A Shakespearean Tragedy: Macbeth, “A Real Man”
Macbeth, the tragic tale of a man, wrought with fear, ambition, and aspirations of greatness. An epic yarn which disrupted the very “Great Chain of Being” that God set in place for man. Revolved around a single theme, masculinity. What does it mean to be Manly? A definition which has changed ever so much over the course of time, and even now plagues people with pre-conceived notions of strength, and the ability to provide for one’s self in addition to a family. Masculinity, which was constantly used as just reasoning to pressure the tragic hero into doing deeds that led to his inevitable downfall. In the time that the play was written, females were to remain unvoiced and avoid opinionated discussions because they were “fraught” with feelings of ardor, weakness and emotionally feminine attributes: while men were thought to be honorable and valiant. The opening scene in Macbeth is one of war where the men stand side by side and fight for king and country. Devotion with incredible violence was seen to be very masculine and to fight and die for your country was heroic and honorable. Macbeth's bravery is recognized and defined by The Captain and King Duncan as courageous. The text supports his masculinity in Act One Scene Two,
“For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name),
Disdaining Fortune, with his brandish'd steel,
Which smok'd with bloody execution,
Like Valour's minion,
O Valiant Cousin! Worthy gentleman!” (1.2.16-24).
Thusly, Macbeth's comrades verified his masculinity on the theatre of war. His masculinity is basically measured by his military ability. At this point, there is no reason to suspect that Macbeth has any innate weaknesses if his manliness is to be questioned. After meeting the three witches, and receiving the prophecy, he seems unable to make firm decisions and shoulder the responsibility that comes with being appointed Thane of Cawdor, and “King”. In...
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