Gender Roles Of Men And Women In Literature

1941 words - 8 pages

The next selection of early literature that portrays the down play of women's rights and respect is "MacBeth". In this tale it begins with three witches giving MacBeth his prophecies by saying he is going to be the Thane of Glamis, Cawdor, and he will become the King. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth both know that he doesn’t have many choices to have power soon enough. Macbeth can either wait until the next heir to throne dies, but that is simply too long of a wait for him. Another option is to kill the King, which is the quickest option. Also this is the option that the selfish Lady Macbeth adores and favors. Throughout the poem these three witches have a significant role and don't lose it. This ...view middle of the document...

” (1.5.2-20) The Lady often compared Macbeth to herself, saying he has characteristics of a woman such as being a coward and claiming that she is not even that nervous and that he should basically ‘man-up’. The bond after Macbeth has received the thrown is very dead, dull and lifeless. The relationship is full of sin, and the love of the couple seems to be absent. Soon Macbeth crushes Lady Macbeth down so much that she begins to do some things such as, sleep walk, tell what really happened, and things of that nature. These actions once again show how naïve, selfish, sensitive and sometimes stupid women were portrayed to be. Notice how Lady Macbeth is called upon by not her name, but as her husbands. Her name is strictly to enforce the idea that she “belongs” to Macbeth. Women didn’t have a respectable title, and they were treated as if they were owned, as it is clear by her name. Popular women’s literature critic, Amanda Kane, makes the following statement, “Lady Macbeth and the witches are observed through a distinctly Lancanian “Male gaze,” a term popularized by Laura Mulvey (1989) whose work exposed the tendency in visual texts to objectify’ women and to obsess over their alleged threatening sexuality” (Kane 1). In this article she discusses evil women in the play of “Macbeth”, by William Shakespeare. The author discusses how the film, which updates the story to focus on the criminal underworld, reflecting the negative characterization of female sexuality in Shakespeare’s plays. She comments on the depiction of the characteristics of the play as seductive schoolgirls in the film they suggest they present female sexuality as a dangerous quality. She notes visual connections between the witches and the character of Lady Macbeth in the film and comments on how Lady Macbeth uses her sexuality to manipulate Macbeth. She suggests Lady Macbeth’s death precedes a return to a patriarchal order. Lady Macbeth has many strengths and weaknesses, and she uses her strengths for bad.
"Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" is the third literary piece I will use to exemplify the roles of the women. In the tale, the Green Knight comes and challenges the king Author and his men to a game. Sir Gawain accepted the challenge and cuts the Green Knights head off, by him doing this so non chalet, he had to promise to a year from that day. On his way to meet the Green Knight, he stops at the Lord's house. Every night that the King is out the Gawain is pursued by his wife in ways of seduction, "ye are welcum to my Cors" (1237). By her just throwing herself on Gawain it shows that she has no self-morals and doesn't honor her king, although she was ordered to go through with these actions. The way Gawain retaliates to the situation puts her in shock at the belief that he would turn down her. "Sir, if you are Gawain, it astonishes me. That a man so inclined to good. Cannot grasp the rules of polite behavior. And if someone instructs him, let's them drop out of mind. You...

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