How Does Shakespeare Present Manhood In Macbeth

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Manhood is a broadly used term that is stereotyped as being intense and violent. In Macbeth, Shakespeare plays with gender roles and makes the audience question what it really means to be a man. Shakespeare displays two embodiments of manhood to play on male gender roles; cold and violent, and kind and compassionate. Therefore combining both representations of manhood to present Malcolm as the perfect persona of what a man should be. People associate men with being impassive and barbarous. Shakespeare challenges male gender roles; puzzling the audience on what type of man is ideal. The first gender role that Shakespeare displays is the act of ruthlessness, “Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel, / which smoked with bloody execution…show more content…
Shakespeare has proven more than once that too much of one type is bad but, a perfect mix of both is what a man should be. In the play, Shakespeare makes Malcolm an unblemished persona of all three characters; Macduff, Duncan and, Macbeth. Malcolm is courageous, empathetic and a rational thinker making it easy for him to make hard decisions. After Macduff found out his family was murdered, instead of being empathetic, Malcolm told him to, “dispute it like a man”(4.3.259). Although this seems harsh it was needed because Malcolm could tell he was emotionally hurting, so instead of giving him an empathetic response Malcolm helped him craft a plan that would let Macduff channel his emotions and get revenge while winning over the kingdom. Malcolm loves his country and unlike his father is much more savvier. When Macduff first approached him to take back the kingdom, he wanted to make sure that Macduff’s intentions were in the right place so he played him, “were I king / I should cut off nobles for their lands, / Desire his jewels and this others house”(4.3.80-82). Wanting a noble reaction from him he continues to play him, “Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude, / I have no relish of them, but abound / In the division of each several crime, / Acting it many ways. Nay, had I power, I should / Pour the sweet milk of concord into hell, / Uproar the universal peace, confound / All unity on earth.(4.3.93-99). This shows the audience that Malcolm cares much about his country and who helps govern it, appearing that not only is he selfless but, that he has some of the qualities of Duncan, Macbeth and, Macduff proving that he is the man for the job. Malcolm is a very well rounded king showing that he can be compassionate toward his followers as well. When the battle is over and Siward receives news that his son has died a soldier death he is devastated thus, Malcolm comforts him, “he’s worth

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