Theme Of Femininity In Macbeth

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A well-known adventurist once said,"A man's pride can be his downfall." This exemplifies the eventual destruction of Macbeth's emotional and mental stability along with his reign as king due to his excess of pride. Throughout Shakespeare's Macbeth, masculinity and femininity are associated more with power and weakness, rather than gender. Masculinity is often paired with cruelty and murder while femininity usually renders weakness and occasionally logic. The idea that power rests in men, while women are inferior is common throughout Macbeth. Throughout the play, Macbeth shifts between femininity and masculinity, but in the end, it is a combination of power-craving, cruel masculinity and overbearing, weak femininity that destroys Macbeth. …show more content…
Here, the reader experiences a logical coherent Macbeth, which is evident by his internal reasoning. This is problematic because these qualities are marked as feminine. Shortly after, when Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to kill Duncan, the obvious barbarism associated with masculinity is presented. She coerces him, saying, "When you durst do it, then you were a man" (1.6.49). By saying this, she creates a theme that is carried throughout the rest of the play: the only way to be powerful is to be masculine and the only way to be masculine is to be cruel. Now Macbeth has made up his mind. He embraces his newfound masculinity and ascends to the throne through inhumane and evil methods, but he may never escape his feminine …show more content…
Before the brutal killing of Duncan, Macbeth's uncertainty says, "Words to the heat of deed too cold breath gives" (2.1.61). This demonstrates that the cruelty and murder that once overtook and empowered Macbeth is making him feeble and hallucinogenic. This plays a part in his moral downfall by making him uneasy and frightened by his own actions. However, Act III presents a more power-seeking, corrupt view of Macbeth. While Macbeth plots to kill Banquo, he says, "So is he mine; and in such bloody distance that every minute of his being thrusts Against my near’st of life. And though I could With barefaced power sweep him from my sight And bid my will avouch it" (3.1.119-121). Macbeth masculinity is showcased in this excerpt, he describes how every minute Banquo is still alive, Macbeth is brought closer to death. Macbeth's excessive desire for power and fear of being overthrown by Banquo's descendants brings him closer to death. The power-obsessed MacBeth is disregarding any form of conscience in order to gain power; he is even willing to murder his faithful friend to secure his kingly reign. By ignoring a sense of good judgement and solely focusing on methods to obtain the most superior form of power, MacBeth is contributing to his downfall by creating enemies and wavering in his own

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