Theme Of Gender Roles In Macbeth

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William Shakespeare 's Macbeth is one of his most famous, bloody and suspenseful plays. In this five-act play, Shakespeare makes many comments on how the men and women in the show are thought to act. In the 11th century, men and women had very specific roles in society, but some of these characters challenge the characteristics of what is thought to only be of one gender. Shakespeare uses the complex theme of gender roles throughout the play to show the stereotypical characteristics of what men and women are thought to have. Gender roles are first mentioned when Lady Macbeth asks the spirits to make her more of a man so that she can murder for herself. “Come, you spirits / That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, / And fill me from the crown to the toe…show more content…
Lady Macbeth feels like she has to convince Macbeth to kill before he gives up, so she thinks that threatening his masculinity will work. Another time gender roles are brought up is when Malcolm calls Macduff womanly because he is crying and that he should seek revenge to be a man. Macduff responds with, “Oh, I could play the woman with mine eyes / And braggart with my tongue (4:3:237-238)!” Macduff is embarrassed when seen crying because men were thought to not be emotional. Even today, men are taught that crying is for women. Macduff now feels as if he has to kill Macbeth for revenge. He also feels like he has to prove that he is masculine to Malcolm. In the end Lady Macbeth. Macbeth, Malcolm, and Macduff all make comments about gender roles and how genders should act in society. It is very interesting to read this play because people have been questioning gender roles in society a ton recently, so it is fascinating to see what Shakespeare wrote 400 years ago. Shakespeare uses the complex theme of gender roles throughout the play to show the stereotypical characteristics of what men and women are thought to

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