Victorian Women in Dracula by Bram Stroker and Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Topics: Macbeth, Dracula, Quincey Morris Pages: 5 (1559 words) Published: September 21, 2009
Throughout Bram Stokers novel Dracula and William Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth, the female characters Mina, Lucy, and Lady Macbeth represent the negative and positive aspects of the presence of women in certain situations. Throughout the entire novel, Mina possesses a "good heart" and great respect for her husband. Dracula influences Lucy all the way to her death and into her after life as a vampire. Lady Macbeth is the true essence of evil because she only "adds more fuel to the flames".

Lady Macbeth makes it clear that her motives are all personal, but Macbeth always plays a vital element in all her actions. "All hail Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! All hail Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! All hail Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter! (17)", the witches originally put the idea that Macbeth will be king one day. After learning this information Macbeth writes a letter to his wife, Lady Macbeth instantly has thoughts of how great life would be as queen and the potential power. The moment Lady Macbeth hears that King Duncan is coming to visit thoughts of assassinating Duncan filters her mind. Though she wants Duncan dead, she wants nothing to do with the murder and forces Macbeth to kill the man. Lady Macbeth may not want apart in the death, but ultimately her hands feel the blood of Duncan and forever she is traumatized.

Lady Macbeth has a downward spiral after Duncan death; she frequently sleepwalks and at one point confessed to the murder of Duncan. After Macbeth's crowning, directly afterward he starts to feel disgruntled thinking that he must eliminate the competition to the throne. "O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife! Thou know'st that Banquo and his Fleance lives. (93)", Macbeth admits to Lady Macbeth that he needs to reassure himself that the crown will be his. Lady Macbeth has her own problems, but Macbeth gives the impression that his problems are just emerging. During the Elizabethan era men were expected to improve the status of all family members, so is it wrong for Lady Macbeth to want more power.

Lady Macbeth exhibits a state of hysteria; her craving for power makes her conceit that her actions may be condemned. Her hysteria or fear comes in all different forms from sleep walking to her final suicide death. The women of her time were commonly housewives and were expected to conceive a child every two years; though a child was born every two years families were small, constant illness caused the death of many children. Lady Macbeth does not ever conceive a child or do the active duty as a housewife; for her time she was obscure and viewed as out of place. Her unconventional role and dealings denounced her from Elizabethan society, and her inability to fit the mold might have led to her hysteria. The power she so craved drove her mad, she had gained the utmost power available and yet her actions still haunted her.

Macbeth seeks the advice of the witches after realizing that Lady Macbeth is in no state to respond about Macbeth's situation. The three witches hover over a bubbling cauldron; Macbeth enters the underground cave and asks the witches to prophecies about his uncertain future. They respond by stating that Macduff should be closely watched and "none of woman born shall harm Macbeth". The witches disappear before Macbeth could get a clear, explicit response, Macbeth does not want any vague commentary that could affect his future. The idea " none of woman born shall harm Macbeth" is a vague statement that can be altered and viewed in many different lights. The witches influence Macbeth to believe he is invincible to man; their techniques in manipulating Macbeth show how women bring out his negative qualities and influence him into becoming something he is not.

The witches immediate interaction with Macbeth start the plot for Macbeth, William Shakespeare has the women characters in Macbeth's life adjust Macbeth's mind and indefinitely change the course of the tragedy....

Bibliography: Bram Stroker 's.."Dracula"William SHakespeare 's..."Macbeth"
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