Examples Of Gender Stereotypes In Macbeth

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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

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