Essay on William Shakespeare 's Macbeth - Are You A Man?

802 Words Sep 23rd, 2015 4 Pages
Are You A Man?

The traditional gender stereotype of masculine is referred to as being strong and robust. Typically males initiate power and demonstrate a strong exterior, while females are typically associated with internal emotions. The idea of manhood in Macbeth is tied to strength, power, physical courage, and force of will. Characters throughout the play use the idea of manhood to goad one another into action, manipulating the ideal of masculinity, to serve their own benefits. Macbeth initiates power and strength to prove his manliness, Lady Macbeth induces manipulation to commit acts, and Macduff believes that men must not only react physically, but also emotionally to given situations.

Macbeth begins with a firm grasp on his beliefs of masculinity, but his actions and thoughts are altered due to his wife’s perception of masculinity. Macbeth shows that he encompasses morals and strength when he states, “I dare do all that may become a man;/ Who dares do more is none.” (1.7.46-7). Macbeth at this point is not easily swayed, and believes that a real man would not murder for power. Soon after, Lady Macbeth imposes her superiority notions of masculinity, when she accuses him of not adhering to the typical male stereotype. Macbeth echoes Lady Macbeth’s advice when he questions the manhood of the murderers he has hired to kill Banquo, “ Aye, in the catalogue ye go for men” (3.1.92). Macbeth commits many heinous acts, but without his wife 's powerful presence…

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