macbeth gender roles

Topics: Gender role, Masculinity, Gender Pages: 3 (748 words) Published: June 1, 2014
Carlie McKibben
Mrs. Parker
Honors English 10
Gender Theory in Macbeth
Society assigns certain roles for women and men. In Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, gender roles play an important part in violence. Also, both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth’s characters appeal to the role of being masculine and have roles that appeal to the opposite gender along with the three witches.

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are Shakespeare’s most obvious and dominant attempt to cross the barrier of gender roles. In the beginning of the play, Macbeth pictured as a strong, stereotypical, warrior-like man. He fights in battle with skill. “Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel.” (1.2.17) becoming the hero of a battle. Lady Macbeth shows her masculinity in doubting Macbeth. Lady Macbeth states. “I fear thy nature; it is too full o’th milk of human kindness.” (1.4.14-15) exposing her masculine distain for his less than bellicose personality in his pursuit of the throne. Within these parts of the play, Shakespeare is showing that even at the points of when he is showing Macbeth at his most masculine he isn’t as masculine as Lady Macbeth. He is saying that even though women didn’t participate in war they could still be thought of as determined and aggressive people. We also see the more masculine side and how much of the upper hand Lady Macbeth has in the relationship with Macbeth throughout the play. “Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be What thou art promised/ yet do I fear thy nature/ thou wouldst be great/ Art not without ambition, but without The illness should attend it Hie thee hither, That I may pour my spirits in thine ear; And chastise with the valour of my tongue All that impedes thee from the golden round, Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem To have thee crown'd withal.” (1.5.1) Based off of this quote Lady Macbeth feels that her husband is ambitious, but he is too nice to go the limits when it comes to murdering Duncan so he can be king....
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