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Women's Downfall Essay

2319 words - 9 pages

Lady Macbeth is a strong independent woman who at first orders her husband Macbeth around to get what she wants, but he causes her downfall in the end, resulting in her being filled with regret. Macbeth is supposed to treat his wife with respect and honor her wishes. Macbeth and his wife both want power, but neither of them is able to seek it at first. Lady Macbeth, of course, wants to be queen, so she comes up with brilliant plans for Macbeth to kill the king and his sons so Macbeth will become the next king. Lady Macbeth asks, “come, you spirits / that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, / . . . Come to my woman’s breasts, / And take my milk for gall” (I. 5. 30-38). Women were not allowed to have power in the Renaissance Era and the plan Lady Macbeth came up with is for a man to kill, not a woman, which is why she is asking for her womanhood to be taken away so that she can commit murder. Their plan works, but afterwards Lady Macbeth starts to feel guilty and has nightmares regretting what she did. Macbeth does not feel guilt until after Lady Macbeth does something that was incredibly painful. Macbeth expresses toward Lady Macbeth by saying, “Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck, / Till though applaud the deed. Come, seeling night, / Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day, / And with thy bloody and invisible hand / Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond” (III. 2. 45-49). Macbeth is causing his wife to downfall by expressing to her that she is nothing to him now. He states that he does not need her anymore; he is in charge and she is just a wife to him now. Macbeth is considered as acting cocky when he becomes powerful. Since Macbeth is king now, Lady Macbeth is just his wife. She is not as powerful to him as before, nor is she his partner. He considers her just to be a trophy wife. Macbeth destroys Lady Macbeth’s strong-willed personality. All men are the cause of strong women’s downfall by how they either treat them, talk to them, order them around, or even lead them on. Men expect women to just stay at home and take care of the family, but when a strong independent woman comes along, the man causes her to downfall because of the time period’s ideals, stereotypes, etc. When a strong woman comes along, men feel that if she continues to take order that the world will change over time, which is why they cause women to “fall,” so that men can still be in charge. One expert expresses that “Lady Macbeth continues to figure our society’s conflicted admiration for and fear of women’s rights, power, and professional success; her perceived ability to empower feminine while disempowering the masculine” (Thomas 83). Thomas talks about how Macbeth relies more on Lady Macbeth’s wifely position and femininity rather than having her try to establish power. Women are evidently linked with traditional female stereotypes over powerful and independent women, which is illustrated by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth’s downfall is caused by her...

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