analysis of gender roles in macbeth

Topics: Gender role, Gender, Feminism Pages: 3 (898 words) Published: January 9, 2014
In many cultures, such as European in society, women are perceived as the primary caretaker of the home among other oppressive notions that pertain to them. They were in charge of organizing social events, maintaining the family’s reputation, cooking, and cleaning occasionally with assistance from their children. They were considered to be of less value than their male counterparts and, thus, were not permitted the opportunity to have a role in politics, religion, and society. Since the time of Shakespeare, the majority of gender inequities in society have been abolished, and a new era of complete equality is on the horizon. However, there are barriers of ignorance, whose sole purpose is to hinder progression, that people have yet to break. Women have made efforts to gain equality in society since the 1800’s as seen by the writer and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft who wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, the first great feminist treatise. It listed and discussed her grievances concerning gender inequality and had a total influence on the art of travel writing as well as the Romantic Movement. A sign of this progress in society, other than women’s introduction into several facets of society (i.e. entertainment, business, politics, etc.), is the adoption of gender role reversal, partly due to its comedic portrayal in television but also its necessity in some homes. As expected, there were some who were more conservative towards gender equality such as, William Shakespeare which was seen in his gruesome play, Macbeth that used this idea of general role reversal to oppose this idea. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth show the first instances of this peculiar gender role reversal, which occurs exceptionally early in the play when Macbeth is conflicted with the choice of either killing Duncan as according to the plan or spare his life as he begins to see the true wickedness of this act. Here Macbeth exhibits weakness, an inability to do something treacherous and soul...
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