Essay on Macbeth and female roles
Moreover, I find It to be one of his more Interesting plays as It Includes misguided ambition, bravery, paranoia as ell as betrayal and It Is a perfect example of how one story can be projected upon different ages.Macbeth, who Is a conscientious man, Is being overpowered by his vaulting ambition.The tragedy In this play Lies In him degenerating from a noble and brave warrior to a simple killer who commits gruesome murders to save himself.
Ironically from the repercussions of his own crimes. Looking at this play from different angles allows me to get a better impression of how the gender roles are presented between the different characters.
I found the role women play in Macbeth specially intriguing, as they seem to be the ones pulling all the strings. Therefore, I am going to show how they are being defamed and portrayed, among other things, as cold and monstrous. Moreover, I will show how those perceptions of women can be seen in relation to the classical perception of women, as well as the perception that people had during the Middle Ages and how these and biblical pictures could have formed such personages as Lady Macbeth and the three witches.
To be able to analyze those characters in depth I am going to limit myself to specific scenes involving Lady Macbeth and the three witches. Furthermore, I am going to use information I found in various books as well as the text ” The Great Chain of Being” to put my findings into perspective. The role of women in Shakespearean Macbeth The Setting Macbeth takes place in Scotland around 1600 with the exception of a single scene In England (Act 4 Scene 3). The tragedy unfolded among the upper classes of society, namely Kings and thanes.
Women did not have the greatest Influence; one could say that men owned them and they behaved accordingly. 2 An example of this Is the tragedy of Macadam leaving his wife and children despite Lady Macadam’s contrary linings towards his decision (Act 4 Scene 2). The play starts out with a lightning storm, creating a gloomy atmosphere that sets the mood and Indicates the general atmosphere of the play. The three weird ones I chose to analyze two scenes describing the three witches (they are also called “weird ones”, “weird women” or ‘Modeled sisters”) In “Macbeth”, namely Act 1 Scene 1 and Act 1 Scene 3.
In my opinion, those are best suited to show how the three weird ones are being portrayed and in addition. They demonstrate how important their role included, as it isn’t certain that Shakespeare wrote those. Instead many scholars live that Thomas Middleton wrote Act 3 Scene 5 and parts of Act 4 Scene 1. 3 Since I want to analyze Shakespearean play, it seems natural to exclude those two scenes. Act 1 scene 1: Meeting the witches This scene is the shortest opening scene in Shakespearean works and introduces us immediately to the three sisters.
What’s more interesting, though , is that they aren’t introduced as witches or any other kind of other negative name, but they call themselves “we three”, whereas in the rest of the play others name them as the “weird sisters” or “weird women”. This might be owed to the old English word “weird” meaning “fate”, and considering there are three of them, one could associate them with the Pearce, who were the three mythical creatures that controlled human destiny. Parallels can be drawn from the mythical creatures to those three sisters controlling Machete’s life, as if those three sisters decided how his life should be and how it should end. Another interesting aspect of the first scene of this play are the paradoxes used. The most interesting of those is: ” fair is foul, and foul is fair”, which seems to be a contradiction in it itself and therefore a violation of God’s natural order. Lars Sabers idea on this is that it is a typical Shakespearean drama with the theme of “The Seeming versus the Being”6.
This seems to be a fitting assumption, although it needs a deeper explanation. The main theme of the play is described by this quote and means, simply put, that nothing is what it seems. For instance, Lady Macbeth is named a “gentle lady” by Macadam (Act 2 Scene 3 line 79), but in reality, she is the one to blame for the execution of Dunce’s murder. Another example is Banquet, who in the beginning, appears to be Machete’s right-hand man and friend. Soon thereafter, however, we can see that he negates that picture of him.
This confirms that the witches know exactly what is going to happen and to whom, and thus the assumption of them being a Shakespearean version of the Pearce. Act 1 Scene 3: The witches meet Macbeth and Banquet The beginning of this scene shows that the three witches driven by evil and vengefulness are not only malicious but also very destructive. When one of the sisters asks where the other has been, the second answers that she was out killing swine, which back in their time, as Eva Poss.. And Clinician Gabon wrote, according to popular belief was something witches did.
