Essay on How Shakespeare's Macbeth Challenges the View of Typical Manhood

Essay on How Shakespeare's Macbeth Challenges the View of Typical Manhood

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Macbeth written by William Shakespeare brought the attention of the audience through the violence and the unexpected plot. Through the actions of the protagonist, he portrays many different ideas. One of the ideas he questions is manhood as it deals it in a unconventional way. Instead of portraying the protagonist actions that portray manhood, he has to struggle with the definition of manhood throughout the play. Additionally Shakespeare has shown different viewpoints of men and women in the play on the true definition of manhood. Through the different perceptions, the reader questions whether manhood is only related d to strength that could be displayed through courage or bravery. Shakespeare challenges the readers through his mixture of different views as well as actions provoked by different characters to display his view on manhood.
In the play Lady Macbeth is shown as ruthless, indifferent and cold as she contradicts to the image frequently seen in the 11th century women. Frequently she is seen more “masculine” than her husband as she portrays the correct definition of manhood prominently defined by others. Not only does she provide the plan, she shows power, courage and maybe a little bit of violence. Lady Macbeth directly introduces and plans the murder of Duncan as well as persuades the cowardly Macbeth with her sweet words. Macbeth is mesmerized by the insatiable desires of Lady Macbeth as he is hallucinated that the murder of Duncan will portray “true manhood”. At the start of the novel, the audience is given the image that Macbeth is a loyal, brave soldier who serves only for the prosperity of Scotland and King Duncan. He is automatically announced Thane of Cawdor after his valiant fight with Norway and is exalted by ...


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...buked(3.1.55-61). At the play’s peak, Macbeth transforms into a villain who is unable to stop his ambitions which would directly lead to violence. He has created his own demise as well as the demise of his wife.
Through the different views presented in the play, the audience is able to construct their own definitions of manhood. The audience is able to convey a significant meaning on what qualities determines a person to be a man. Shakespeare concludes with the idea that by searching one own character, an individual is able to find the definition that suits them. Through Macbeth’s protest, we learn that even the most kind, most loyal, and the most bravest can become the victims of different perceptions of others and to the ambitions of themselves.





Works Cited


Shakespeare, William, and John Wilders. Macbeth. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2004. Print.

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