Macbeth Essay

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Throughout William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is presented as an evil, cold-hearted person, but, when it comes to the actual act of committing the murder, Lady Macbeth does not commit murder. In the end, it is Macbeth who plunges the knife into Duncan’s heart. Lady Macbeth had planned the whole murder, brought the daggers, and even intoxicated the guards, but it is Macbeth who ultimately killed Duncan. After the crime is committed, it is Macbeth who collapses and Lady Macbeth who smears blood on the guards to complete their plan. From Lady Macbeth actions, it is readily apparent that she is physiologically and physical capable of committing murder, but why does she not? Lady Macbeth is unable to kill Duncan because of the 1600s notion of how a woman should be, Macbeth, being a man should, be the one to seek power, and Lady Macbeth’s feminine qualities forbid her to commit such a crime.

The play Macbeth is set during the Renaissance Era in Scotland. During the Renaissance Era, women did not have a role is society; they were invisible in the eyes of men. Men managed the public life and went to work, while women were expected to stay at home and take care of household responsibilities. A perfect example of a Jacobean woman is Lady Macduff. Lady Macduff perfectly fits the stereotypical, maternal figure. For example, She has five children that she loves very much. Her love towards her children is shown when she calls her son, “poor monkey”(Macbeth, IV,II,64), which is a term of endearment. Unlike Lady Macduff, Lady Macbeth has no children or a kind heart. Lady Macbeth, to prove her power and strength says, “I would, while it (my child) was smiling in my face, have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums and dashed the brains out”(Macbeth, I, VII, 63-64). A mother who loves her child would never commit such a horrible act to achieve her own evil, ambitious goals. On the other hand, a Jacobean man was supposed to be the strong, and protect his family. In Macbeth the typical man is presented as Macduff. He is strong, respected, and intelligent which makes him the role model for every man during the Jacobean era. However, Macbeth lacks strength and courage, which questions his manliness and leads him to the reasoning that killing Duncan is his way of proving his manliness.

Through out the play, Macbeth tries very hard to fit the stereotypical view of how a man should be. Murder is a very manly act, which is one of the factors that leads Macbeth to kill Duncan. Macbeth at the beginning of the play is presented as a true, brave, and brutal warrior. “ Till he unseamed him form the nave th’chops and fixed his head upon our battlements”(Macbeth, I, II, 22-23). Evidently, Macbeth is presented as a ruthless killer, which makes it seem that he has to be the one, not Lady Macbeth, to kill Duncan. She does not have to prove herself as a warrior. Later in the play, the reader finds out that a Macbeth does not have any children. Therefore,...

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