Macbeth Ontario Curriculum

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Education is a key element in today’s society as it is fundamental towards an individual’s formation of identity. Ontario’s curriculum relies heavily on the teaching of languages, because it is the basis of thinking and communicating our thoughts with others (The Ontario Curriculum: Secondary, 2013). One way this is carried out is through the required reading of famous literature, and discussing how the themes may have changed throughout different periods of time. On the other hand, if our society has continued to adapt more accepting ideologies in terms of feminism, racism and classism; should our literature not be a reflection of that? While in Shakespeare’s Play Macbeth, the characters Macbeth and Lady Macbeth both demonstrate…show more content…
Macbeth enters, and it soon becomes clear he is the representation of a male orientated society. Fresh off the battlefield, a warrior who proclaimed his strength by dominating the enemies. Being described with words such as ‘noble’ and ‘brave’ only furthers the reassurance of his masculinity (Asp, 1984). As an individual who must, as a result of his peers continually prove his worth through “manly” deeds, hearing about how he will be king of Scotland one day, allows the reader to analyze the slight shift in his behaviour through a gender binary perspective. Although he would as all males would in this time, become the ruler of the land, during a soliloquy, he demonstrates hesitancy at the consequence of fulfilling his prophecy and would prefer a more passive and less violent approach. Lady Macbeth, on the other hand is more forward with her desire for power. She is introduced to the reader after reading a letter written by her husband and his account with the witches. While she does love her husband, it frustrates her that she is unable to have any power due to the gender norms of the time period. The thought of Macbeth becoming King would in her mind only…show more content…
Macbeth, who from the point of the plotting had been very willing to follow through with the plan, but as the moment approached, he begins questioning his decision. He is unable to let his frustrations be known as a man like himself should always make decisions and stand by them. Lady Macbeth is then able to use his insecurities and manipulate him into finishing the act. She is able to question his manhood and sexuality by saying, “What beast was‘t, then,/That made you break this enterprise to me?/When you durst do it, then you were a man;/And to be more than what you were, you would/Be so much more the man” (1.7.54-58). He is therefore able to commit the murder and stay within his gender role. He uses his masculinity as an excuse to murder the only witnesses to the crime. He claimed that he was so enraged to see King Duncan dead that he murdered the guards. He manipulated the other characters into believing him because they would react in a similar matter. In contrast, although Lady Macbeth is the mastermind, MacDuff tells her, “O gentle lady, 'Tis not for you to hear what I can speak: The repetition in a woman's ear/Would murther as it fell.” (2.3.84-86). Lady Macbeth has proven her “masculinity” through manipulation but is still faced with the male characters perceiving her as gentle and weak (Samuel 2015). She reiterates that womanliness is equated with weakness and

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