Stereotypes In Macbeth

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One of Shakespeare’s most well known plays, Macbeth, has a plot that focuses on a man that loses his mind through the play. The fact that it is a man is significant, and Shakespeare enjoys questioning the different roles. Macbeth presents very concrete gender roles for men and women key to its plot, but the roles are broken many times throughout the play, including the examples of Lady Macbeth and the witches, creating additional tension between the men and the women. The role of men in Macbeth is key to the plot of the play. Evidence of this exists such that the word man (and similar derivations) exist over forty times throughout the work, about three times as many as woman and its derivations (Liston 232). By Asp, one of the male stereotypes in the play is violence. Men are considered to be brutal and this is made normal and acceptable through the near constant warfare. The manhood stereotypes, according to…show more content…
Liston talks about how when the characters act outside of their gender roles they lose their humanity, stating that “their liberation outside from definition destroys them” (Liston 233). Lady Macbeth is the primary example of this, with her desires to be “unsexed.” She feels as though she needs to “divest herself of her femininity if she is to have any effect on the public life of her husband” (Asp 160). There is a desire within her to become “fierce and terrible,” an “instigator of murder,” and “full of direst cruelty” (Asp 160). All of these qualities her culture believes to be of a man, which she cannot completely escape from (Asp). According to Garber, Lady Macbeth often sees herself as more masculine than Macbeth. With her role switching, she is destroying herself and begins to confine herself into her sick mind (Liston). By going outside where she was supposed to be culturally she indeed imprisoned herself and it eventually let to her
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