Lady Macbeth By William Shakespeare Essay examples

Lady Macbeth By William Shakespeare Essay examples

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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.

Throughout the play Lady Macbeth makes men question their manhood. From the very beginning she convinces her husband, Macbeth, to kill the King, Duncan, in order for Macbeth to become king and herself the Queen. Lady Macbeth is really the one who provides the brains behind the plot to kill Duncan. She comes up with the plan of how they will kill him and even when Macbeth doesn’t want to go through with it she questions his manhood. In Act 1 Lady Macbeth says, “What beast was ’t, then, that made you break this enterprise to me? When you durst do it, then you were a man; And to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man.” Here Lady Macbeth is trying to use Macbeth’s manhood against him to convince him to kill the King. She is being extremely manipulative and this is just the start of her madness.

In Act 1 Lady Macbeth gives one of her more famous speeches she says, “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.” In this speech she is asking to be unsexed and to be given the power of a man so she can do the deed o...


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.... Macbeth seems to be completely confident with his newfound power while Lady Macbeth wanders the halls of the castle at night bemoaning her unclean hands following the murder of Duncan and his guards. These role reversals revolve around the fact that these characters need to break out of their roles that they may not be suited for. Lady Macbeth has several qualities that were a part of her downfall; she is intelligent, she craves power, she is strong enough to know what she has to do to achieve her goals, and she us willing to turn unsavory means to reach her ends. She also happens to be a female living in medieval Scotland. Subsequently, her demise is at her own hands and can be traced back to her unruly traits and the fact that she tried to gain power by overthrowing or altering the patriarchal order of society that dictates a role she is unsuited for (Thompson).

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