Lady and Man Stereotyping
“The raven himself is hoarse,” Lady Macbeth says, speaking of the atrocious act of murder she must commit. Lady Macbeth cannot simply go through with the act in her feminine state, so she calls to the spirits to make her more like a man, the seemingly more malicious sex. Through his own words, Shakespeare is able to tell a story from not only his point of view, but the view of his era. In the soliloquy spoken by Lady Macbeth in Act 1 Scene 3, she is speaking of her paradigm of the stereotypes of men and women. She is calling the evil spirits to give her the evilness of men, and continues along the path of cliches. The assumptions shown in the soliloquy is Shakespeare’s way of showing his readers, his audience, how men and women were perceived in his time. “Unsex me here,” says Lady Macbeth, the third line in of her soliloquy. This choice of diction of Shakespeare proves to be strong, and sets up the rest of the soliloquy. The difference of using “unsex” instead of “change” shows very good word choice for Shakespeare, and causes a difference in tone. The tone from the beginning is dark, with mentions of a “raven” and the “spirits”, however the simple word choice allows for the tone to continue. The emotion shown in the darkness also conveys the anger that Lady Macbeth is feeling. With the word choice in the line, “Unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty” allows her anger to be shown along with the stereotypes. To unsex is to “Deprive of gender, sexuality, or the characteristic attributes or qualities of one or other sex” (dictionary.com), which in this case shows the stereotype of men being full of “direst cruelty” which the women lack. After asking to become more like a man, and less like a woman, as men are crueler, more is said about women. “That no compunctious visitings of nature shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between the effect and it!” She is wishing that no human compassion gets...
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