This shows how ruthless they are and that there is a lack of compassion for animals or other living beings. As the first sister explained her whereabouts, she tells about a sailor’s wife eating chestnuts, and having asked for some she was denied the food (Act 1 Scene 3 line 1-5). This resulted in them cursing that woman’s husband. The evil of the weird sisters is shown clearly in their choice of words and their actions; by taking a better look at this curse, one can see the connection between the captain’s and Machete’s in life several places. For one her chant: “I’ll dad, I’ll do, and I’ll do.
I’ll drain him dry as hay;” can be linked to the sterility of Machete’s marriage and as she chants: “Sleep shall neither night nor day’, she curses this man to suffer from insomnia, Just as Macbeth will suffer from lack of sleep, which will ultimately push him over the limit and make him go mad. Lars Jabber explains in his book: “De err linefeed, dies hisser, go some en slag’s metastasis mafia hover De sigh p deem, deer anger at subsidized deem. “9 1 do agree about the evil deeds they have committed, it can be easily overlooked that this curse also shows the limitations to their power.
Specifically when looking at this quote: “Though his bark cannot be lost”, which shows that they are not capable of making this man’s ship sink. (Act 1 Scene 3 line 23) As the play continues they interrupted when they hear Macbeth arriving. At that point he exclaims: “So foul and fair a day I have not seen” (Act 1 Scene 3 line 36). This is an echo of the three witches’ “Foul is fair and fair is foul”, for so many men have been slaughtered in battle, yet Macbeth had achieved a great victory. When Banquet sees the witches, he describes them as being withered and wild” in attire.
He says that they don’t look like they were from this earth and further describes their looks with choppy fingers and skinny lips that are often used to describe a person that is not trustworthy or even likeable. People often associate it with somebody who has a calculating personality,10 and this is the same feeling you get from those witches when you hear their description. He also says that they should be women, and yet their beards forbid him to interpret them as such. (Act 1 Scene 3 line 37-45) All of this depicts how unnatural and unusual Banquet thinks these women are.
When the witches start to talk, they hail Macbeth as the soon-to-be Thane of Castor and King of Scotland. Whilst Macbeth is stunned by these fair-sounding prophecies, Banquet demands the witches to also tell him about his future, and he is told that, although he shall not be royalty, his offspring will. As abruptly as the witches had appeared, they disappear, and messengers from King Duncan arrive and inform Macbeth of his newly gained title of Thane of Castor. When they hear the news, Banquet suddenly remarks: ‘What, can the devil speak true? His utterance once more demonstrates Banquets lack of belief in those witches, ailing them the devil. Macbeth is astonished by the news and tries to hide his mind’s preoccupation with kingship, while Banquet warns him of the dangers these prophecies might bear. He compares the sisters to the darkness when he says: “And oftentimes, to win us to our harm, The instruments of darkness tell us truths, Win us with honest trifles, to betrays In deepest consequence. ” (Act 1 Scene 3 line 119-125) Are those women simply prophets, or do they actually set events in motion?
During our first encounter with the weird ones, it is unsure where they’ve come from or who r what they actually are, or even what they have in mind when they plan on meeting Macbeth. As the play continues, the feeling of them manipulating events becomes more apparent, and their maliciousness emerges step by step. The words Shakespeare used for their dialogs and chants can be interpreted as negative, and even though some might have a positive use, they are turned into something bad, just as their first “prophecy’, of fair being foul and foul being fair, predicts.
They plot mischief, using prophecies against Macbeth and their predictions turned the noble Macbeth into a murderer. It is unclear whether the witches had their knowledge from somebody else, or whether they are the ones toying with human destinies. As mentioned before they have a staggering resemblance to the Pearce, who controlled the thread of life and thereby every humans’ destiny. The way Shakespeare chose to portray the weird ones makes it seem as if they took some kind of perverse delight in using their knowledge to destroy human beings and their fates.
