Essay on Gender in Macbeth

Essay on Gender in Macbeth

Length: 1275 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Have you ever considered what gender actually means? Most people think gender is if you are a man or woman. Gender describes if you are a man or a woman but it also entails your identity. Everyone has two sides to him or her, a masculine side and a feminine side. Men are mostly masculine and women are mostly feminine. Masculinity means you are strong, meaning that you do not whine or act foolishly. Men are mostly athletic and energized. Being feminine means that you are scared sometimes. You are afraid to do things. It also means that you are gentle with others and you are sensitive to the world. William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth is about a person who wants to become king. Throughout the play, he has to fight with his gender. He keeps getting confused when his wife Lady Macbeth is telling him what to do. During the play, both characters trade gender roles, Lady Macbeth loses her feminine qualities while Macbeth attempts to become more masculine, and events exert emotional pressure that cause an unraveling of their mental states.
Lady Macbeth had wanted to unsex herself. She wanted to become more like a man than like a woman. She wanted to get rid of all her feminine qualities. As Duncan is about to enter the place where he was going to be killed Lady Macbeth requests from the evil spirits:
“… Come, you spirits/ That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, / And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full/ Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood. / Stop up the access and passage to remorse, / That no compunctious visitings of nature/ Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between/ The effect and it! Come to my woman’s breasts, / And take my milk for gall, you murd’ring ministers, / Wherever in your sightless substances/ You wai...


... middle of paper ...


...ing. Lady Macbeth had died because she did end up becoming insane and was too afraid of what was going to happen to her and Macbeth. During the play, both characters trade gender roles, Lady Macbeth loses her feminine qualities while Macbeth attempts to become more masculine, and events exert emotional pressure that cause an unraveling of their mental states.




Works Cited

Adelman, Janet. "“Born of Woman”: Fantasies of Maternal Power in Macbeth." Macbeth- William Shakespeare, New Edition. By Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 2010. 33-60. Print.
Berry, Ralph. "Macbeth : The Sexual Underplot." Macbeth- William Shakespeare, New Edition. By Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 2010. 101-116. Print.
Shakespeare, William Macbeth. The Language of Literature: British Literature. Ed. Arthur N. Applebee, et al. Evanston: McDougal Littell, 2006. 327-416. Print

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Gender Roles In Macbeth Essay

- In William Shakespeare's Macbeth, the characterization of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth, through the motif of gender roles, provides an understanding of the pivotal stereotypical roles that should be blended. In the Elizabethan era, there was no flexibility to gender preferences; people of this time were less forgiving. The dynamic of the relationship is altered due to the juxtaposition of the balance of power between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth causing the play to progress into a tragedy. Lady Macbeth is initially motivated by greed and is a major influence on Macbeth to fulfill this necessity of hers....   [tags: Macbeth, Gender role, Gender, Role, Man]

Strong Essays
831 words (2.4 pages)

Gender Stereotypes and Evil in Macbeth Essay example

- In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is often seen as a demonic figure whose evil manipulation causes the murder of Duncan. Indeed, gender is a prominent theme in the play. In this essay, I will argue that Macbeth reflects strict gender expectations and that the protagonists are in turn governed and constrained by these stereotypes. Macbeth also reflects a deep mistrust of women in Shakespeare’s society. With the Renaissance came a rise in education levels in the 16th century among upper and middle class women....   [tags: macbeth, shakespeare, evil, gender, ]

Strong Essays
1853 words (5.3 pages)

Essay on Gender Roles Throughout The Play Of Macbeth By William Shakespeare

- Inequalities between men and women are one of the most persistent patterns in the distribution of power. Often what it means to be a ‘woman’ is to be powerless, quiet, obedient and compliant, whereas to be a ‘man’ in contrast, is to be powerful, outspoken and in control. These gender roles tend to perpetuate the power inequalities that they are based on. Throughout the play of Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, many character’s relationships to power is affected by their gender. However, these relationships challenge the typical gender roles seen in society....   [tags: Macbeth, Gender, Gender role, Masculinity]

Strong Essays
1355 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Gender in Macbeth

