Macbeth and Manhood Essay

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Manhood and its definition is a major theme in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. On first appearance, Macbeth is characterized as a loyal and valiant thane in defense of the honor of Scotland and King Duncan. The brutality that he shows as a warrior on the battlefield is an acceptable and lauded trait. These attributes come into question as the witches introduce the prophecies tempting Macbeth’s vaulting ambition. After the regicide, Macbeth is damned and is no longer concerned with being honorable. He covets immediate gratification at all costs and by all means. However, this gratification is temporary due to that Macbeth later on, experiences guilt and regret which directs him towards his morbid fate and ultimate demise. The hierarchy …show more content…

Macbeth’s exceptional devotion to instinctively secure the king’s survival, earned him his new title and high regard. His manliness attributes has thus then portrayed him as the perfect role model for the other men. As an allotment of manhood, the essence of brutality, especially in a warrior, is deemed essential. Men are expected to have that ruthlessness among their character as it was envisioned by humans beforehand. “Because this state of mind is rarely attained, and when achieved, nearly impossible to maintain, androgyny is an ideal goal- a vision of unity and harmony beyond the confines of gender, within the confines of the human” (Kimbrough 133). They are envisaged to be very masculine and cruel in order to be able to kill their opponents in battle without feeling guilt or regret. It is a man’s job to prolong this aspect due to that women are defined to have a gentle heart and be regretful of any vicious acts. In the play, Macbeth displays his brutality as a tenacious, barbaric warrior, fulfilling his duty of being a protector to King Duncan. Macbeth first demonstrates his cruelty at the execution of McDonwald when he slits the traitor’s body. Throughout the story, he had never once felt remorse for the opponents he had killed for it was his value of loyalty to King Duncan that motivated him. Brutality and loyalty were the foundations of earning the title “Thane of Cawdor,” thus making Macbeth already contented with this honor. Macbeth is certain that

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