Compare And Contrast Macbeth And Lady Macduff

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In Shakespeare's Macbeth, the character Lady Macbeth does not conform to the gender expectations of her time. Her nonconformity is shown through the actions she takes—rebelling against the common notion of feminity by inciting violence—to ensure her husband's, Macbeth's, place as king. The character Lady Macduff serves as a foil to Lady Macbeth and displays how women are expected to behave. Because it seems that Lady Macduff is put forth as an example of the ideal woman, it is expected that she would meet a fate different than Lady Macbeth's, however, both women die by the end of the play. Even though both women die, Lady Macduff's life is sacrificed for the greater good, (halting Macbeth's ruination of the kingdom) and therefore, more honorable than Lady Macbeth's.

Lady Macbeth's tries to renounce her feminine qualities in order to go through with killing King Duncan and secure Macbeth's place as king. After reading the letter Macbeth sends her about the witches' prophecies, Lady Macbeth says she must "pour [her] spirits in [Macbeth's] ear/ And chastise...all that impedes [him] from the golden round" (4.1 Lines 29-31). She does not possess what it takes to make Macbeth king herself, yet, she knows that he cannot do it on his own, so she has to be the strong one for them. Her calling on magical spirits to bestow her with
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She harbored qualities that led to her demise. While Lady Macduff suffered the same fate, despite having expected feminine qualities, her death essentially saved her kingdom while Lady Macbeth's suicide served no purpose other than ending her own suffering. Ultimately, killing Duncan represented and taking over the kingdom represents getting and maintaining power. The fact that Lady Macbeth could not complete the entirety of the task shows that Shakespeare believes women are not capable of wielding excessive amounts of

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