Lady Macbeth's Distinctive Behavior

Good Essays
How does one think a lady is supposed to behave? One might say that she will be respectful of others, kind, giving, and full of compassion. In William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, these views are completely different from what one would normally think. Shakespeare illustrates a contradictory characterization of Lady Macbeth in comparison to the subservient women of the time period. First, Shakespeare’s examination of gender roles is completely different than what people would normally think. Secondly, Lady Macbeth distinguishes herself from typical gender roles of the time. Lastly, Lady Macbeth skillfully persuades Macbeth to exceed his degree of ambition. In conclusion, Lady Macbeth contradictions to typical womanhood are evident throughout Macbeth. Throughout the story of Macbeth, Shakespeare reverses the attributes of usual gender roles, Lady Macbeth's greed manipulating Macbeth's desires and weak confidence levels. Usually, many think that the male is supposed to be the authoritative figure in a family. Lady Macbeth is just the opposite by having complete domination over her husband to appease her greedy need to be in control. Lady Macbeth’s personality demonstrates the role of the powerful one in the family. Continuing on, Lady Macbeth is shown to be confident and coy. Her husband's inability to remain confident proves that he is not as ambitious as he thinks he is and Lady Macbeth is the true power behind the throne. As the story progresses, Macbeth’s personality goes from humble to evil and is later on hated by others for reasons encouraged by his wife. For all of these reasons, Shakespeare shows Lady Macbeth and Macbeth to be entirely opposite from the traditional gender roles. Secondly, Lady Macbeth’s person... ... middle of paper ... ...h from gender roles of common men and women, slowly and subconsciously succumbing to her power over him. Actually, they appear to be the exact opposite. Lady Macbeth is dominant over her husband, and Macbeth evolves from a respected hero to a corrupt and insecure tyrant. Lady Macbeth then continued to contradict the passive behavior of women from this society by being excessively ambitious and having no moral values in making decisions for her husband. Lady Macbeth finally questioned the courage and manliness of Macbeth by coercing him and teasing him into make a decision that he himself was not sure about doing. It can be concluded that many women who watch the play of Macbeth are shocked by Lady Macbeth’s behavior. She was wicked and immoral, ambitious and greedy, yet cleverly persuasive, and stands out in comparison to the subservient women of society.
Get Access