Role Reversal In Shakespeare's Macbeth

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Role Reversal in Macbeth Stereotypes are preconceived notions identifiable in society and culture around the world. William Shakespeare utilizes the stereotypes in reference to gender roles in his romantic tragedy, Macbeth, to shape characters and advance plot. The typical characteristics between genders in the era in the play are initially revealed but are then readdressed thereafter in a complicated gender-role reversal which Shakespeare portrays the difference between women and men by how they derive the ultimate theme in Macbeth: power. To begin, Shakespeare employs his progressive view on gender in the play. Extending off of that point, Shakespeare wrote his plays in an era where women had been stereotyped as less intelligent and rational, therefore labelled as the weaker sex. This point is evident when Ross is explaining to Macduff the negative impact Macbeth’s rule on Scotland would be. Ross says, “...your eye in Scotland / Would create soldiers, make our women fight, / To doff their dire distresses” (4.3.CITE). In this era, Shakespeare took advantage of his scholarly, prominent writing to include stereotypes that existed at the time. Additionally, in Harold Bloom’s book, Macbeth, which outlines major themes within the play in academic form, he mentions, “At the same time that the tyrant’s uxoriousness is thus introduced, it is complicated by the play’s confusion of masculinity and femininity, which allows gender to be manipulated in political rhetoric” (Bloom,

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