Ideal Man Essay

Topics: Macbeth, Duncan I of Scotland, Masculinity Pages: 3 (896 words) Published: February 22, 2011
« You would be so much more the man »

The play Macbeth published in 1603 by Shakespeare presents the rise and the decadence, the decline of power of King Macbeth. After killing, in order, King Duncan, his two chamberlains, Macbeth's general Banquo, Lady Macduff and her children, Macbeth manages to secure his power until Macduff battles with him and finally kills him. In the play, Shakespeare indicates features that make up an ideal man. Through various character’s representations and actions the reader can to discern Shakespeare’s Ideal Man. By defining his Ideal man and its opposites, Shakespeare introduces the common theme of masculinity.

Firstly, Macbeth symbolizes the anti-ideal man, in other words the anti-hero, of the story. Through his mistakes and flaws the reader tends to understand Macbeth’s contrary: the Ideal Man. Even if at the beginning Macbeth is presented as loyal and brave we understand later that he is not a virtuous human being, and that the dark side of the man is highlighted. He is easily tempted and influenced into murder by his wife and into insanity. He is too ambitious, practically obsessed by his desires. He lacks skills to govern his country but cannot resist his passion for violence and murder and rapidly becomes a tyrant. He kills without double thinking, without mercy; even children and women that would not interfere in his reign. For instance when he kills Lady Macduff: “His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls that trace him in his line.” (Act1, scene 1) He is unable to take responsibility for his actions as we can see just after he killed King Duncan: “To know my deed ‘twere best not know myself.” (Act 2 Scene 2 ) He means that rather than having to think about his crime, he would prefer to be completely unconscious. He wants to hide, to deny reality and act cowardly facing it. He is immediately struck by guilt: “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clear from my hands?” (Act 2 scene 2) he cannot wash this...
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