Macbeth: Queens of Evil

866 Words4 Pages
Throughout history, the role of women in society was infinitesimal. They were considered to have few jobs and often did not play any major part in political and social matters. However in the story of Macbeth, women play a few very influential and negative roles. The only women who appear in the play are the witches, Lady Macbeth, and Lady Macduff. All of these characters can be openly seen as hateful. Numerous times throughout the play women perform menacing acts and it can be argued that women are the cause of Macbeth’s transformation from a revered warrior to an evil tyrant. In the Shakespeare’s Macbeth, women are depicted as manipulative, insane, and distrustful. A woman that has a minor role in this play is Lady Macduff. Although she is only a small part of the overall story, Shakespeare’s view of women during this time period is openly revealed. For example, Lady Macduff proclaims “Wisdom! To leave his wife, to leave his babes, His mansion and his titles in a place, From whence himself does fly? He loves us not” (IV, II, 6-8) after Macduff leaves to save Scotland. Even though Lady Macduff does not know of his intentions at the time, she still jumps to major conclusions. She immediately loses all faith in him and begins to question his courage. By directly concluding that he does not love his own family, Lady Macduff showed how much love she really had for her husband. She does not even show enough love or trust to believe that there are moral and courageous motives Macduff is acting on. Moreover, after her son asks Lady Macduff where his father is she says, “Sirrah, your father’s dead” (IV, II, 30). By lying to her son about the death of his father, Lady Macduff portrays her true current feelings towards her husband. She ... ... middle of paper ... ...ff the initial stages of what turns Macbeth into a bloodthirsty, insecure tyrant whose lust for power eventually kills him. Lady Macbeth’s actions and thoughts throughout the play showcased the true evil present within every woman present in the play. The five women present in the play are depicted in a way that shows only negative aspects of all their qualities. They show just how twisted people can be, and that people can seem harmless and be the complete opposite on the inside. Although the role of women was minute during the Renaissance time period when this play was created, this story really showed what some men might have thought of women. Whether it was to portray his personal view of women or to showcase the corruption present in the play, Shakespeare does an excellent job of showing women as manipulative, distrustful, and insane in the story of Macbeth.
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