Term Paper On Lady Macbeth
William Shakespeare created a dynamic character called lady Macbeth; she was the total opposite of what women of the Shakespearian era were supposed to be. Despite qualities women were supposed to have in Shakespeare’s time, Lady Macbeth defied the way most women of her time acted. Lady Macbeth defied the ways of women of her time by being manipulative, ambitious, and ruthless.
Women’s lifestyles back in Shakespeare’s time period was very different from the modern day women’s lifestyles of today. The characteristics for women of that time was that women should be uneducated, should follow chastity, take care of the home and should not join a profession or get a job. Most women were denied the chance to be schooled beyond the basics of simple reading and very little writing. Some women of the upper class were schooled but they were not looked upon as educated women but were instead welcomed to the company of men. Women would not be able to enter professions because of the lack of education and the fact that they were women. For the poor women their work was spinning and weaving. The best job that they could get was to be an overworked nurse. The only real profession that women at this time could get into was marriage. In marriage women were expected to only take care of the home and anything that would benefit the home. When entering marriage women were further endorsed by the law. The law said that when entering marriage women became property of the men and all their belongings were the mans property now and the man could do whatever he wanted with these belongings such as selling them. A woman was generally fail and soft, which proved their overall weakness. A good woman of that time was supposed to be practice obedience, patience, chastity, modesty, and virtue. Women who didn’t live up to these expectations were considered to be “bad women”. During their free time Elizabethan women would sing, dance, and write letters. (Papp and Kirkland)
Lady Macbeth defied many if not all the ways of women of the time period. She was very ambitious in achieving her goals. Lady Macbeth took charge in the murder of Duncan. Macbeth was in shock when he killed Duncan and Lady Macbeth said to Macbeth:
My hands are of your color, but I shame
To wear a heart so white. [Knocking within.] I hear knocking
At the south entry: —retire we to our chamber.
A little water clears us of this deed:
How easy is it then! Your constancy
Hath left you unattended. — [Knocking within.] Hark, more
knocking: Get on your nightgown, lest occasion call us
And show us to be watchers: —be not lost
So poorly in your thoughts.
(II, i, 146-155).
Their nerves are raw, every noise seems like an explosion to them. Starring at his bloody hands, Macbeth at last recognizes that the murder is no longer an abstract idea but an accomplished fact. This one act transforms Macbeth horribly because of Lady Macbeth’s ambitious ways. Yet Macbeth...