Macbeth Character Analysis

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As Oscar Wilde quotes, “Women have a much better time than men in this world: there are far more things forbidden to them.” This reference to the female stereotype contradicts to Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, as some female characters strive for power and some go beyond of their expectations. In fact, they step out of society’s gender expectations, this disrupts the natural order of hierarchy. As well, it affects certain of female characters mentally to the point where they lose their lives and/or vilified. As a result, Shakespeare shows that the natural order of hierarchy needs to be established. This essay will therefore examine the female characters by comparing the representation of unstereotypical women-Lady Macbeth and the witches and how Lady Macbeth demonstrates a typical woman while acting as a foil. As the concept of traditional female is significant in Elizabethan society, Lady Macbeth is rather contradictory as she is ambitious and takes control to persuade Macbeth. To begin, when Lady Macbeth receives Macbeth’s letter with the witches appearance and the prophesies, she realizes that her husband is weak-willed and plans to persuade him to remove any obstacles. Worth mentioning is that not only she takes control of the situation but she spurs Macbeth into murdering Duncan by saying “…When you durst do it, then you were a man” (1.7.49). She acts out of her role as she insults his manliness and declares that she would have “dash’d the brains out” (1.7.58) her child while it was feeding at her breast. This reveals her unwomanly characteristics as Lady Macbeth do not care for her children. At the same time, Lady Macbeth overrides the source of evil as she believes in witchcraft and calls for evil spirits for help. She state... ... middle of paper ... ...he manipulates her husband. This reveals that she controls and spurs Macbeth. At the same time, Lady Macbeth correlates with evil as she denies the womanly characteristics. Similarly, the witches are portrayed by women which contradict the stereotype as they are associated with evil spirits. Moreover, the witches are compared to Lady Macbeth when she steps out of expectation. At last, Lady Macduff does not face with any consequence as she does not associate herself with evil. She is portrayed as a foil since her character emphasizes Lady Macbeth and the witches’ unstereotypical characteristics with her traditional role as a wife and a mother. Therefore, Shakespeare utilizes the different types of unstereotypical women in the play Macbeth to emphasize that here will always be some conflicts between female and male however the fundamental roles will be reinforced.

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