In the modern 21sr century, the roles and behaviors expected of individuals remains analogous despite gender. This ideology stems from the preceding movement in equality, which preaches that differences of sex appear insignificant. Despite this notion, there remains distinct differences in the physical and psychological makeups of both men and women. In most cultures, certain duties remain associated with specific genders. With this in mind, Shakespeare’s Macbeth heightens the supernatural evil possessing Lady Macbeth as she condones murder for her own selfish ambition, while in Shakespeare’s time women were regarded as peaceful and full of feminine sympathies. This anachronism with the reality of Shakespeare’s day, illustrates the immense sense of wickedness and abnormality emphasizing her character’s influence on her husband and the plot of the play. In contrast, Macbeth appears to some extent a more acceptable evil due to a greater compliance with the gender standards and moral transition during the Shakespearean era. Shakespeare utilizes numerous literary intentions in order to express these diverse levels of evil to provide an element of depth behind the mental reactions and deteriorations of the characters until their final decease into the complete darkness of death.
In play Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is one of William Shakespeare’s most dominant and frightening female characters, known for her ambitious nature. As Macbeth’s wife, her role is significant in his rise and fall from royalty. During Shakespearean times, women were regarded as weak insignificant beings that were there to give birth and look beautiful. They were not thought to be as intelligent or equal to men. Though in Shakespeare's play, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is the highest influence in Macbeth’s life. Her role was so large; in fact, that she uses her position to gain power, stay strong enough to support her unstable Lord, and fails miserably while their
Macbeth by William Shakespeare brings about one of the most controversial topic of the gender portrayal in a play. During Shakespearean times, women were considered as the weaker sex, physically and emotionally. On the other hand, men were seen as the dominant sex that is expected to be the head of their households and a strong figure. Unlike this stereotypical representation of men and women, Shakespeare introduces the reversal of gender roles in his play. Shakespeare’s portrayal of the relationship and characteristics of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth diverged from the stereotypical representation of both men and women. The author, William Shakespeare’s use of reverse gender roles which contradicted with the traditional gender roles, is what
Lady Macbeth’s atypical and complex character directly challenged the archetypal principles and beliefs of the Jacobean era which as a result, drew major fascination through the ages. Lady Macbeth was Shakespeare’s device to not only stimulate audience’s emotions, but to also provide historical context and elicit dominant themes which reflected Jacobean society. Her ambiguous character and remarkable influences in the play raised a lot of controversy and fascination amongst both modern and Jacobean audiences. She can either be seen as linked to the witches in a feminist bid to overthrow the balance of power, or as a representation of the evil side of Macbeth. Nevertheless, it was her distinct characteristics and actions which ultimately
In our society, as a rule, the man is the head of the household. However, in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Lady Macbeth appears to be the neck that turns the head. William Shakespeare is one of the greatest writers in history, but he wasn’t recognized until the nineteenth century. He wrote many plays, sonnets, plays, and narrative plays. It was during the sixteenth century that he wrote the tragedy of Macbeth. Lady Macbeth, wife to the protagonist Macbeth, is one of Shakespeare’s most famous and evil female characters. At the start of the play, Lady Macbeth is ruthless, ambitious, cruel, and manipulative; however, by the end of the play she becomes insane and helpless. The transformation of these characteristics makes Lady Macbeth a very dynamic
In Medieval times women were viewed as innocent beings who must be controlled by the men in their family; however, in Shakespeare’s Macbeth a woman is the mastermind behind the start of several horrendous deeds. Lady Macbeth was a woman with determination. When it was prophesized that Macbeth would be king, Lady Macbeth wished that her husband would immediately be at her side so she “may pour [her] spirits in [his] ear” (1. 5. 25). Lady Macbeth wanted nothing less that Macbeth to be king. In order for Macbeth to ascend to the throne, it needed to be emptied of King Duncan. Macbeth was an ambitious man but he was not evil, he would not commit murder to gain the throne; therefore, Lady Macbeth took it upon herself to see her husband crowned king. By making Lady Macbeth the mastermind behind a murder, Shakespeare disputed the typical role of women which labeled them as innocent and harmless beings.
