Of all of Shakespeare’s tragic tales and stories, one of the most devastating and bloody is the tale of Macbeth. The premise is simple. An average man, overtook by need for power, kills in order to receive it. What follows is a horrid chain of events, leading to many unnecessary deaths and a dreadful conclusion. From afar, this may just seem like a sad story with little meaning; however, on closer inspection, it may be worth asking the question. Who is to blame for all of this? The answer to this question is the idea of gender stereotypes.
The first time the idea of gender stereotyping appeared in the play was in act I, scene 7 when Macbeth first informed his wife of what the witches foretold would happen in his future. She began to share her …show more content…
On one hand, Lady Macduff is mostly upset with her husband for leaving because she feels he does not love her. She goes on to say how all she wants to do is be a good wife and do all that is expected of her as a woman, but it still gets her nothing. To leave his wife, to leave his babes,/ His mansion and his titles in a place/ From whence himself does fly? He loves us not;/ He wants the natural touch… All is the fear and nothing is the love,/ As little is the wisdom, where the flight/ So runs against all reason” (act 4 scene 2 page 1). This is upsetting to see because it shows that she is fixed on doing what society expects because she believes it will get her all she wants. On the other hand, Lady Macbeth is driven mad by the thought of her terrible actions, obviously being negatively affected by her acting out against her gender norms. “The thane of Fife had a wife. Where is she now?—What, will these hands ne'er be clean?—No more o' that, my lord, no more o' that. You mar all with this starting... I still have the smell of blood on my hand. All the perfumes of Arabia couldn’t make my little hand smell better. Oh, oh, oh!” (act 5 scene 1 page 3). This mental downfall is even more tragic because it shows that, between Lady Macduff doing what she’s told to …show more content…
This terrible chain of events may not have come about if there were never any masculine or feminine expectations for these characters to fulfil. Of all the potential causes or suspects of Macbeth’s tragedies, gender stereotypes are internal and inescapable and no matter what the characters do they can't avoid the expectations society sets for them, which is why this particular cause of the tragedies is considered the worst and most to
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
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.
Societal Expectations are not Barriers Two inspiring pieces of literature called Macbeth by William Shakespeare and “The Yellow Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkings Gilman share one eminent theme, which is the suppression of the female gender. Societies often place barbaric labels on those who seem unworthy rather than fight the judgments that are concrete and see for themselves. Social ideas during the two diverse time periods demonstrate how women are not seen as powerful figures and insanity progress within those who are stereotyped. Women are seen as creatures that are ineligible to think for themselves in.
What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you see a woman with a man? You automatically think that the man is the one calling all the shots in the relationship. You also wonder why some women act as if they are the man of the relationship. But in the play Macbeth ;Shakespeare wanted to show that gender doesn't mean anything. From the year of 1040-1057; Macbeth was a king that actually existed in Scotland.
Through the course of ‘Macbeth’, masculinity is presented as a driving force to Macbeth’s crimes, making it a vital theme. In this essay, focus will be on masculinity’s presentation through Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. In the beginning, Shakespeare portrays Macbeth as “valiant”: a prized masculine quality and the key to respect in their society. However, this trait becomes warped along the play. Furthermore, Lady Macbeth has power comparable to man’s
There is a strong correlation between violence and masculinity. In the play, Macbeth by Shakespeare, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth constantly battle the challenges of manhood. This can be supported by Lady Macbeth and her “unsex me speech” (Act 1.5.47-61). During the play Macbeth, characters tend to dwell on issues of gender and their roles in society.
With this in mind, if a man couldn’t do something a woman can, he was a disgrace; Lady Macbeth is taunting Macbeth with the gender gap, which makes him want to prove he’s more masculine and can keep it together. Even though, Lady Macbeth is viewed as a manipulative character, towards the end, she changes and shows signs of remorse/regret, which is not like her character. Lady Macbeth begins to feel remorseful because she has made an outright killing machine out of Macbeth. Lady Macbeth starts to ask herself “The thane of Fife had a wife. Where is she now?