Looking at the witches from afar gives a clear picture of what it means to be malicious, vengeful and This woman is more than Just an interesting character. She goes through several developmental stages, and in contrast to the three witches, the evil, or coldness that is within her cannot be seen through a dialogue but through the thoughts that occupy her mind. Lady Macbeth is one of the most powerful female characters in literature. The fact that she is alone in the beginning shows that we are privy to her innermost thoughts and feelings.
Act 1 Scene 5: Lady Macbeth is determined to be queen This scene opens with Lady Macbeth, who received a letter from her husband. In his letter, he calls her “dearest partner of greatness”, which she indeed is and becomes even more so as she manipulates Macbeth into giving in to his passions. To a certain degree, she even controls his actions, resulting in the crimes committed. This means that, even though she is not the one to deliver the fatal blow herself, she definitely is responsible.
As she finishes reading the news of his success in battle and his encounter with the witches that promised him that he will become king – and thus her queen – she exclaims: “Glacis thou art, and Castor, and shall be What thou art promised; yet do I fear thy nature, It is too full thimble of human kindness. “(Act 1 Scene 5 line 14-16) What she means is that he shall become what he was promised, namely king. This seems to be reflecting the witches’ prophecy, and one could say that she follows the witches’ lead and becomes herself an agent of fate.
Nevertheless, according to Lars Jabber she believes him to be somebody that would let others cheat to achieve his goals, as long as it wasn’t he who was cheating 1. As her thoughts seem to battle over whether her husband could fulfill this prophecy she can see only one solution: “Hi thee hither, That I may pour my spirits in thin ear, And chastise with the velour of my tongue”. Act 1 Scene 5 line 24-26) She practically says that she wants to empower him with her poisonous words and he should renounce any of his doubts and be brave enough to kill Duncan.
Since the masses back then must have seen Hamlet before Macbeth, they might have remembered that in Hamlet’s Act 1 Scene 5, the father’s ghost reports that he was killed by poison: “And in the porches of my ears did pour The leprous despoilment”12. This parallel darkens Lady Machete’s words instantly. As the play continues, Lady Macbeth descends further and further into her dark self. When a messenger arrives, she compares him o a hoarse raven, an omen of death in itself, and calls upon dark spirits to “unsexes” her, saying: “Come to my woman’s breasts And take my milk for gall”.
Jennies La Belle argues that Lady Machete’s outbreak isn’t only a psychological one but one that asks for her to eliminate her basic biological characteristics of femininity. 14 Meaning that the body and mind are connected, and to achieve such an unfeminine consciousness is to become a man and leave all female attributes and weaknesses behind. This once more shows how ambitious she is, and that she doesn’t shy away from hard assure.
I am not sure I would go as far as Jennies La Belle and connect the physiological with the psychological, but there is a definite connection between Lady Machete’s words and her desire to be tougher and more hardened like a man. This is once more a contradiction that fits the witches’ prophecy. A woman is supposed to be nurturing and soft, whereas a man is supposed to be tough and aggressive. Soon thereafter, Macbeth arrives and they have a brief and urgent talk about Dunce’s rather cruel, because it contains a paradox. The warmth of the sun is contrasted with
Duncan, who won’t ever see it again. In the following lines she uses several metaphors to conceal her actual thoughts:” Your face, my thane, is as a book, where men May read strange matters”(Act 1 Scene 5 line 61-62); followed by an amusingly ironic allusion to Genesis 5:” You hand, your tongue; look like ethnocentric flower, But be the serpent underwent. “(Act 1 Scene 5 line 64-65) The “paradise” that was promised by the witches turns, as they called it, from “fair to foul”. The last line of the scene: “Leave all the rest to me”, has quite a chilling tone to it and is very imperative.
It seems as if she completed her transformation to a man and takes over the active and leading role in their relationship, whilst Macbeth becomes a mere accomplice. Act 1 Scene 7: Macbeth debates whether to murder Duncan The imagery of Machete’s soliloquy in the beginning of this scene exposes his objective, for example Dunce’s murder and his own success, but his use of words reveals a mind that is suffering from confusion and indecisiveness. This becomes particularly obvious because of the repetition of some specific words like:” if, were, but and so on” that show his confusion.
