Lady Macbeth descends into insanity caused by lack of sleep and guilt. Using Lady Macbeth, Shakespeare supports his time period’s ideals of keeping women only in submissive roles. Shakespeare also allows the witches to possess a large amount of power, and these witches similar to Lady Macbeth use their power for corruption and destruction. The witches, “should be women, /And yet [their] beards forbid” that conclusion and betray their overruling masculine qualities and lack of feminine
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.
She ultimately gets what she wants when her husband goes through with killing Duncan, but even then she can’t be satisfied. Lady Macbeth is a very savvy character who really propels this story into motion. In contrast with this, Lady Macduff is a very innocent character who just gets caught up in the mess Lady Macbeth and her husband created. She is presumed to be a good woman and mother and did nothing to deserve her cold-blooded murder. Macbeth is a play with a vast amount of dynamic and contrasting characters but of all of these, Lady Macbeth and Lady Macduff are the most prominent.
The relationship is unstable because of their lack of trust and Macbeth’s power over Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth says to Macbeth “Thou wouldst be great/ Art not without ambition.” Lady Macbeth basically was saying that if Macbeth doesn’t take control she will. Wuthering Heights also show a lot of unbalanceness in the relationships. It also shows some examples of women wanting sovereignty over men. How does the relationship between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth represent a woman wants sovereignty over a man?
The women of Macbeth have a significant impact on the story, and their male counterparts. The three, famous, conniving Weïrd Sisters have a major impact on Macbeth and are the reasons he spirals into insanity, as evident in scene three when the third witch proclaims, “All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!” (Shakespeare. I. III. 53). By foreshadowing what could be his, the witches sparks Macbeth’s sense of ambition and cause him to think about the possibilities of him becoming king, after all.
Ultimately, the play seeks and attempts to define what it means to be considered masculine and feminine in society’s standards. However, as the plot progresses, these female and male roles switch. Female characters take on a more masculine front, while male characters seem to display more feminine characteristics. This is a highly unusual portrayal of characters, especially during Shakespeare’s time. His attitude towards social standards are one of scorn.
Since the beginning of humanity, people have been using gender roles to determine how society functions. There are no exceptions during the events of Macbeth, a play about Macbeth and his story of honorable man turned tyrant and how his actions affect the world around him. From the murder of King Duncan to the death of Young Siward, Shakespeare shows that he believes gender roles are to be followed but can be broken. This can be seen throughout the entirety of the play. Beginning with Lady Macbeth summoning evil spirits, to her not being able to hear the horrible news, to Macbeth questioning the masculinity of three murderers, to Macduff deciding to do more than just sit back and watch, to the death of the son of the King of England, gender roles can be found in crack and corner of Macbeth.
Macbeth is one of the most thoroughly dissected texts in literature to this day and is packed with societal elements like gender roles that are still prevalent in our modern society. In Macbeth, William Shakespeare believes that gender roles can manipulate people into conforming to their roles through challenging manliness, assuming weakness, and convincing of manhood. Early on, Shakespeare uses gender roles to set the stage for the rest of the play, in this case making Macbeth go through with killing Duncan. Macbeth has just been promoted to Thane of Cawdor and Duncan now dines in his home. Macbeth has heard the prophecy and seen that it has all been true up to this point, so does his wife.
The second apparition said to Macbeth “Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn the power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth”. The witches were telling Macbeth that anybody that is born from a woman cannot harm him. This makes Macbeth thinks he is invincible and that he can do anything without being killed. Furthermore this scene shows how Shakespeare uses the supernatural theme of the witches to show how fate was influencing Macbeth’s life. Secondly, Shakespeare question the influence of free will.
She goads Macbeth and convinces him to murder King Duncan. During this period of time Lady Macbeth’s masculine traits are at their peak, as she states “That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,” (Act 1, Scene). This phrase is vital in Lady Macbeth’s character development as it emphasizes the masculinity that she portrays. As contemporary audiences are much more open minded about gender equality, are the dominance of Lady Macbeth in the relationship between her and Macbeth is not surprising. However, as this play is based in the Jacobean times and was staged during the 1600’s, this characterisation of Lady Macbeth by Shakespeare was extremely contentious and controversial, as females didn’t have much authority in a relationship when compared to