- Have you ever considered what gender actually means. Most people think gender is if you are a man or woman. Gender describes if you are a man or a woman but it also entails your identity. Everyone has two sides to him or her, a masculine side and a feminine side. Men are mostly masculine and women are mostly feminine. Masculinity means you are strong, meaning that you do not whine or act foolishly. Men are mostly athletic and energized. Being feminine means that you are scared sometimes. You are afraid to do things....   [tags: Shakespeare]

Strong Essays
1275 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Gender Roles Of Macbeth By William Shakespeare

- Until relatively recently women weren’t seen to have a role outside of the home. This also meant that they were connected more with characteristics connected with taking care of children. This included having emotion, being gentle and kind, being well put together and intensely caring. In contrast men were thought to carry a more intense personality, be violent and aggressive, and be more or less ruthless. This concept is displayed throughout Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Shakespeare’s word choice surrounding the idea of gender roles in Macbeth expressed how certain gender characteristics were viewed in the Elizabethan Era....   [tags: Gender, Gender role, Femininity, Woman]

Strong Essays
1673 words (4.8 pages)

The Thin Gender Line in Macbeth Essay

- The Thin Gender Line in Macbeth      Some people would do anything to get what they want. The characters of Macbeth are no exception.  Shakespeare creates people who either strive for, or abuse authority.  The men and women in Macbeth have varying degrees of guilt, power, and integrity.           In order to compare the genders in Macbeth, one must understand how women were treated in Shakespeare's time.  The great Queen Elizabeth I died three years prior to the writing of Macbeth, and yet her reign made little difference on the matter of women's rights.  "At the time of Queen Elizabeth's death, almost everyone of both sexes agreed that the female intelligence was less than that of t...   [tags: Macbeth essays]

Strong Essays
963 words (2.8 pages)

William Shakespeare 's Macbeth - Masculinity Essays

- The Way of life during the Elizabethan age must be examined in order explain the agency within the concept of masculinity in Macbeth. William Shakespeare uses Macbeth to show the agency that is created for women when men are pushed into proving their own masculinity. In order to fully understand Shakespeare’s portrayal of masculinity in Macbeth we must first examine the stereotypes of the Elizabethan era that effected Shakespeare’s writing. “Defining what a female was supposed to be and do was an act of Renaissance culture, as it has been for other times....   [tags: Gender, Macbeth, Femininity, Masculinity]

Strong Essays
2180 words (6.2 pages)

Lady Macbeth By William Shakespeare Essay examples

- Traditionally, men have been the superior partner in a relationship. Throughout time men have always been the one who is outspoken and dominant in marriages. Shakespeare tends to move away from these traditional gender roles and write woman who are strong and independent. In his play, Macbeth, Shakespeare has Lady Macbeth take on a more dominant, cruel and “manly” role in the marriage while Macbeth submits to his wife’s demands thus giving him a more “womanly” role. Both of these characters go through many role reversals between the two of them and subsequently their greed for power leads them to their downfall....   [tags: Gender role, Gender, Macbeth, Man]

Strong Essays
953 words (2.7 pages)

Gender Roles in Macbeth Essay

- Gender Roles in Macbeth         Although written long ago, Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth still has themes relevant for contemporary society.  Murderous ambition, political intrigue, crafty social alliances, the disintegration of marriage – these could be headlines from any daily news program.  It comes as no surprise, then, that we also find a significant number of moments in the play where gender seems to be an issue. More specifically, we might say that Shakespeare's dramatic investigation into proper uses of power consists, in part, of a rigorous critique of the disparities between the respective roles assigned to men and women....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Macbeth Essays]

Strong Essays
1456 words (4.2 pages)

Macbeth, The Natural, Unnatural, And Supernatural Essay

- In William Shakespeare 's Macbeth, there are many representations of the natural, unnatural, and supernatural. Therefore, Macbeth can be seen as a play that presents a depiction of nature through emphasizing breaches of it. Throughout the play, the notion of time becomes inextricably intertwined with the idea of all that is natural; Macbeth 's struggle against the natural order is manifested in his attempt to transcend time. Another manifestation of this struggle lies in Macbeth 's attempt to become more masculine by subduing his feelings....   [tags: Gender, Masculinity, Macbeth, Future]

Strong Essays
1087 words (3.1 pages)