Finally, when Lady Macbeth enters, he informs her that he has changed his mind. She responds contemptuously to his change of heart: ‘Was the hope drunk Wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since? And wakes it now to look so green and pale At what it did so freely? From this time, Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard to be the same in thin own act and velour, As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that Which thou system’s the ornament of life, And live a coward in thin own esteem, Letting “l dare not” wait upon “l would”, Like the poor cat Tightwad’s? (Act 1 Scene 7 line 36-45) She does not only accuse him of being a coward but taunts him by comparing him to a cat that wanted a fish yet didn’t want to get its paws wet. Lady Macbeth essentially tells him that he can’t be trusted, even concerning his love towards her 16. Furthermore, she urges him thereby to get over himself and kill Duncan to prove his manhood and love for her. On top of convincing her husband to kill the King, she breaks his first illusion of not involving anybody else by prompting him to blame the murder on Dunce’s officers.
This reveals how manipulative she is and that she has control over her Cubans like a puppeteer over his puppets. What really shows the darkness and the evil that lingers inside of her, though, is how far she would go to achieve her goal; she said that she would dash the brains out of her own child whilst it was sucking on her nipple and smiling lovingly at her if she had sworn as he had done. (Act 1 Scene 7 line 54-58) This is a shocking and monstrous thing to say, and no woman could call herself a woman, being able to say that about her own offspring, or any child for that matter.
This declaration proves a complete absence of compassion, mercy or sense of lilt. Act 5 Scene 1: Revelation of Lady Machete’s guilt during her sleep This scene is critical to understanding Lady Macbeth as a character and as a woman. Even though she felt no, or close to no remorse in the preceding scenes, this one changes the perception of her abruptly; she is haunted by her guilt and confesses those gruesome deeds in her sleep. At this point the decline of the Macbeth family begins, Lady Macbeth doesn’t play the role of the leader of their relationship anymore, and Macbeth is slowly turning mad.
The psychological impact all those deeds had on Lady nine 64-66) Her speech patterns have become fragmented, and the wife that had once been in control of herself and her surroundings is now reduced to a woman who cannot connect two sentences correctly, and one who has lost connection to reality due to her devastated mind. As she sleepwalks with a candle that she has ordered(Act 5 Scene 1 line 20-21) to be by her side at all times, I agree with Lars Saber’s opinion that it seems as if the only thing important to her now is saving her soul, with the light being the only symbol of hope left to her. 7 Is Lady Macbeth a 2- dimensional character, or is there more to her? Lady Macbeth, who is an incredibly ambitious woman, shares the same aspirations as her husband. During the first couple of scenes, until Macbeth starts shutting her out, she seems to be the one who is most ruthless and the one who pulls the relationship forward. As the play continues and her husband follows her urges to kill Duncan but turns colder and more paranoid, their relationship suffers. Macbeth starts a bloodshed and Lady Macbeth finally succumbs to her guilt and goes mad.
Her state of mind is even more damaged than her husband’s, and her conscience ultimately forces her to commit suicide. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth seem to have a perfect partnership They feel passion for each other and think alike, but as the story continues and Lady Macbeth persuades him to kill the King, they become more and more alienated from each other, and their feelings for each other turn to sheer numbness. Looking at this woman under a magnifying glass reveals that she isn’t a simple two-dimensional character but Just as Pushpin described Shakespearean characters in general to be.
She is a complex and multifaceted character, with all the inconsistencies that a person of flesh and blood has, and she reveals her different acts in the wide range of situations she is put nine. In the end one can’t deny that Lady Macbeth has a tough outer exterior, and could be called an “Iron Lady’, but she also has softer sides to her, which only comes to shine through if one begins to scratch below the surface. Are women in Macbeth evil? This question is a difficult one to answer.
As I progressed from reading the play to analyzing the witches and then Lady Macbeth, my perception changed gradually. It seemed as if various authors had agreed on either putting those women into one drawer or the other, but in my opinion, they should not be stereotyped. For instance, the witches are indeed portrayed as evil and calculating, but if you take into account that they could be the ones on the receiving end of information about various humans’ “fate”, then you can’t call them as evil as you would probably like to.
