A study of Shakespeare's presentation of women in Macbeth. Essay

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A study of Shakespeare's presentation of women in Macbeth.

Shakespeare has portrayed women to be mentally strong to the extent that they are able to speak their minds and show that they have aspirations. In my opinion women are shown with an inner strength that men lack as well as a connection to the dark and evil side of life.

What should mainly be taken into consideration is the fact that this play is set in a world mainly dominated by masculine characters. Women were seen very differently to how they are in the present day.

Men and women had different roles; this is shown by the fact that all the important people such as the thanes and the King were male. The
King was said to be chosen by God. The Queen of Witchcraft was
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"Your hand, your tongue; look like th'innocent flower, But the serpent under't" (1.5 ll.63-64) This shows her deceptive side or even the deceptive side found generally in women. She often finds a way to deceive all but herself and at times
Macbeth. "A little water will clean us of this deed." (2.2 ll.70) She tries to convince both herself and Macbeth that they are both able to deal with the murder. Yet late on those very words have a great effect on her. As in Act5 Scene1 the doctor says, "What is it she does now?
Look how she rubs her hands." (5.1 ll.23) She seems to find it hard to deal with the murder to the extent that she washes her hands every fifteen minutes.

Lady Macbeth also had weaknesses to the extent that although she bragged about how simple the murder would be, she couldn't go through with it on her own. "Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done't." (2.2 ll.12-13) She makes an excuse for not doing what she claimed to be capable of.

While being ill Lady Macbeth sleepwalks and talks and is generally very active. "I have seen her rise from her bed… and again return to bed, yet all this while in a most fast asleep." (5.1 ll.3-7) Those activities were thought of as a sign of being possessed by the devil, this shows Lady Macbeth having a link with Satan.

In Act 1 Scene 5 Lady Macbeth calls upon the spirits which makes us wonder whether she is a witch or not. More evidence supporting the fact that she is a witch
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