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Masculinity In Macbeth Essay

Viewpoints on the concept of masculinity vary on a person to person basis. Some may believe that masculinity is developed through attaining power or demonstrating dominance over others. While it may also be perceived as confidence or the ability of an individual to act independently. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, through cruel and violent actions it is suggested that one’s masculinity is established. The characters Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Macduff, and Malcolm reveal Shakespeare’s brutal and dauntless ideas of masculinity through their words and actions within the play. Shakespeare’s ideas of masculinity are exhibited predominantly through Macbeth. In the play, Macbeth fears killing King Duncan who currently holds the throne in which he intends to seize. In spite of this, Lady Macbeth demoralizes Macbeth. She feels that once Macbeth just “durst do it, then [he is] a man 1.7.54”. It is implied…show more content…
She is a woman, but desires to be cruel and monstrous like a man. In consideration of murdering King Duncan herself, she requests that the spirits “unsex [her there] / And fill her...Of direst cruelty 1.5.44-46”. This matches Shakespeare’s implication of masculinity, as Lady Macbeth feels that if she were a man, she would more easily be able to commit brutal acts without any feeling of remorse. It indicates that men are stereotyped by Shakespeare to be callous and ruthless while women are perceived as rather fair and harmless. Additionally, Lady Macbeth is a large cause of the brutal behaviours that Macbeth demonstrates throughout the play. She convinces Macbeth that if he slaughters Duncan, he will “Be so much more the man 1.7.56”. This continues emphasize that in order to be discerned as a man, one must be violent and cruel. Shakespeare’s ideas regarding theme of manhood are carried out uniquely to a massive extent, as ideas of masculinity are forced upon Macbeth primarily by Lady Macbeth, who is a
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