Masculinity In Macbeth Essays

The Influence of Masculinity in Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

524 Words3 Pages

Macbeth uses his manhood to portray his solider like qualities, but Lady Macbeth’s masculinity manipulates Macbeth’s actions, however, in the end it is Macbeth who uses his masculinity to do heinous actions. Macbeth uses his solider like qualities to exemplify his masculinity. When the captain was explaining to Duncan about Macbeth the Captain says, “Yes, as sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion. … they were as cannons overcharged with double cracks, so they doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe” (1.2.35-38). The Captain shows the bravery of Macbeth by comparing him to “cannons overcharged with double cracks,” which means they were as if cannons loaded with double ammunition. This comparison shows that the Caption thinks Macbeth…show more content…

Macbeth uses his manhood to portray his solider like qualities, but Lady Macbeth’s masculinity manipulates Macbeth’s actions, however, in the end it is Macbeth who uses his masculinity to do heinous actions. Macbeth uses his solider like qualities to exemplify his masculinity. When the captain was explaining to Duncan about Macbeth the Captain says, “Yes, as sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion. … they were as cannons overcharged with double cracks, so they doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe” (1.2.35-38). The Captain shows the bravery of Macbeth by comparing him to “cannons overcharged with double cracks,” which means they were as if cannons loaded with double ammunition. This comparison shows that the Caption thinks Macbeth resembles strength, because he describes Macbeth as cannons; Macbeth’s strength is one way he exemplifies his manhood. In addition, the Captain explains “sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion,” which compares how frightened Macbeth was about to the other kingdom, to how a sparrows frighten eagles, or rabbits frighten a lion. Again, the Caption is comparing Macbeth to an eagle or a lion, which shows that Macbeth is a noble creature that fights for what it wants. This also exemplifies that Macbeth uses his masculinity to scare off the other kingdom in war. When the Captain is explaining Macbeth’s successes, Duncan exclaims “O valiant cousin! Worthy gentleman!” (1.2.24). Duncan is the king of the kingdom and he portrays that he thinks that Macbeth is

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The Roles of Masculinity and Femininity in Macbeth Essay

1589 WordsDec 4th, 20097 Pages

Bradley Allcock
English 162
Essay 2 A prominent and permeating theme in Macbeth is the roles and characteristics of masculinity and femininity. Throughout the play Shakespeare presents the audience with strong and sometimes conflicting views of these gender roles. What exactly defines being a man or a woman? How does an individual’s grasp of these roles effect their actions? Shakespeare shows that a clear and accurate understanding of the concept of masculinity is of critical importance in the success of a ruler. In particular, he illustrates how Macbeth’s acceptance of a perverted, violent view of masculinity leads his kingdom into chaos and turmoil, and leads Macbeth to his inevitable demise. Moral order can only be restored…show more content…

The guilt over being a party to murder drives Lady Macbeth to madness and eventually suicide. Furthermore, the use of Lady Macbeth in this way may be a reference to the Book of Genesis and the story of Adam and Eve. Macbeth is inspired to murder by his wife in the same way Eve convinced Adam to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Including the three witches and the goddess Hecate all the figures in the play who manipulate Macbeth are female. Perhaps this is reference to femininity as the origin of sin. Macbeth’s primary sin is his inability to successfully come to terms with his masculinity. When he expresses his doubts about killing Duncan, Lady Macbeth is able to convince him by challenging his manhood. “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” (1.7.49-51). In this passage she plays on his masculine sense of ambition. Ironically, at this point she as the “feminine” character seems to be more in touch with her ambition than he is. Lady Macbeth even goes so far as to compare his willingness to kill Duncan with his ability to perform sexually. “From this time such I account thy love. Art thou afeard to be the same in thine own act and valour as thou art in desire?” (1.7.38-41). By emasculating her husband in this way she is able to manipulate him into killing Duncan as a way to prove his manhood. While Macbeth’s doubts about killing his King foreshadow the

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