The fate of Macbeth would not lie in their hands any longer, and their actions would not matter; his path would have been predestined. When trying to understand what lies behind Lady Macbeth, many authors are very trigger-happy and call her monstrous, cold and evil. And yes, her actions, manipulating her husband into killing the King aren’t the actions of an innocent soul. Still one has to look behind the curtain, to see that she did those things out of love, because she is familiar with her husband’s shortcomings.
Finally, she starts feeling remorse and succumbs to her guilt, but only when her husband starts shutting her out and she feels isolated. Therefore, I neither want to call those women evil nor good, rather women that are in different situations and do what they feel is right. Portrayals of women in Macbeth and the perception To start with, I will take a peek into a possible point of history where the general reception of women in the Elizabethan era might have originated. The authors of the book “Brisker till skivvies histories” retell the Greek mythological story of human creation.
The titan Prometheus creates men from clay, and the goddess Athena gave them the breath of life. As the story goes, Prometheus and the human kind had angered Zeus; therefore, he let Hyphenates create Pandora, a mortal of stunning beauty. They gave her many gifts of wealth as well as a deceptive heart and a lying tongue. She becomes the first women on earth who carries one final gift: a Jar filled with all evil, sorrow and misfortune but also hope. 9 This is Just one of many examples of how lowly people thought of women.
One can also recall the Christian mythology, where – Just as in Greek mythology – the woman was created after the man, and of course, it is she who causes their eviction from paradise, or for that matter Lithe, who according to Jewish mythology, is Dam’s first wife and a succubus who sleeps with different men and strangles newborn babies. 21 All of those mythological stories show a rather misogynistic perception of women. No doubt, this influenced centuries to come and I would like to argue that it also influenced Shakespeare to write Macbeth.
I am tempted to compare the play to the 2nd part of the history of creation in Genesis. The role of Lady Macbeth is similar to Eve’s. To a certain extent both are temptresses. In both Genesis and the play, the characters do not realize the luck and “wealth” they are in, and finally yet importantly, both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as well as Adam and Eve regret their actions in the end. To explain those three similarities further, one has to take a deeper look at both stories.
Adam and Eve are told by God that they are allowed to eat any fruit in the Garden of Eden apart from the ones from the tree in the middle. None of the two tries any of these fruits, until the devil in the disguise of a snake deceives Eve and tempts her into eating the forbidden fruit by telling her stories of the wisdom and knowledge she will gain from eating them. When she tries the fruit, she tempts and convinces Adam to do the same and try the forbidden fruit. Looking at the play of Macbeth, the same goes for Lady Macbeth.
Instead of being tempted by the devil, it is the thought of her and her husband becoming royal that tempts her. She gives in to that temptation. The symbolical forbidden fruit here is the murder of King Duncan, ND Just as Eve convinces Adam to take a bite of the fruit, Lady Macbeth convinces her husband, who has doubts but believes in his “partner in greatness” Just as Adam believes in Eve, to conspire and ultimately kill Duncan and take the throne. The end of the stories have their own parallels. Adam and Eve’s feelings of guilt derive from their betrayal of God’s trust.
When they eat the forbidden fruit they learn the feeling of shame, which finally makes them feel guilty for their crime. Due to the betrayal of God’s trust they are expelled from Paradise and became mortal. On the other hand, we have Macbeth and his wife. Their betrayal is of a more complex kind. Not only do they betray the trust of others, but, more importantly, they also betray themselves. Their ambition makes them betray themselves and the guilt that springs from it gradually nags at them, makes them lose their mind, and in the end, it is their guilt and their actions that kill them.
Perception of women throughout the middle ages, royals and the common people In the book Women Defamed and Women Defended, etymology studies to depict the roots of antihistamines tradition. In those studies, they compared men to women and decided that women were deformed men. 23 This fits he Christian idea that Eve was created from Dam’s rib, thus she must have been a lesser version of a man. By reading through these sources the perception men had of women unravels before one’s eyes.
