example is the story of Romeo and Juliet, even though it is a romantic piece, he still assigns different personality traits to each character. Which makes them a key asset to how the story concludes and the theme the reader is left to discover. One of the biggest colliding character interactions is Benvolio and Tybalt.
This paper seeks to offer an intrinsic analysis of the play, illustrating a society that promotes sexism, sexist exploitation and depression. The paper will use the feminist literary theory adopting key concepts: patriarchy, heteronormativity and queer theory in highlighting these instances. The writer used the text, “In the chest of a woman”, as a social commentary to highlight barriers women face in their effort to achieve their desires. As an illustration of the stated theme, Nana Yaa Kyeretwie desired to possess power, however, she being a woman placed her on a disadvantaged side as her younger brother was bestowed with the Ebusa Kingdom. The queen mother told her, “…but you are not a man” when she insisted that she wanted to rule the whole kingdom.
Thus, in William Shakespeare’s classic play Macbeth, the author suggests that an individual’s identity is often an illusion voiced by crippling desire and the influence of others. As creators of turmoil by nature, the witches catalyze changes in Macbeth that enable his transformation from a righteous military general into a committed megalomaniac. Furthermore, they inspire the awakening of Macbeth’s ambition and fool him by providing a false sense of security. This exploitation is expected from the dark and sinister creatures as they firmly believe that “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” (Shakespeare, trans. 2012, 1.1.12).
William Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet, is surface on the tale of love. Somewhere within the play we see many different connections between violence, hate, and death. Romeo and Juliet’s death are cause by the unbending and strict society that would not allow them to be together. The connection between violence and love is to be determined. The drama is able to advice readers more or less with the meaning of gender, love, and fate, and it will provide examples of how our society is today.