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The Views Of Women In Macbeth By William Shakespeare

1016 words - 5 pages

The Views of Women
Shakespeare, one of the most famous play writers in history, wrote Macbeth in 1606. Many women were not allowed to perform in plays during that time period; however, Shakespeare did have very few females act out roles in his play (Shakespeare: Sample). Shakespeare viewed his women as strong-willed individuals (“Macbeth.” 227 ) when in reality they were often gone unrecognized (Women in Anglo). The character, Lady Macbeth, was a frightening, ambitious woman. Lady Macbeth often wished to “unsex herself” to carry out the killing of King Duncan on her own as her husband showed no manly characteristics to do it. Women during the Anglo-Saxon time period however, were way ...view middle of the document...

In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, the most well-known couple, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, did not fulfill this role. Lady Macbeth was superior over Macbeth. They did not have a very good relationship. Lady Macbeth was a very cold hearted woman, who took control over her husband, Macbeth. She often questioned Macbeth’s manhood, showing that her body was more masculine then his. This is the complete opposite of how women truly acted.
The Anglo-Saxon time period valued the women very poorly. This wasn’t a great time to be a woman (Women in Anglo). They had so many roles that had to be filled. The wife had to be prepared to take over the husband’s role at any time if something were to happen. When Macduff fled to England at short notice, it was then his wife’s, Lady Macduff’s role to take care of the family. This was very common for women to have to do. Many men were often leaders or soldiers in the army. This meant when the husband was gone to serve his duty, the woman had to take control over the family. “She would also be responsible for any lawsuits that would occur and, if needed, become the executor of her husband’s will” (Anglo-Saxon Marriages).
During the time in which Macbeth was set, Scotland was still a very primitive land. Until the beginning of the tenth century, it was ruled by England. Scotland gained its independence when England was forced to defend itself against the Viking invasions. The position of women changed drastically at the beginning of the Viking Age in Scotland. While the Viking Age spurred great freedom and independence in Scotland, women in other societies were bound to home and farm activities (“Macbeth.” 227). Feminine desires for power were seen as unnatural (The Stage and State).
Even though women were allowed to obtain their education , the only available career for women was marriage. A woman must tend to the household but was also allowed much more freedom. She would often...

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