Macbeth: Gender and Power Essay
Masculinity is a huge part of this play. Every character in this book has some characteristics of masculinity in them. Banquo, Duncan, Macbeth and even Lady Macbeth has some masculinity inside of her. Masculinity is also valued differently by each person. In Macbeth, Lady Macbeth says to Macbeth, “When you durst do it, then you were a man; and to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man,” (Shakespeare 43). Here, Lady Macbeth is referring to how Macbeth, when he first dared that they should kill King Duncan, was a man and now if he were to go through with the plan, he’d be even more of a man.
Masculinity, to me, means to be faithful, trust-worthy, tough, and to stand up for what you believe in. Men are known for having power and responsibility, but that isn’t always the case. A women; without her, man is nothing. Macbeth gets his power and encouragement from Lady Macbeth, who, although she questions his manliness in some instances, is somewhat of a man herself. Masculinity has an effect on Lady Macbeth in this book. She is even quoted as saying, “Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty,” (Shakespeare 38).
There, she basically wants to be made less of a woman and more of a man and she wants to be filled with deadly cruelty so that she can easily kill King Duncan. Lady Macbeth would have simply killed Duncan if it weren’t for him looking like her father. Power and responsibility isn’t just in the hands of men; it is also with women, who are there to sustain their men in their positions and to honor their men. This book has opened my eyes for masculinity and power in this book and I have greatly enjoyed reading it.