Gender Roles And Stereotypes In Shakespeare's Macbeth

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The role reversal of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth illustrates the irony of the gender roles set in Macbeth. Lady Macbeth defies her set stereotype and subsequently defies nature. Even nature itself denies the validity of Elizabethan Scotland 's set stereotypes; “He loves us not,/ He wants the natural touch. For the poor wren/ the most diminutive of birds; will fight/ Her young ones in her nest, against the owl”(Shakespeare 4. 2. 8-11). As a woman, Lady Macbeth must be motherly can care for her young, even though the ironic stereotype of weakness is set for her. In nature the woman defends for her children while in Macbeth, they must be weak and helpless. This ironic role is most illustrated in the treatment of Lady Macbeth after the murder of …show more content…
Symbolism, Foreshadowing and Irony displays these stereotypes. Stereotypes define a standard at which society holds a person 's identity, actions, and beliefs. In Shakespearean Scotland stereotypes are set with genders much like in todays society. In order to maintain their status, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth conform to the guidelines set for them by others around them. Lady Macbeth’s rejection of her gender role gives her a unwomanly and supernatural aura compared to women who follow the rules. Constraints on her identity force her to show it in other ways, ie through violence. Lady Macbeth defies her society, but in the end her strength fails, this demonstrates how in the end stereotypes prevail. She causes her own demise through her corruption and suicide when her strength gives and loses her identity. Macbeth’s tragic flaw is his need to prove his masculinity. Societies roles require Macbeth to kill leading to the murder of the king. Macbeth’s reluctance to murder Duncan symbolizes his unmasculine nature and denial of his stereotype. His killings illustrate how the stereotypes set foreshadow his actions. The symbolism behind the gender roles foreshadows the fate of Macbeth. Macbeth, encouraged by his wife to participate in violent acts,uses this ideology to explain his killings. Society sets the path for Macbeth to follow as he makes the decision to murder Duncan.The power of a man is set defined by his violence. Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to go through with the murder by using shame and guilt. This shame and guilt foreshadow how Lady Macbeth commits suicide due to the guilt of murder.Ambition is a trait that men in Macbeth, the ambition of Lady Macbeth foreshadows her downfall. The true tragic flaw of Lady Macbeth is her ambition and nonconformity. Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth reject their own identity to adapt societies opposite roles and foreshadows the actions done by both parties. This

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