Analysis Of ' Macbeth ' By William Shakespeare Essay

1568 Words Nov 20th, 2015 null Page
The play ‘Macbeth’ predates the concept of feminism and therefore equality between the sexes both in the political and personal spheres was unheard of. As a result the women within the narrative are often marginalised and void of any power. In the cases where women do have influence they are either criticised and isolated or treated as strange, supernatural creatures. However, this would have conformed to the original audience’s expectations as women were seen as subordinate to men. Their responsibilities included managing the household, raising children and obeying their husbands; these were their only real roles in society, as a wife and a mother, and were inextricably associated with ideals of femininity. Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ demonstrates the consequences of women transgressing these roles and the boundaries that accompany gender identity.
In the original performance the ‘witches’, as they are called today, were referred to as the ‘Weïrd Sisters’ which causes debate over the nature of these supposedly ‘supernatural women’. If they do not have the power of prophecy as Macbeth believes then it could be argued that these women are merely those that are outcast from society and therefore have no real power or role outside of their domain. In this way the witches are almost on the liminal; as well as being on the cusp of society, they also “look not like th’inhabitants o’ th’ earth and yet are on’t” here Banquo shows how they never truly belong and are constantly at a…

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