Olivia L. Coppedge Vanessa Dean Literature 01/10/17 Macbeth During the Elizabethan age, women were thought of as delicate little creatures who were there to birth children and look beautiful. They were not thought to be equal or as smart as a man. Although, Lady Macbeth, serves as the main influence in Lord Macbeth’s life. She is, after all, his “dearest partner of greatness.” (Mac. 1.5.11-12) Even though Lady Macbeth was portrayed as an evil, conniving, and deceptive woman, analyzing her actions and words provide a different outlook on Lady Macbeth’s persona one that is rather more feminine and proves that she is capable of having a conscience and also even a heart. The relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are fairly different …show more content…
Most of these deeds are brought up by power, hunger, and greed. In the end, the deeds done had only one fate, death. In the first act Lady Macbeth persuades Lord Macbeth to kill King Duncan and Macbeth finally gives in and kills him, which at first makes Lady Macbeth very ecstatic. Lady Macbeth’s mood quickly changes though; after a while, her guilt begins to gradually build on the inside. Lady Macbeth begins to think about it all the time. Then, she ends up having a sleepwalking episode where she keeps trying to wash blood off of her hands. Finally, she ends up killing herself and Lady Macbeth’s guiltiness is what shows that she’s also responsible for the killing of King Duncan. Lady Macbeth is guilty for more than persuading Macbeth to kill King Duncan. First, she is guilty because she made Macbeth an outright murderer. Secondly, Lady Macbeth had to do with some of the actions of the murders such as framing Duncan’s attendants. “Why did you bring these daggers from the place? They must lie there: go carry them: and smear the sleepy grooms with blood” (Mac.2.2.66-68) Then, she goes to the attendants’ room and smears blood on them. She then talks to Lord Macbeth about the guilt they might have later on. She says, “These deeds must not be thought/ After these ways; so it will make us mad” (Mac.2.2.33-34) This shows that she knows that their feeling guilty, will eventually make them go …show more content…
In Macbeth, a closer reading reveals that the play actually views women as naturally loving and good, although, Lady Macbeth appears capable of boundless evil, she in fact is not. Throughout the play, Shakespeare produces multiple gender-related metaphors to make women look kind and loving by nature. Lady Macbeth attempts to output her femininity by calling on spirits to “unsex”her. (Mac.1.5.42) To her, being “unsexed” means “[stopping] up th’ access and passage to remorse” so that “compunctious visitings of nature” cannot interfere with her plan. (Mac.1.5.45-46) Lady Macbeth suggests that as a woman, she is too conscience to be capable of committing such an awful crime. Only by surpassing her womanly nature can Lady Macbeth carry out her murderous plans without her conscience getting in the way. Despite her apparent position for evil however, a close examination of Lady Macbeth’s words and actions bring light to the idea that she is not as wicked as she seems. At the beginning of Act II Scene ii, after Lady Macbeth has drugged the king's bodyguards, she says that the wine "which hath made [the guards] drunk hath made me bold" (Mac.2.2.1) In this case, however, Lady Macbeth’s intake of “bold” means waiting in the anteroom while her husband goes through with the actual murder. In order to trigger Macbeth's consent to kill King Duncan, Lady
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Shakespeare, like any other man in the 16th and 17th century, saw ambitious and dominant women as evil and even disturbing or disturbed. From Macbeth, we can see Shakespeare feels women should be challenged and punished because they are trying to change society. Nowadays these ambitious and dominant women are regarded as brave and respected because of their ambition, such as Lady Macbeth’s ambition to become Queen. Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth as mentally disturbed.
Because Macbeth’s and Lady Macbeth’s decision to murder Duncan, Both face the guilt of the power they abused portrays on the shadows that reflect on them as well as the natural consequences they will face. During the first half of the play, Lady Macbeth expresses her unnatural feelings and this is demonstrated through the corruption of power when she want’s to hire people to kill Duncan because she thinks that Macbeth is too scared. At first, when Lady Macbeth hinted “Their drenchèd natures lies as in a death”(1.7.78). This demonstrates that Lady Macbeth is characterizing corruption of power due to the fact that she want's to kill Duncan, therefore she can be queen of cawdor while Macbeth is king.
She embodied rising above her time period’s implications in a way that resonated intensely within me. Lady Macbeth was alarmingly unorthodox in the way that she commandeered her’s and her husband’s relationship. She defied the cult of domesticity made up of women of her time by taking charge of her husband’s life when she convinced him to kill King Duncan. Although her actions were immoral, this was significant to me because I was able to witness the measures she took to achieve her goal of ambition. This made me feel that my goals of achieving a balance between academic excellence and an enjoyment of literature was attainable.
