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Macbeth is a great representation of a character challenged by the traditional gender role/view of a male. Macbeth takes on feminine characteristics evidentially at the beginning of the play which are traits generally not associated with men, especially men of the medieval era who were generally seen to be war-breed and ruthless. Barbaric characteristics which should apply to any soldier of any army during that time period. The first piece of evidence that Macbeth takes on a feminine role is during the conception and planning of murdering King Duncan to become king of Scotland.
Macbeth is evidently distraught by the murder and is troubled by the thought even before completing their plan. When talking about King Duncan to Lady Macbeth he says, “The king trusts me in two ways. First of all, I am his kinsman and his subject, so I should always try to protect him. Second, I am his host, so I should be closing the door in his murderer’s face, not trying to murder him myself.” (1.7. 13-17) seeing how hesitant and reluctant he is to betray and proceed with murdering King Duncan shows the audience that Macbeth lacks will and motive for his “ambition”. This is seen as being mainly due to the fact that it would go against his duty as a host and kinsman, however despite this being the “main reason” the audience may interpret this as being a cover for his weakness. Nevertheless, this expands on Macbeth’s weakness to commitment.
The second piece of evidence comes after Macbeth murdered King Duncan in Macbeth’s own home. Macbeth is seen by the audience to be perplexed and emotionally distressed when he returns to Lady Macbeth and informs her about what he has done and how guilty he feels. Macbeth is portrayed as being physical and emotional stress, to the point where he refuses to re-enter the Kind Duncan’s sleeping chamber where he lays dead. This is evident when Macbeth says, “I can’t go back. I’m afraid even to think about what I’ve done. I can’t stand to look at it again.” (2.2. 50-51). Lady Macbeth is ashamed and infuriated by Macbeth’s weakness and his foolishness and even proceeds to insult and scold hims. This is seen in the scene in which she scolds Macbeth when he forgets to leave the bloodstained daggers at the scene of the King Duncan’s murder. This is evident when she says, “Coward! Give me the daggers. Dead and sleeping people can’t hurt you any more than pictures can. Only children are afraid of scary pictures.” (2.2. 52-55).

Post Author: admin