The Existence Of Shakespeare 's Macbeth

1554 WordsOct 26, 20157 Pages
Predating the existence of Shakespeare 's Macbeth, the supposed natural characteristics of both men and women were viewed as having an inverse relationship with each other. A notion that is still widely held, albeit sometimes subconsciously, to this day. According to this belief, each gender by nature possesses very specific character traits that are both equal and opposite of that of the other gender. Ideas such as strength, power, and dominance are believed to be naturally male attributes. While concepts such as compassion, nurturing, as well as submissiveness are traits typically viewed as strictly belonging to females. These arbitrary archetypes were set in stone even during the time of Shakespeare. However, Shakespeare challenges these notions in in play Macbeth by having both male and female characters display innate traits that are typically not associated with that of their sex and then illustrating how that attribute affects them. Shakespeare is suggesting that these widely accepted ideas of what it means to be a man and a woman are merely a human construct and that there are no such set rules as to what personality traits are predispositioned that are based solely on gender. Femininity is defined by fragility, kindness, sensitivity, and gentleness yet the female characters in Macbeth negate this perception by either providing evidence that refutes this claim or turns the entire concept on its head. Most notably Lady Macbeth, whose very first appearance in the
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