Feminism in Macbeth

Topics: Suicide, Macbeth, Suicide methods Pages: 3 (1289 words) Published: March 25, 2013
“Does Lady Macbeth Act Against the Stereotypes?”
Why Lady Macbeth should appear weak when Macbeth is the one to blame for being guilty? Feminism and the breaking of some stereotypes are the major themes in Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, as shown primarily through the character of Lady Macbeth. At first she is shown as a brave woman who is against the stereotypes and tries to access some male characteristics by forcing Macbeth to kill King Duncan, yet she hesitates in killing him herself, which reveals her innate weakness as a woman. After the death of Duncan, she feels a strong guilt over the murder of her husband’s victims which makes her sick and she becomes psychotic. Lastly, she reveals her inferior nature as a woman by committing suicide which is a proof of her weakness and the failure of acting against her nature. Lady Macbeth’s effort to access male qualities fails right after she convinces her husband to commit murder and her feeling of guilt leads her to eventually commit suicide, which proves the stereotype and feminism in the play Macbeth. In this play, one of the major characters, Lady Macbeth, acts against her nature as a woman to assume male characteristics, in order to become the queen. When she receives a letter from Macbeth that says he is willing to kill King Duncan, she talks to the spirits in her mind and says: “Unsex me here/ and fill me from the crown to the toe/ top full of direst cruelty!” (1.5.46-49). In fact she wants the spirits to strip her of her feminine traits, make her strong, and let her commit a crime without regretting it in the future. With all of these dark thoughts that she has in her mind, she still tries to act nice and compassionate in the public, so that nobody can realize what plans they have. Macbeth also wants her to act this way and he thinks that “False face must hide what the false heart doth know.” (1.7.92). He tells Lady Macbeth that the face should hide what the “false heart” has inside, because he is aware of...
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