A prominent and permeating theme in Macbeth is the roles and characteristics of masculinity and femininity. Throughout the play Shakespeare presents the audience with strong and sometimes conflicting views of these gender roles. What exactly defines being a man or a woman? How does an individual’s grasp of these roles effect their actions? Shakespeare shows that a clear and accurate understanding of the concept of masculinity is of critical importance in the success of a ruler. In particular, he illustrates how Macbeth’s acceptance of a perverted, violent view of masculinity leads his kingdom into chaos and turmoil, and leads Macbeth to his inevitable demise. Moral order can only be restored
In the play, “Macbeth”, the character that stands out the most is Lady Macbeth. Her role in this story is significant, she is an evil, ruthless, and ambitious person. She is responsible for the murders that her husband commits because she was bloodthirsty for the crown. In fact, she then becomes more eager to get the crown than Macbeth himself and soon realizes that once you commit one violent act, there is almost no way of ever turning back. An analysis of Lady Macbeth reveals that she is a powerful character who adds complexity and depth to a play about murder, madness, and revenge.
Lady Macbeth’s desire for power prompts her interest in controlling Macbeth’s actions. This theme of the relationship between gender and power is key to Lady Macbeth’s character: her husband implies that she is a masculine soul inhabiting a female body, which seems to link masculinity to ambition and violence. Although women were often expected during Shakespeare’s time to be modest, humble, and obedient, Lady Macbeth is actually one of the most explicitly and relentlessly ambitious of all the characters Shakespeare created. She is a woman who defies the stereotypes of her culture, which assumed that most women were or should be unambitious. At one point, she wishes that she were not a woman so that she could kill Duncan herself. A character
The women in Macbeth, namely Lady Macbeth, contradict these expectations through their commanding, and ambitious tones. During that second half of act one Lady Macbeth is portrayed as the ruling figure in the house. Instead of being a grateful and fulfilling housewife she instead pushes and commands Macbeth to commit assassination. She berates him when he falters and asked if he would rather, “live like a coward in thine own esteem.” (Shakespeare)
Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, begins with the protagonist, Macbeth, being faced with a supernatural prophecy. The temptation of power further corrupts Macbeth as the play progresses, until his murders catch up to him. Despite the time in which a man lives, he is surrounded by opportunity and the constant battle between the loss and acquisition of power. For those deep in search for power often experience the blurring of the lines between right and wrong. In the 17th century, gender roles were strict and unmoving. Men symbolized the power and strength, while the women represented the caring and submissive traits of human nature. Shakespeare utilizes Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s marriage to further toy with the audience’s minds and inverts the gender roles.Throughout the play, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s marriage demonstrates inverted gender roles; but as Lady Macbeth utilizes her influence over Macbeth, her driven attitude leads him down the path of corruption.
In Macbeth, Lady Macbeth , Macbeth’s wife, is a very tragic character. She plays a very masculine role, even more masculine than the main male role: “She so dominates the scenes in which
Upon this realization, Lady Macbeth indicates a newfound desire to be rid of her feminine qualities, seeking instead to replace them with masculine counterparts. Crying out, Lady Macbeth declares, “Come, you spirits. That tend on mortal thought! Unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top full of direst cruelty” (1. 5. 38-41). Her abstinence towards the limitations of gender thus set her down the road to madness.
In Macbeth by William Shakespeare, gender plays a pivotal role in the development of the overall plot and as the play advances, certain characters, including Macbeth and Lady Macbeth experience a reversal in traditional gender behaviors. Additionally, we see gender confusion among other characters that enhances conflict in the play. Originally, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are portrayed in ways that enforce their respective masculinity and feminism in accordance to the society around them. As Macbeth begins to contemplate his decision regarding the killing of Duncan, his marriage becomes the primary driving force behind his action and thoughts in this matter. Although in some cases, male and female roles in this play remain static, the
Lady Macbeth is the most interesting and complex character in Shakespeare's play, Macbeth. She is, in fact, the point on which the action pivots: without her there is no play.