Whether because of the constraints of her society or because she is not fearless enough to kill, Lady Macbeth relies on deception and manipulation rather than violence to achieve her ends.Ultimately, the play does put forth a revised and less destructive definition of manhood.The witches’ prophecies spark Macbeth’s ambitions and then encourage his violent behavior; Lady Macbeth provides the brains and the will behind her husband’s plotting; and the only divine being to appear is Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft.Tags: In His Essay Concerning Human Understanding John Locke Claimed ThatAdmission Essay HelpCurrent Chemistry Research ArticlesHow To Write Personal EssaysI Need Someone To Write My EssayHow To Start An Events Planning BusinessReligion College Application Essay
Their understanding of manhood allows the political order depicted in the play to descend into chaos.
At the same time, however, the audience cannot help noticing that women are also sources of violence and evil.
The essay uses the thesis that masculinity is associated with certain character traits, and that every time masculinity is mentioned violence soon follows.
The male gender is associated with certain qualities which are expected in order for one to be equated as a man.
He tells Macduff of his reproachable qualities—among them a thirst for personal power and a violent temperament, both of which seem to characterize Macbeth perfectly.
On the other hand, Malcolm says, “The king-becoming graces / [are] justice, verity, temp’rance, stableness, / Bounty, perseverance, mercy, [and] lowliness” (4.3.92–93).In the scene where Macduff learns of the murders of his wife and child, Malcolm consoles him by encouraging him to take the news in “manly” fashion, by seeking revenge upon Macbeth.Macduff shows the young heir apparent that he has a mistaken understanding of masculinity.In the play, Duncan is always referred to as a “king,” while Macbeth soon becomes known as the “tyrant.” The difference between the two types of rulers seems to be expressed in a conversation that occurs in Act 4, scene 3, when Macduff meets Malcolm in England.In order to test Macduff’s loyalty to Scotland, Malcolm pretends that he would make an even worse king than Macbeth.Malcolm’s comment shows that he has learned the lesson Macduff gave him on the sentient nature of true masculinity.It also suggests that, with Malcolm’s coronation, order will be restored to the Kingdom of Scotland.Characters in Macbeth frequently dwell on issues of gender.Lady Macbeth manipulates her husband by questioning his manhood, wishes that she herself could be “unsexed,” and does not contradict Macbeth when he says that a woman like her should give birth only to boys.This is proven several times throughout the course of the play; through Lady's Macbeth provoking Macbeth to kill by doubting his manhood, through Macbeth questioning the manhood of the hired murderers in order to convince them to kill Banquo, and through Malcolm telling Macduff to seek revenge in a manly fashion after his family has been murdered. The main theme of Macbeth—the destruction wrought when ambition goes unchecked by moral constraints—finds its most powerful expression in the play’s two main characters.