Even though time has passed by, the belief in those myths, as well as the hierarchy that followed these “bible” stories hasn’t disappeared fully. SST John Chromosome, for example, was an advocate for chastity and censor of women and one of the strongest voices of his time to deny authority to women or the right to teach. His reason was that, since Genesis, men had had to be the highest ranked in the hierarchy. Thus, women should not be allowed to speak in church, because they can only learn in silence.
According to him, God made women subject to men, and therefore their husbands should rule them. 25 This seemed to be the common truth, though, with exceptions if one looks a little deeper at queens or noble women. Lisa Benz explains in her book Three Medieval Queens that queens were looked upon as a version of Virgin Mary on earth and therefore had the same responsibilities, for one being a mother and giving birth to the next male heir but also being an intercessor. Mary being a mediator between Heaven and earth, made he Queen be the intercessor between the King and his people.
She also explains that the Queen’s duties were to act as a regent in case their King wasn’t capable to rule, for example due to health issues or young age. Another of their duties was to help their King and other nobility to spy on rivals, help ignite conflicts or even wars, be of strategic help and help to spread information, whether false or true, to help the King achieve his goals, whatever those might be. 26 In my opinion, there are clear parallels between the duties and roles of a queen in the Middle Ages and Lady Machete’s behavior.
For starters, Lady Macbeth, Just like a queen, is ready to do anything in order to help her husband achieve his goals. It is easier to see the parallel by looking at one of her first statements, namely that he shall be King as he was promised, even though in her opinion he doesn’t have the manhood to do what has to be done without her support. However, I think Lady Macbeth is capable of going much further than a usual queen would have. In the Middle Ages Theresa Rearrange says, queens that were sterile were shunned and even murdered.
The fact that Macbeth and Lady Machete’s relationship does not result in a child must Hereford be a vital reason for her to do everything possible to please her husband by helping him achieving what he strives for, even if it crosses his or other’s boundaries. This shows Lady Machete’s behavior to be that of a Queen, before she actually becomes one. Another parallel is Lady Machete’s way of ruling. She is the one with the strategic head on her shoulders and plans the assassination on King Duncan.
Moreover, she figures out the best way to shift the blame off them and onto somebody else by drugging and placing the dagger used to murder the King in the Kings officers’ hands, all of this to wash her husband’s and her hands clean of guilt. Another great example are the tales that were written in the book of the wiles of women. This book contained tales of women and their – so it seems – pathological misconduct, adultery, their sharp tongue that shifted the blame from them onto others and simply female deceit.
Those were popular antihistamines anecdotes, and general perception turned to women being deceiving liars no man could or should trust. An interesting chapter on how a “good” wife was supposed to behave in the Middle Ages from Georges Dubos and Michelle Parrot’s book A history of women bevels that women were lower in the hierarchy than their husbands. “Saint Thomas went as far as to say that the basic reason for getting married was to ensure a male figurehead for the education of the offspring. “29 The only function left for the woman/mother was to nurture the child.
According to them, there was one point on which there was a unanimous agreement – that a good wife is one that takes care of the house. From Aristotle on there were two areas, which were divided between man and woman: production and conservation, where the men were the ones to be productive, while the women “conserved” what they had. 0 This explains the division between the house (the female domain) and everything that is outside of it (the male domain), leading to the woman managing the family and being responsible for her family behavior. 1 We can apply these characteristics to Lady Machete’s behavior, but it becomes quickly apparent that Lady Macbeth is not the type who can be connected to adultery or sexual misbehaving. On the other hand the deception of her and her actions is enormous. She does however, not deceive her husband, as was the case in those earlier tales, but the ones who stand in their path to success, particularly King Duncan. Another point to be noted is the sharp tongue. This description fits her like a glove.
Examples ranging from calling upon dark spirits to unsexes her to the harsh and insulting words she uses to convince her husband of murder are excellent proofs of her resolution and her capability of using her tongue to manipulate her husband or others into doing or believing what she says. Lady Macbeth seems to fit the description of a Queen or noblewoman very well. Her one shortcoming, apart from being childless, however, is opposed to what women were supposed to be. Lady Macbeth is a bad hostess.
