Sunday, June 2, 2019
Gender Roles in Macbeth Essay -- GCSE Coursework Macbeth Essays
Gender Roles in Macbeth Although written long ago, Shakespeares The Tragedy of Macbeth still has themes applicable for contemporary society. Murderous ambition, political intrigue, crafty social alliances, the disintegration of marriage these could be headlines from any daily news program. It comes as no surprise, then, that we also chance on a significant number of moments in the play where gender seems to be an issue. More specifically, we might say that Shakespeares dramatic investigation into proper uses of power consists, in part, of a rigorous critique of the disparities amid the respective roles assigned to men and women. Shakespeare seems especially occupyed in the moral and honorable implications of such discrepancies. In the interest of space and time, I will focus here on only a few brief moments from act one. However, I encourage you to note the come along development of these points as the drama unfolds in subsequent scenes. In the very first scene of Macbeth we l earn what Duncan and his people value in masculine identity. When the sergeant-at-law staggers in to report what he has seen of Macbeth in battle, we are given an image of a thane who is steeped in gore For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name),Disdaining Fortune, with his brandishd steel,Which smokd with bloody execution, identical Valours minion carvd out his passage,Till he facd the slaveWhich neer shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,Till he unseamd him from the nave to thchops,And fixd his head upon our battlements. (1.2.16-23) The kings response to this account is especially singing O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman (1.2.16-24) demonstrates as much appreciation for the manner in which Macbeth overcame h... ...41). By plays end, we are confronted with her madness, the result of an excruciating tension between her identity as a woman and the desire to accommodate a misconceived and fatally monstrous masculinity. Although I do not intend here to reply the question of gender in Macbeth (actually, I hope to provoke further thoughts on interpretation), I do wish to note that Shakespeare has forcefully bound the heathenish problem of violence to the promulgation and validation of the roles a community assigns by sex. Read the play attend a performance consider the moral and ethical implications bound up in the plot of a would-be king who sheds true manhood even as he fulfills the masculine ideal. Works CitedShakespeare, William. Macbeth. publications An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Ed. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 7th ed. New York Longman, 1999.