Macbeth Essay: the Role of Gender and Position

Topics: Macbeth, Man, Gender Pages: 3 (911 words) Published: March 5, 2013
Macbeth Essay: The Role of Gender and Position
Amilio Lopez
In Macbeth, many elements that affect the story’s plot and outcome; however, gender and position of power play the most important role of the story. For example, Lady Macbeth continuously wants to be changed into a man in order to get certain duties done that Macbeth is hesitant to do. Also, Lady Macbeth uses the power of belittling Macbeth’s masculinity to further drive his actions in the play. Lastly, the witches’ predictions of Macbeth’s future affect and change him through the position of power he will soon possess. Overall, many aspects of the play foreshadow and affect the ending of the play; however, sex (gender) and power have the biggest impact.

Throughout the course of the play, Lady Macbeth constantly exerts the fact that she does not want to be a female. Lady Macbeth wants to be changed into a man because she would hold more power, and be able to escape the stereotypes associated with being a female. Such stereotypes include, not being capable to do certain activities men can, being fragile, and having a frail attitude about oneself. One example of Lady Macbeth wanting to become a male is when she states "Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here . . ." (Shakespeare 33) Lady Macbeth’s statement implies the obvious, which is, due to her being a female she is unable to murder Duncan (aside from his resemblance to her father) and wants to be “unsexed”. Another example of Lady Macbeth despising being a female is when she states “That no compunctious visitings of nature shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between th’ effect and it,” (Shakespeare 33). Lady Macbeth’s statement basically states that she wants to be ridden of the “visitings of nature” because they distract her from her purpose and goal. Lady Macbeth’s gender affects her role in her husband’s life, and she despises the fact. Lady Macbeth continuously despises being a female.

In Macbeth, Lady Macbeth...
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