George Chapman

Topics: Gender role, Macbeth, Gender Pages: 4 (935 words) Published: September 2, 2013
Yr 12 Shakespeare Essay:

Masculinity- ‘Gender and Power’

Masculinity is associated with certain character traits, and every time masculinity is mentioned, violence soon follows. Discuss this statement in relation to the male characters in the play Macbeth.

William's Shakespeare's Macbeth tells the story of a man who allows the questioning of his manhood along with his ambition to lead him into a spiral of committing brutal and senseless acts of violence. The characters in Macbeth associate masculinity with aggression, bravery, and vengeance, as well as being void of emotion. Whenever the characters converse about manhood, violence soon follows.

Thesis -In the play, Macbeth, the male gender role is constructed to represent masculinity as aggressive and violent and embedded as a normal part of human behavior so as to preserve the patriarchal social order.

In the beginning, Macbeth is a moral man. He is the “brave Macbeth,” who is loyal to his King. However, in the end he is transformed from a man that “smack of honor” (Act 1, Scene 2) to one that is “smacking of every sin.” (Act 4, scene 3) While the audience is led to believe that this transformation is caused by his unnatural ambition, the play strongly supports the idea that his primary motive is the assertion of a threatened masculine self-image.

Topic Sentence 1- Threatened male image, Macbeth / Macduff (patriarchy) Social order in the Elizabethan times suggested that patriarchy was considered society’s power source. The dichotomy between man and women was evident throughout history. Men have always been the ‘leaders’, with the system of the family structure, where the father has the control and women have little to say. In the Play Macbeth, Lady Macbeth continually threatens Macbeth that he does not posses the masculinity that she desires. She believes he is not manly enough to take out the deed of killing Duncan. After Lady Macbeth receives the letter from Macbeth informing her about...
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