Macbeth by William Shakespeare

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### 2nd Part of Essay ### At the beginning of Act 1, Scene 7, we see a soliloquy from Macbeth expressing his doubts about killing King Duncan. When Lady Macbeth first enters the scene he attempts to assert his power over her, perhaps for the first time, by saying ‘We will proceed no further in this business’. This adverbial phrase is a definitive statement, which is utilized by Macbeth to reinstate his power over Lady Macbeth and regain control. His hesitancy over committing regicide is evidence of the fact that he is not an innately evil person, nevertheless his overriding ambition has the power to change the man into a merciless killing machine not far from the characteristics demonstrated by the Hawk in ‘Hawk Roosting’. Lady Macbeth manipulates her husband by questioning his manhood. She insists: “When you durst do it, then you were a man”. Macbeth is a proud soldier, in a culture where men are defined by their courage and masculinity. By challenging his manhood, Lady Macbeth is in effect questioning his professional and social status. Furthermore, the slur becomes all the more effective, coming as it does from the one person who should surely be a source of admiration and tenderness rather than humiliation. It is clear that Lady Macbeth’s affections are conditional and, unless he meets her expectations, she will continue to deny his role as a protector and husband. Seeing a king being humiliated by a female would have made the Elizabethan audience particularly uncomfortable, especially given the strong patriarchal society of the time. To recap, Lady Macbeth attacks Macbeth’s masculinity to manipulate him into doing what she wants. Macbeth’s soliloquy in Act 3 Scene 1, after he has bid farewell to Banquo and Fleance, cap... ... middle of paper ... ...who lives and who dies. This illustrates the Hawk’s immense power. The Hawk’s fascist connotations are apparent throughout the play. The bird ends his monologue by stating, ‘I am going to keep things like this’. This line can be separated into two parts; the first section, ‘I am going to’ implies his intentions not to permit change. These points to the fact that he has ultimate control of his fate, his future is assured; unlike Macbeth whose fate is on the hands of others. This is followed by the words, ‘keep things like this’, which connotes that his authority and his position on top of the food chain is infallible and will remain until his death. This parallels fascist regimes where the dictator has ultimate power over his subjects and nothing can disrupt his control. The Hawk’s control over his own future is described in a way that connotes a fascist regime.

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