When Macbeth displays uncertainty regarding the murder of Duncan, Lady Macbeth uses his fear of not adhering to the masculine gender role of being cold-hearted and ambitious and only “when [Macbeth] durst do it, then [he was] a man”. (1.7.56) Upon first glance, it would seem as though Lady Macbeth is strong and powerful. However, Shakespeare uses the downfall of both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to display that women in power are dangerous and corrupt. Due to Lady Macbeth’s coercion into the murder of Duncan, she allows and essentially encourages Macbeth to ravage all of Scotland.
This study will focus on the way in which Shakespeare crafts his play and uses dramatic devices in his portrayal of Lady Macbeth in order to confront the gender stereotypes of the time, femininity and the natural order of society. During the early 17th century there was a substantial fear that if women were liberated from their domestic, maternal roles, the historically patriarchal society would unravel. With prevailing challenges of gender such as “When you durst do it, then you were a man” Shakespeare uses the character of Lady Macbeth to transgress the natural limits concomitant with her sex. In order to be able to answer the research question, it is vital to concretely establish the contemporary gender roles and the context of the play.
As a result of serving as a catalyst that effectively unleashes Macbeth’s true side of evil, Lady Macbeth’s guilty conscience begins to surface. Immediately upon becoming King of Scotland, Macbeth’s wicked and selfish ambitions to achieve absolute dominance over the throne begins his murderous reign of tyranny. As a result of serving a major role in influencing her husband to take the path that he does, Lady Macbeth expresses her guilty feelings by
William Shakespeare portrayed the character Lady Macbeth to be extremely ruthless, malicious and manipulative. Thus, being the reason she could easily convince Macbeth to do her will, yet still put on such a convincing performance in front of those who knew nothing of her and her husband’s actions. Lady Macbeth shows her complexity constantly throughout the story when she shares her view-point on masculinity by demasculinizing her own husband, when she strategically plans the murder of the King Duncan, and finally when she finally goes crazy because of the guilt she possesses for not only her own actions but also turning her own husband into a
Feminine Influence in Macbeth Macbeth was written by William Shakespeare about a man and the ever-changing, tragic conflict surrounding his life. In the context of the time period, women were looked upon in a lesser way than men both physically and emotionally. The expectation of womanhood did not go beyond being taken care of by their husbands (Sharnette, par. 2). Macbeth challenges this notion by creating the dynamic of prevailing female figures.
“Come, you spirits, That tend on mortal thoughts,/unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full/ Of dire cruelty” (1.5.41-44). Lady Macbeth is the personification of male dominance, ruthlessness and violence. She hopes that she could take control of all action. She yearns to be a man and her implication is that she is more masculine than Macbeth. Her drive and violent nature is more akin to men and their masculinity.
In their defence they often reference to her small talks with Macbeth, where her opinions often surpass his (1; 7; 72-74). But, it’s clear that Lady Macbeth is no feminist lady. Throughout the play, she is viewed by the audience as a selfish female character, consumed with ambition to successfully bring the witches prophecy of Macbeth becoming king into reality. Unlike, Macbeth who tends to carry out his deeds holily, Lady Macbeths ambition completely disgraces the definition of feminist, believing regicide of faithful leader King Duncan is the way to gain power. Macbeths strong values, belies and attitudes of King Duncan, created a series of doubts towards Lady Macbeths idea, since.
“…those ‘feminine charms’ we are so fond of are not feminine at all, but mere reflected masculinity – developed to please us because they had to please us, and in no way essential to the real fulfillment of their great process.” —Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Herland The Inspiring, Unsexed Villainess: Lady Macbeth The effect women have had on literature, whether as authors, readers, or subject matter, is substantial in terms of producing great works and inspiring great introspection. William Shakespeare has also made a substantive contribution to the world of English literature and his creation of female characters is also integral to the formulation of women in literature.
Macbeth calls her his “dearest partner of greatness”, which indicates they have a close relationship, and he considers her equal to him. “Lady Macbeth must act and think "like a man" because good women are by definition subservient, and can exert no recognizable authority.” When there is the idea of murdering King Duncan, she takes control of the situation. She calls on the evil sprits saying, “unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full, of direst cruelty.” She needed to be male in order to kill Duncan because it was believed only men could commit murder, since women were too dainty to do
[with] direst cruelty”, grants her the ability to act in a way that is considered both ruthless and respected among men, suggesting the difference between the actions of women and men as well as the difference in seriousness taken as a result of action from either gender(1.5.48-50). Without the presence of a stigma relating to gender throughout the play, Lady Macbeth has no reason to declare her disconnect with her feminine identity. However, the idea that gender makes one inferior
In this essay I will be comparing two female characters from different texts and different time periods. We will be looking in depth at Lady Macbeth from Shakespeare 's play 'Macbeth ', and Sheila from J.B. Priestley 's 'An Inspector Calls '. We will be looking at their roles in their respective plays, and how their characters develop over time. It is clear that both ladies are in strong relationships, but how they act within these relationships is vastly different.