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.
Lady Macbeth displays no sign of the stereotyped tenderness of Elizabethan women. When the murder was complete, Lady Macbe... ... middle of paper ... ...time came. As Macbeth began to feel nervous and uneasy about his task, Lady Macbeth scolded him, claiming a “beast… made [him] break this enterprise to [her, and] when [he] durst do it, then [he was] a man” (1.7.52-54) Lady Macbeth challenged Macbeth’s masculinity, which allowed her to regain dominance in her relationship and convince Macbeth to follow through. With Lady Macbeth’s constant manipulation and commands, it is evident that she, the woman, possesses dominance over Macbeth, altering the gender roles and stereotypes of a husband and wife. Lady Macbeth was able to manipulate not only Macbeth, but the gender stereotypes imposed upon women of Elizabethan culture through her personality, actions, and her relationship with Macbeth.
Macbeth rejects conformation to traditional gender roles in its portrayal of Lady Macbeth’s relationship with her husband, her morals and their effect on her actions, and her hunger for power. Her regard for Macbeth is one of low respect and beratement, an uncommon and most likely socially unacceptable attitude for a wife to have towards her spouse at the time. She often ignores morality and acts for the benefit of her husband, and subsequently herself. She is also very power-hungry and lets nothing stand in the way of her success. Lady Macbeth was a character which challenged expectations of women and feminism when it was written in the seventeenth century.
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.
Lady Macbeth was not seen as the typical woman image, she had the power over her relationship with Macbeth and was presented as a manipulative woman where as woman in the 17th century were considered delicate, had no rights and were inferior to men, had no power or education and were obedient to their father and husbands. Lady Macbeth brainwashed Macbeth to get the power she desired, this is seen through the forceful statement by Lady Macbeth "Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums, and... ... middle of paper ... ...cters and writing techniques to develop his key theme of power and ambition throughout his play, but also through the use of language. He uses powerful imagery which allows us to visualise his scenes with ease without the use of props, varied vocabulary and the lyricism of his verse which often has a lingering effect on the audience. He uses a wide range of allusions to classical, religious and historical icons, stories and people and frequently uses puns, juxtaposition, assonance, alliteration, all are tactics to engage and entertain his audience. Ambition has fatal consequences in the play, which include Macbeth being murdered as a tyrant and Lady Macbeth committing suicide.
Lady Macbeth acts connivingly when she mocks Macbeth’s mental and physical strength to carry out the killing of King Duncan, as she says that she would commit a crime against her own child if she were asked to do it. Lady Macbeth speaks cruelly and unladylike when she says, “I have given suck, and know / How tender ‘tis to love the babe that milks me: / I would, while it was smiling in my face, / ... ... middle of paper ... ...he “blood stains” reveal that Lady Macbeth has not yet gotten over all the deeds and she is unable to mentally remove those thoughts from her head. Lady Macbeth’s mental unstableness becomes evident as she is unable to control her emotions, and is rather driven by them to a point of self - inflicted distress. Subsequently, Lady Macbeth’s inability to control her guilt and remorse leads her to commit suicide because she is overwhelmed with these emotions she cannot rid herself of. This is revealed when Malcolm says, “... his fiend - like queen, / Who, as ‘tis thought, by self and violent hands / Took off her life” (5.9.36-38).
Challenging Gender Roles in English Society The age of Shakespeare was characterized by an overwhelming tendency for women to be looked down upon as the inferior gender. Women of the time were expected to be submissive, dutiful, obedient, and predominantly silent. The idea of an independent, out-spoken woman would have challenged all of the societal values of the time. Shakespeare, however, challenged the traditional patriarchal values of his time by introducing powerful and highly influential female characters in some of his most memorable plays. Lady Macbeth and her earlier counterpart, Volumnia, both serve pivotal roles as dominant and commanding mother figures and also challenge the traditional role of the dutiful wife.
Madness, curiously, forces her back into the stereotypical femininity that her transgressive yearning for imperial power had repudiated¨ (Gilbert). This loss could be described as nothing less than an injustice of Lady Macbeth's character. Analysis of Macbeth almost always concludes that Lady Macbeth is evil and nothing else, nevertheless, her need for power, even by extension of her husband, led to murder. Her belittling, even in modern literary texts, shows how deeply imbedded the idea of women being the Other has become. Lady Macbeth could represent a powerful, and obviously flawed, character instead of simply an extension or backdrop for Macbeth.
The Wife of Bath is insecure, cynical towards men in general, and ultimately, a confirmation of misogynistic stereotypes of women. Virtually everything the Wife of Bath does or says regarding different aspects of her life demonstrates that she is very insecure about herself. She begins her prologue by informing the travelers that she has the authority to argue about and discuss marriage because of her experiences: “Experience, though noon auctori... ... middle of paper ... ...ies that Alisoun does not believe that men are trustworthy or honorable, and that she believes that men only care about the superficial aspects of life, such as having a young, beautiful wife. The Wife of Bath’s insecurity and cynicism are just two of the ways in which she fulfils negative stereotypes of women. She tries to separate herself from other women of her time by taking control of her life by means of sex, but if she were truly progressive, she would have found a way to elevate herself without using her body.
She describes the plan that consisted in “drugg[ing] their possets”, talking about the two chamberlains supposed to guard Duncan’s bedroom. The chamberlains according to her “mock their charge with their snores”, but it rather seems that she is the one mocking them and their inability to protect the king. Indeed, Lady Macbeth seems very pleased and proud of her own “bold[ness]”. Indeed, this is through Lady Macbeth’s line “he is about it” that the spectator learns that, as she speaks, Macbeth is killing the king. And the line ‘I have done the deed” indicates that the murder is accomplished.