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Macbeth - Manhood

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 08:10 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 58 
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Introduction: In Shakespeare’s play titled “Macbeth”, there is a constant “be a man” theme re-occurring, which in different ways it repeatedly mentions what it means to be a man. Lady Macbeth, King Duncan even Macbeth himself, all contribute to the underlying theme. Each one in their specific way, especially Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, harass or bring forth persecution, attempting to imply their view of what a man should resemble. King Duncan on the other hand, commends the men who portray their status in a brutal manner.

1st paragraph: Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have a clear idea of how a man should operate. In act one, Lady Macbeth outlines the traits that she considers are important for a man. After Macbeth tells her that he “will proceed not further in this business” she mocks him for his fear and cowardness, and tells him that he will only be a man if he commits the murder. She enforces the rejection of her femininity by claiming that she would go as far as cast off the motherly feelings that go along with being a woman. She states that she herself would go so far as “while it was smiling in [her] face]” take her own nursing baby and dash its brains out if she had to in order to attain her goals. This doesn’t mean that she is rejecting her femininity and becomes a man, but rather, she becomes a woman without the sexual characteristics and sentimentality that accompany of what it is to be a woman. She therefore becomes entirely unnatural and inhuman.

2nd paragraph: Lady Macbeth is the complete opposite of Macbeth. Macbeth is hesitant as to whether to murder King Duncan or not, Lady Macbeth however, has a drive for advancement that she cannot help but bring about her own destruction. In order to cast off her femininity, she must be unsexed and in the beginning of scene five, she calls on the spirits of the air to take away her womanhood when saying “Come you spirits, that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me from the...


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