Gender In Lady Macbeth

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The idea of "manliness" in some socio-cultural populations have always sparked ongoing discussions and debates. Today we find dialogues about various traditional gender roles, complexities and evolving definitions of gender and sex available for participation in discussions and education via various social institutions (i.e., teen or adult group therapies, different religions, educational systems, etc.), as well as on mainstream and social media. In Macbeth, however, there is a complex tapestry of reversed stereotypical gender roles on one end, social/peer pressure to maintain traditional gender roles and insecurities leading to losing one 's sense of self or an experience of somber emptiness. Much of the psychological implications of such…show more content…
Her descent from "femme fatale" into a symbolic masculine-aggressive power-hungry transformation and gender reversal with her husband that drains her leaving her zombie-like, a "victim" of power who was, in a sense, identical to MacBeth 's descent into darkness when he attempted to boast a manly front. Earlier in the play, Lady Macbeth possessed a stronger resolve and sense of purpose than her husband and was the driving force behind their plot to kill Duncan. When Macbeth believed his hand was irreversibly bloodstained earlier in the play, Lady Macbeth suggests, “A little water clears us of this deed” (II. ii. 70). Now, however, she too hallucinates blood. She is completely undone by guilt and descends into madness. When compared to each other, it seems that MacBeth and Lady MacBeth are the "victims" of (excessive) masculinity, if not general imitation of its traditional and stereotypical expression at the very least. Lady MacBeth 's over-aggressive masculine demeanor, her conventional redefinition of what is manhood and peer pressure for her own personal gain, as well as her renouncing her natural self (or what seemed as a sacrifice of her femininity or the very things that socially define her as "female") in order to accomplish this goal and burning desire to be queen, all spiral out of control which leave her

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