Lady Macbeth, By William Shakespeare Essay

1674 Words7 Pages
The obvious reading of this passage would be of Lady Macbeth as domineering and manipulative in pursuit of her own goals. But that reading discounts the loyalty and dedication she has shown to Macbeth and his success. By encouraging violence through questioning his manhood, masculinity and violence become inextricably linked. This connection essentially defines masculinity as violence within the world of Macbeth. The relationship between power, violence, and masculinity alienate women and power and supports the problematic construction of gender. This is problematic in the world of Macbeth and in society today because it glorifies violence and forbids women from having power.
Because Lady Macbeth is attempting to be neither male nor female, her relationship to violence and power is indirect. Rather than committing the violent act like a man would, Lady Macbeth conspires and manipulates to ensure the completion of these acts. When waiting for Macbeth to return from killing Duncan, Lady Macbeth says, “Had he not resembled / My father as he slept, I had done’t” (2.2.12-13). If Lady Macbeth was attempting to become male and she sees Duncan as father-like, she would have a father-son relationship with him. In the hyper-masculine society, the way you take power is by killing your father. Even when a son waits for his father to die, “succession is unconsciously always a matter of assassination insofar as it fulfills the successor’s wish to succeed” (Hunter 139). By not killing
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