Not only is it her husband that plans social gatherings but it is she who plots the King’s demise, when she should be the one to cater to the Kings needs. The Great Chain of Being and Macbeth Being a logical human being, the first instinct is to divide things into two without overlaps, but it is impossible to name a precise moment in history when, for example, the Middle Ages turned in the age of Renaissance. Thus we cannot say that the cultural and intellectual ideas, politics or for that matter other areas can be separated into two different chunks of history.
Quit to the contrary, there are overlaps of two different ages. Shakespeare, who lived (1564 – 1616) during England’s Renaissance, demonstrates this overlap in his play Macbeth which is a very good example of The Chain of Being’s concept but, more importantly, the consequences of somebody disturbing precisely this chain. This so-called chain was actually a description of how our world and the beings in it are connected and in which order. This order was based on the proportions of “matter” and “spirit”.
The more spirit a being had, the higher up the chain that being would be. Inanimate things in nature, such as for example minerals, were at the lowest end. Above them were plants, insects, and other creatures that weren’t noble , like lions, bears or wolves. Then there came humans: the king, who back then was thought to be chosen by God, was the highest ranked among humans, and women were the ones who were lowest highest. Since God was the one to create the chain, it was of course unthinkable to disturb it. Repercussions and chaos could have been the outcome.
Looking at the play, Macbeth and hereby Lady Macbeth disturb this chain by murdering King Duncan, who is the highest-ranked of all human beings. This regicide has to have consequences, and the fact that Duncan is a noble and good king cannot help that matter. This killing does actually demonstrate two disturbances of The Great Chain of Being, we have on one hand Macbeth committing regicide, but Lady Macbeth disturbs the chain by leaving her place in the hierarchy and placing herself higher than she should be. I would consider this first murder to a of catalyst for the rest of the misfortune to come.
As the story continues, Macbeth loses his courage and hires other men to kill for him, while Lady Macbeth starts to fall apart and feel remorse. However, the death count continues and the bodies for whose death he is responsible pile up. Mayhem erupts throughout their kingdom, and it becomes apparent that The Great Chain of Being is more than Just disturbed. The expected chaos has come and it does not seem like anything could stop it. Even the horses are attacking each other, and the natural order breaks down as less noble creatures overcome the noble and stronger ones.
Nobody sees Macbeth as a king; instead, “his” people are calling him the tyrant. While looking at the whole play from afar, death seems to be a motif that persists and shows the crimes Macbeth commits and the impact these crimes have upon The Great Chain of Being. His kingdom seems to be engulfed in a morbid atmosphere, as different animals appear that are associated tit death and decay, such as ravens. As the play continues and more of those morbid signs appear, Macbeth loses his mind and starts hallucinating. Having committed all those crimes, he induced his own phantasmagoria.
In the end it isn’t only his kingdom that falls apart, but also his relationship to Lady Macbeth and further on the abrupt cut with her, as she commits suicide. If he had not had committed those crimes, according to The Chain of Being, everything would have remained in equilibrium, and the kingdom would be in a state of order, but because he does, his kingdom turns into chaos. Conclusion Working in depth on this play, more specifically the female roles in it and the history regarding the perception of women, I have to conclude that the role of women in Macbeth cannot be described in simple words.
While looking at the surface, the depiction of Lady Macbeth and the witches is evil and monstrous, but it should not be categorized as obvious. These women, Lady Macbeth as well as the witches, achieve their goals through dangerous, sinister and most importantly subtle manipulation. The prophecies the witches foretell are not straightforward but play on Machete’s ambition and the way Lady Macbeth questions his manhood convinces IM of committing murder. The story would not unfold the way it does without these women.
Both parties, Lady Macbeth and the witches, are important driving forces behind what happens. The witches’ counterparts are the Pearce, who controlled the thread of life, while Lady Machete’s counterpart is Eve, who is blamed for the original sin – the fall of humankind and its expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Even today, Eve still stands as one of the ultimate examples that connect women and evil. The Middle Ages as well as the classical perception of women had an incredible influence