Gender Roles in Macbeth

Decent Essays

According to gender theory, society assigns certain roles for men and women. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, these gender roles play an important part in violence. Both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth appeal to the role of “manhood” as violent and aggressive in order to accomplish the murders of King Duncan and Banquo. Women are portrayed as initiators of crimes and are viewed as devious.So, throughout the play, gender roles provide a means for murders and viciousness.

At the beginning of the play, King Duncan awards Macbeth with the title of Thanes of Cawdor because on his heroic fighting against the rebels (I.2.65), and then, Macbeth doesn’t really want to assassinate the king. Macbeth says, “He [King Duncan] hath honoured me of late” (I.7.32). …show more content…

The portrayal of a man’s nature as being violent is trivial as compared to the dark representation of women as naturally wicked and the instigators of crimes. For example, the witches and Hecate (Queen of the Witches) are casting spells and conjuring up spirits around the cauldron, thereby provoking the violent ambitions of men. Macbeth calls them “Secret, black, and midnight hags” (IV.1.63). Because Macbeth doesn’t want to

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