Macduff's Masculinity In Macbeth

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In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, “Fair is foul, foul is fair”, sets the paradoxical tone of the play (I.I.12). The paradox between loyalty and cowardice dissimulates the true nature of masculinity in the play. Macduff proves his masculinity during Malcom’s test of loyalty to state rather than the tyranny of Macbeth. Though he is not the protagonist, Macduff’s integral role in the murder of Macbeth proves his sense of ambition in the play. Despite Macduff's responsibility for his family's murder, his loyalty to both family and country conveys his valiant nature. Macduff’s positive attributes are evident throughout the play as many characters recognize his quality character, “noble, wise, judicious” (IV.II.16). Macduff’s inclination to protect and…show more content…
Macduff displays different aspects of what a man is, by feeling grief as a man and mourning the loss of his loved ones. The lack of traditional gender roles in the play affect the male characters and their manhood. Macbeth is constantly emasculated by Lady Macbeth to be the stereotypical traits of a man, strong and not-emotional, which leads him to his eventual downward spiral. Whereas Macduff dismisses the stereotypes of a man, and realizes for him to be effective in battle, he needs time to grieve the loss of his family. Despite his unknown motives for leaving, Macduff’s honest and respectable character proves the loyalty and love he feels to his family. Even though others question Macduff’s responsibility for his family’s murder, "Why in that rawness left you wife and child”, he ultimately left them out of love for both family and country. Macduff’s persistent desire to defeat Macbeth determines his loyalty to country, rather than to the tyrant Macbeth. From the beginning, Macduff has valued country over leader, so when Duncan is murdered, and Macbeth will be coronated, “Will you go to scone/No, cousin, I’ll to Fife” (2.4.35-36). Macduff doesn’t attend the coronation because he is suspicious of Macbeth and his possible involvement in Duncan’s
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