Macbeth Gender Roles

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Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's most renowned plays. The tragedy is mainly set in Scotland and it is believed to have been written around 1600. Macbeth is a story about the thirst for power and just how far we willing to go in order to achieve it. The tale is known for epitomizing evil and ambition but above all, for its great contradictions. This can be especially observed in the roles portrayed by the leading characters, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, as these challenge the expectations for men and women of the time. The story follows the brave warrior, Macbeth, on his way back home to Scotland. There he meets three witches who predict three prophecies foretelling that he will be king someday. Macbeth decides to accept these words after the first prophecy comes through and uses…show more content…
In the time the play is set, women were considered fragile beings with barely any rights, a long list of duties to fulfill and no authority whatsoever. Society was strictly patriarchal; ruled only by men. Therefore, women were forced to comply with every order and request, even if they didn't approve. However, in Macbeth, a female character seems to be the figure of power and authority. Lady Macbeth plays a very important part in Macbeth's course of actions. She is the reason Macbeth becomes king and we could even say she is the key to the tragedy, as without her things would have probably turned out differently. Lady Macbeth embodies manhood as she is constantly depicted as a strong, dominant character in the story. She disrupts the conventional gender roles of the epoch by taking on her husband's role: being the driving force in the relationship. An example of this is when she calls out to the spirits to "unsex her " so that she can kill Duncan herself instead of waiting for her husband to make up his mind. In addition, she diminishes Macbeth's sexuality to trick him into committing the

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