Words of Wisdom:

"if you hold the ladder for the thief you are just as bad as he is" - Heto

Gender Roles and Macbeth

  • Date Submitted: 04/25/2014 11:56 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 73.8 
  • Words: 295
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In Macbeth women were expected to be more fragile than men according to the historical context of gender roles. They were supposed to be good and obey their husband. Evil was not permitted and was unheard of when it came to women. Lady Macbeth however defied these roles and became more evil than Macbeth. All documents state that women and "weaker than men in reason and physical strength, prone to fears and subject to the vagaries of their imaginations." (pg.1)
Men were godly and women must obey their husband and consequently, obey God. Lady Macbeth does not obey Macbeth or God. An example of this is when Lady Macbeth says " My hands are of your color, but I shame to wear a heart so white." (pg.102) In this quote she admits that there is blood on her hands and that she too was part of the murder, but she is unwilling to let it show. Lady Macbeth tempts and goads Macbeth so she herself can disobey female gender roles. Lady Macbeth now constantly defies her gender expectations, her faith is gone, and she infects Macbeth to think the way she does. An example of her infecting Macbeth's mind is when she says " But screw your courage to the sticking place and we'll not fail." In this quote she is brainwashing Macbeth to do what she wants.

He trades his marriage with Lady Macbeth for the witches and their prophecies(mid p.171). This is the beginning of his transformation from hero to tragic hero. In the beginning Macbeth does have some good inside of him. Macbeth is Godly, But thinks to much about himself which is a tragic flaw. He is also disillusioned by witches which makes him forget about himself.

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