Essay on Gender Roles Of Shakespeare 's Macbeth

1061 Words Nov 5th, 2015 5 Pages
Gender roles in historic literature are aspects that are often talked about, but very rarely argued, particularly in conversation–but also in academic articles and scholarly discussions. Too often we see injustice concerning women in plays and novels, but instead of criticizing those stereotypes, the majority of readers tend to simply dismiss them as results of another time. In Macbeth, it is easy to see why the woman do not hold positions of power and have many negative associations, mostly due to women being confined to the role of homemaker in the seventeenth century, but the more interesting thing to do is argue those stereotypes. While some may see Macbeth as a fairly equal play in the sense that there are several female roles, some even yielding power, that is just not the case. The women in Macbeth are the subjects of a sexist portrayal that suggests that they are, among other aspects, the root of all that is evil.
The very first characters we meet are the witches–three spell-casting, supernatural woman. They are accused of “Killing swine”(I.III.2), and seducing a male sailor to manipulate him for what they want. When they visit Macbeth, the prophecies that they tell him of his future are the very things that spark his ambitions and encourage his violent behavior. But in reality, all they did was tell him “that shalt be king hereafter” (I.III.49), not that he should become a murderer to achieve that title. Their metaphysical guidance is misinterpreted as the cause…

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