Gender Roles- Macbeth and Lady Macbeth Essay
1296 Words6 Pages
In the old Shakespeare play Macbeth, women wear the pants, while the men wear the dresses, this is the theme throughout the play. It focuses on the marriage of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth takes the lead role, while she convinces her husband to kill Duncan. Shakespeare play concerning gender roles, shows the untraditional marriage in Scotland; what one sees is not what one gets. It also show how one starts is not how they end. The story of Macbeth shows power and betrayal. It shows power because it shows how one can take charge and get it done. It shows betrayal because he kill Duncan just to get the crown. The untraditional marriage between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth. Lady Macbeth shows how a woman takes charge of her marriage, showing she is…show more content…
She the woman of the house. She’s an example of a woman that most women wish they could be. Lady Macbeth convincing attempts to rejects her feminine sensibility and adopt a male mentally because she feels that the ones around her, think females should be weak. Lady Macbeth feels all women should be strong. Lady Macbeth is the type of woman that gives orders, instead of taking them. Lady Macbeth planned everything. She planned the murder, and how to poison the guards. However, Lady Macbeth does doubt the plan. Macbeth is shown as a brave, courageous, honorable, strong-willed and in control; Then slowly Macbeth looses his masculine qualities. The witches have a part in him loosing his masculinity. The traditional role of men usually take charge, and wears the pants, but its already clear the Lady Macbeth wears the pants. “ Lady Macbeth appears to be the more freighting figure” (Maternal Power par 1). The role of Macbeth is a friendly person, who is dictated by his wife; She controls his every thought. Its as if he doesn’t make a move without her knowing. She clearly over powers him in every way. The weird sisters also play apart in the gender roles. “ The disruption of gender roles occur in the weird sisters the trio perceived as violating nature and dispute the designation, as sister the gender roles, the characters is also ambiguous” (play with gender role par 3). In the story of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth shows her
It is hard to say whether Shakespeare was certain of anything when he wrote Macbeth because many of his characters are so confused. His troubled relationship with women like his wife probably had a great impact on his writing. Yet Macbeth is a play about knowledge, and in writing it, Shakespeare in the very least explores the possibilities of what it means to be man or woman. His results are striking in the creation of a cast of characters who each represent something unique about humanity. The Macbeths are the focus though, and it is their relationship which probably deserves the most attention because together they create such a disturbing abomination of gender.
A great theme of the play is ambition, and it is what spurs on practically everything that takes place. Of course, the ambition is overzealous and fueled by greed, but nonetheless, it is what Shakespeare uses to examine gender roles in Macbeth. From the moment the Witches tell Macbeth that he is to be King, he cannot shake the idea from his head. Yet, he is frightened by what he must do in order to attain that title and knows it is wrong as he states “Let not light see my black and deep desires; / The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be” (Norton Ed. 2586). Macbeth knows what he must do, but he needs something more to spur him on because as Lady Macbeth notes, he is “too full o’th’ milk of human kindness” (Norton Ed. 2587). In uttering these words, Lady Macbeth accuses her husband of taking the feminine quality of holding milk. She sees him as too feminine and humane to kill the king which of course leads her to attempt to compensate for Macbeth by being “unsexed” and having her milk taken for gall. As the gender roles begin to subvert and the Macbeths’ overwhelming ambition blinds their morality, Shakespeare’s vision of the unnatural masculine figure becomes clearer.
Even though they are quite powerful already in society, the Macbeths believe they are still somehow inadequate. Their marriage itself is an obvious indication of this as neither seems content with the qualities of the other. Lady Macbeth especially chastises her husband for her wants in him. Even as Macbeth tries to logically argue against the murder plot by stating “We will proceed no further in this business. / He hath honoured me of late, and I have bought / Golden opinions from all sorts of people, / Which would be worn now in their newest gloss, / Not cast aside so soon” (Norton Ed. 2590), his wife remains unsatisfied. In fact, such a statement only brings about frustration and anger in Lady Macbeth who resorts to mocking her husband’s masculinity by suggesting he is a coward. Macbeth tries one last time to reason with her by offering “I dare do all that may become a man; / Who dares do more is none” (Norton Ed. 2590), yet even this powerful exclamation is not enough. Although Macbeth intends his words to assert that he represents the epitome of manhood, his wife takes them as more of a confession that he is no man at all. She proceeds to deliver her perverted and haunting idea of what it means to be a man.