preview

Shakespeare’s beliefs on gender roles

analytical Essay
668 words
668 words
bookmark

From the beginning, Macbeth is a play filled with contradictions. In the opening scene, the witches, who are women with beards, declare, “ fair is foul and foul is fair”(1.1.12 Shakespeare). In this disarranged and chaotic world, the conventional gender roles are sometimes unseated as well. However, when they are unseated, negative repercussions always ensue. Furthermore, in Macbeth, Shakespeare implies that traditional gender roles are the most beneficial and should be followed invariably. Shakespeare leads use to think that with traditional gender roles in place between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth, Macbeth would have never descended into murderous insanity. When we are first introduced to Lady Macbeth, it is evident that she holds the more dominant role in the relationship. An example of the this is act 1 scene 7, which is directly after Lady Macbeth has read Macbeth’s letter describing the witch’s prophecies. The first effort she makes to convince him to kill Duncan is to taunt him, “Art thou afeard/ To be the same in thine own act and valor/ As thou art in desire?”(1.7.43-45). She then continues to questions his manhood, “ What beast was’t/ then, / That made you break this enterprise to me? / When you durst do it, then you were man”(1.7.53-56). Meanwhile, Macbeth does not want to kill Duncan, “We will proceed no further in this business”(1.7.34). But, in the end, his resistance is no match for Lady Macbeth’s domineering jabs. However, if the conventional gender roles were in place, then Macbeth would have ended the conversation with the aforementioned statement. Moreover, he would not kill Duncan, and would not die a horrible and tragic death. Also, Lady Macbeth would not commit suicide do to the extreme guilt sh... ... middle of paper ... ...rs enter and declare, “He’s [Macduff] a traitor”(4.2.83), the son immediately defends him, which prompts the murderer to stab the boy, and then continue to chase the mother (the scene ends with the mother being chased and it is later revealed that she is killed). But, is one analyzes the turn of event one realizes that this is all a ramification of Macbeth’s non-conventional relationship. For if, Macbeth held the dominant role, and then he would not kill Duncan and go down his insane and bloody path. All of the evidence in this essay and in Macbeth establishes that Shakespeare believes that traditional gender roles are the optimal power dynamic for relationships in Macbeth. However, Shakespeare was trying to say more than that. Shakespeare was implying that in general society the most advantageous pairing is the expected gender roles. Works Cited Macbeth

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how macbeth is a play filled with contradictions. in the opening scene, the witches declare, "fair is foul and foul is fair."
  • Analyzes how shakespeare leads us to think that with traditional gender roles in place, macbeth would have never descended into murderous insanity.
  • Analyzes how macduff has a more traditional relationship than macbeth, and when he kills the treacherous mac betrayal, gaining high-ranking roles in the scottish government.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare is symbolizing the triumph of traditional over non-traditional relations by having macduff prevail over macbeth.
  • Explains that lady macduff is part of a traditional relationship and is killed along with her child in act 4 scene 2. the son immediately defends him, prompting the murderer to stab the boy and continue to chase the mother.
  • Explains that shakespeare believes that traditional gender roles are the optimal power dynamic for relationships in macbeth, but he was implying that in general society the most advantageous pairing is the expected gender.
Get Access