Feminism in Macbeth

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Topics: Macbeth
Feminism is the Source of Tragedy in Macbeth

Behind every successful man there is a ruthless woman pushing him along to gain her own personal successes. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Lady Macbeth causes Macbeths downfall. With the faults and lies of Lady Macbeth, marriage is Macbeth’s big mistake. Lady Macbeth turns his courageous conquests on the fields of war into butchery. Mangled by the blood-spotted hands of his wife he becomes a traitor to himself, the people around him, and even her.
In the beginning they both desire power and Lady Macbeths starts to put evil thoughts in her husband’s head. Eventually Macbeth turns into a guiltless monster, which ironically causes Lady Macbeth’s downfall. Lady Macbeth’s life centers completely on her husband and there is a strong bond between the two (Thomson). Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth had a huge impact on their tragedies. They negatively thrive off each other’s actions and decisions.
Ambition is an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment. Most of us would view ambition as a good quality to have. The problem is Macbeth is too ambitious, which causes him to do immoral things to get where he desires (Johnston). There is a big difference between ambition and greed. Macbeth is power hungry and he wants to be on top. Lady Macbeth wants the same for her husband, maybe even just a little bit more:
A clearly intelligent and ambitious woman, Lady Macbeth’s role is completely determined by her husband’s. Without even a name of her own, the only way she can achieve power is if her husband attains it. Only with Macbeth as king can Lady Macbeth be queen (Ancona). In the beginning Duncan rules the throne. But Macbeth is highly esteemed for his heroic and honorable service to the state. He was described by his fellow noblemen as a loyal soldier, giving all he has for his country (Hawkes). Duncan respects him for being such a good



Cited: Ancona, Francesco Aristide, and Mary Ives Thompson. "He says/she says: Shakespeare 's Macbeth (a gender/personality study)." Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 27.3-4 (2005): 59+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 30 April 2010. Bernad, Miguel A. "The Five Tragedies in Macbeth." Shakespeare Quarterly 13.1 (Winter 1962): 49-61. Rpt. in Shakespearean Criticism. Ed. Michael L. LaBlanc. Vol. 80. Detroit: Gale, 2004. Literature Resource Center. Web. 1 May 2010. Hawkes, Terence. Twentieth Century Interpretations of Macbeth. NJ. Prentice-Hall Inc. 1977. Johnston, Ian. "Introduction to Macbeth." English 366: Studies in Shakespeare. July 1999. Malaspina-University College. 27 April. 2010 . Siegel, Paul. Shakespearean Tragedy and the Elizabethan Compromise. NY: New York University Press, Inc.1957. Thomson, Karin. "7 Essays of classic Macbeth criticism." The Land of Macbeth. Shakespeare Institute. 1 May. 2010 .

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