Gender Role In Macbeth

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"Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak" - Sun Tzu. Appearance vs. reality plays a continuous role throughout the women in Macbeth. William Shakespeare 's, Macbeth, clearly depicts women speaking with confidence and diction. Some may also argue that they completely go against the stereotypical image of a women from the Jacobean era. Although the women of Macbeth are often viewed as cunning and vicious, Shakespeare uses them as a tool to manipulate the audience into sympathizing with characters such as Lady Macbeth and Lady Macduff. Furthermore, women in Shakespeare 's play, Macbeth, prove to be vindictive and ruthless, thus playing a critical role in the play.

Throughout the play, the women in Macbeth
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Lady Macbeth thoroughly demonstrates the concept of gender-role reversal in Shakespeare 's play, Macbeth. For example, when she discovers that Macbeth has received three prophecies from the witches, Lady Macbeth begs the spirit for masculinity. She states, "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: make thick my blood/ Stop up the access and passage to remorse" (I v 40-44). In an essay about the unnatural women of Macbeth written by Elizabeth Klett, she states, "Lady Macbeth takes the more 'manly ' role, providing an example of courage and resolve that [Macbeth] must follow if he wants to fulfill his desires" (Klett). From the very beginning, Lady Macbeth realizes that her husband is weak and unable to carry out any murderous deed. She also acknowledges that if she wants to become Queen one day, she must do something about his inability to hide his own emotions. Lady Macbeth is also extremely manipulative to her husband, Macbeth. For instance, while she is conspiring to murder King Duncan, Lady Macbeth states, "That I may pour my spirits in thine ear/ And chastise with the valour of my tongue" (I v 26-27). This line highlights how Lady Macbeth plans to manipulate her husband by playing with his head. Throughout the play, Lady Macbeth …show more content…
Shakespeare strategically uses Lady Macbeth 's character as a tool to trick the audience into feeling sympathy for her. During the famous sleepwalking scene, Lady Macbeth states, "The thane of Fife had a wife: Where is/ she now? What, will the hands ne 'er be clean? No/ more o ' that, my lord, no more o ' that; you mar all/ With this starting" (V i 42-45).In an essay titled Lady Macbeth, Anna Jameson writes, "Hence it is, that those who can feel and estimate the magnificent conception and poetical development of the character, have overlooked the grand moral lesson it conveys; they forget that the crime of Lady Macbeth terrifies us in proportion as we sympathize with her; and that this sympathy is in proportion to the degree of pride, passion, and intellect we may ourselves possess" (Jameson). At the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth is viewed as a strong-willed woman who will do just about anything to achieve high power or status. However, the end of the play shows Lady Macbeth sleepwalking, a clear sign of her overwhelming, constant paranoia, as well as the remorse that she feels for her previous actions. Her sign of struggle nearing the end of the play causes the audience to feel for her, thus forgetting about the evil deeds she has done in the past. Lady Macduff, on the other hand, is shown as nothing more than a loving, innocent mother

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