Men Are Women And Women Are Men

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In Shakespeare's play, "Macbeth", the characters defy their own gender norms by exhibiting traits of the opposite gender. Women are portrayed as villainous and men are portrayed as good. The women are dominant and the men, alternately Macbeth, are passive, since he is the victim to the women's manipulation. The women are not sensitive, rather they are more emotionless than the men. Though the play sets gender norms through the lines of the characters, these characters defy their own norms. For instance, Lady Macbeth, the main female figure in the play, calls upon the demons to take her "femininity", and in place she is given masculine traits. "Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty!" (I v. 30) However, even before her famous unsexing, there is already evidence of her dominating and cruel nature. After receiving the letter from Macbeth and having heard the news that Duncan will stay as a guest in their home, she immediately decides that Duncan will be murdered. "The raven himself is hoarse that croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan under my battlements." (I v. 29) This line is not a "moral thought", rather it reveals her barbarity. She was already filled with "direst cruelty". Furthermore, Lady Macbeth believes that Macbeth will not carry through with his words. She will have to persuade him, since he is too gentle on his own. "Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be what thou art

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