In the beginning Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Lady Macbeth was a ruthless and masculine woman. She showed the audience that, mentally and emotionally, she was stronger than Macbeth. Although as the story started to continue the audience began to see that she was becoming mentally insane. Throughout the story there was also evidence of shakespeare showing the more masculinity you had the more cuel you became.
Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth, focuses on the tumultuous events that surround a regicide. Despite being the shortest of Shakespeare’s plays, in his critical study of the play A. C. Bradley concludes that due to its vehement nature the audience is left with an impression “not of brevity but of speed” . The principal female character of Lady Macbeth is arguably one of his most contentious. Consumed with intense passion, ambition and greed she challenges the subservient role of the traditional Elizabethan woman. She has disturbed, horrified and intrigued both contemporary and modern audiences alike through her powerful diction.
It is clear that men and women have two different cultures in Shakespeare’s time, and the relationship between the two was hierarchical. Throughout Shakespeare’s play, it is obvious that the feminine emotions are far less desirable than the masculine. When Lady Macbeth plots to kill Duncan in order for Macbeth to become king, she is aware that he must suppress his natural “love, compassion, pity, [and] remorse” in order to kill Duncan, and she will need to ignore the same emotions, “which she clearly thinks of as feminine” (180). Macbeth, of course, eventually gives in to the gender definitions of his wife and society and kills Duncan. “He is on his way literally and figuratively to becoming the kind of man his wife has urged” (183).
In the popular play Macbeth, Shakespeare compares the gender stereotypes portrayed to those different pre-existing ideas from other generations such as the 1900’s, the 50’s, and even today 's society. Macbeth has plenty of examples of the exaggeration of gender roles that clearly differentiate male and female by construing their proper roles as polar opposite or complementary. Examples proving that there are gender stereotypes in Macbeth pertain to characters such as Lady Macbeth, The Witches, and Macbeth himself. In Macbeth, the many different stereotypes of gender roles from throughout the century to today’s society have been displayed in many aspects of the play. With examples of the exaggeration of gender constructs pertaining to the male
Well Lady Macbeth, who is dead set on having absolute power, disagrees with that. She convinces Macbeth to kill, to cover up the murders, and tries to convince him that these murders will get them to the top. Lady Macbeth calls upon the witches and states, “unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty” (Macbeth Act 1 Scene 5 lines 31 and 31). This shows that while in the pursuit of power, Lady Macbeth wanted it so much that she asked the witches to “unsex” her and make her more like man. But along with that you see the theme of gender roles are uncertain which ties into Lady Macbeth leading Macbeth in this pursuit of power, also giving him the ambition that she wants him to
In William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth, the protagonist desperately tries to live up to the image of a man that his society portrays. The search for his manhood leads him to violent acts that inevitably get him killed. In this tragedy, male and female roles are constantly discussed and defined. Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth equate masculinity to violence and aggression. They both believe that in order to be a real man, then a man must perform violent acts when necessary.
She is malicious not only in words but also in her intent. Her sole object is to obtain power and wealth, with its attendant treasures. Lady Macbeth lacks humanity and regrets that she was not born as a man. She understands that power and violence are synonymous with manhood and bravery. Additionally, Lady Macbeth interests’ and ambition, override her love for even her husband, Macbeth.
It’s no surprise, that Shakespeare’s Macbeth was clearly constructed as a rebellion against femininity roles of the time. During the Elizabethan era, women were raised to believe they were inferior to men since men obtained desired masculine qualities such as strength, and loyalty, whereas women were viewed as figures of hospitality (1; 6; 28-31). Obviously, not being tempted by the luxury of subservient women, William Shakespeare rebuked this twisted belief, applying that women deserve more respect than their kitchen tables.
”(5.1.44-47). Lady Macbeth feels like she is responsible for the death of Macduff’s family because it was Macbeth who ordered their death, “The Thane of Fife had a Wife. Where is she now” as if she is adding it on to the list of her wrongs she has done. Lady Macbeth knows she has released the monster in Macbeth but is desperate to stop him and beg him “n more o’ that, my lord, no more o’ that”. Lady Macbeth’s sadness and guilt resulting from Macbeth’s actions proves that she has a