Macbeth Reverse Gender Roles

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Gina Amato
Mrs. Simos P.4

It is inevitable that society has made a stereotype for the definition on what it means to be a man or a woman, it was stated and believed a long time ago and has just moved through life, generation after generation. Society believes that men are the workers and providers and essentially the strength of the family, and women take more of a nurturing and caring role. From this, a man’s physical strength is portrayed as being strong and brave at superior and horrific times, yet through literature like Shakespeare’s Macbeth, it shows that they can end up weak. There are many times in William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, where the acts of “reverse-gender roles” are being detected in terms of what the stereotype states, between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. This tragic play is a perfect example that in life it does not matter of what gender a person is, but what matters the most is what steps a person takes to prove his or herself in this world.

To begin with, in the first couple acts of the play when Lady Macbeth is being introduced we can feel a sense of strength and power in her character over Macbeth which is not the average stereotypical trait of a woman. In one of the most famous lines by Lady Macbeth, as she is waiting for King Duncan’s arrival at her castle we can tell that she is the strength behind her husband and her ambition will force him to commit murder for the purpose of the throne. “…unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood, Stop up th’access and passage to remorse, That no compunctious visitings of nature Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between Th’ effect and it. Come to my woman’s breasts, And take my milk for gall, you murd’ring ministers (1.5, 36-52).” Lady Macbeth is saying that her womanhood emotions are what keep her from committing cruel and violent actions that she believes are actions of a man. But later, that stereotype for a...
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