Ã¯Â¿Â½PAGE Ã¯Â¿Â½ Nelms Ã¯Â¿Â½PAGE Ã¯Â¿Â½1Ã¯Â¿Â½
8 April 2014
Trust, Treason, and Turmoil
Macbeth written by Shakespeare is a perfect example to illustrate masculinity vs. femininity. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are virtually as extreme as it gets and no one else can justify their experiences along the way. The battle of the sexes has been going on since the beginning of time and is still occurring today. It has changed overtime and even created a few new ideas, however the concept is still the same. One may say that both are equal, but the dominant role can easily be reversed. Macbeth depicts the exchange of the dominant role reversing in a relationship, the difference between masculinity and femininity, and the rise and fall of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship throughout this piece.
In any relationship there can be dominance or equality. However, even if one person seems superior to their partner, the title can be easily reversed.
"Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be What thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o' the milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great; Art not without ambition, but without
The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst highly, That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false, And yet wouldst wrongly win: thou dost have, great Glamis,
That which cries "Thus thou must do, if thou have it"; And that which rather thou dost fear to do Than wishest should be undone. Hie thee hither,
That I may pour my spirits in thine ear; And chastise with the valour of my tongue All that impedes thee from the golden round, Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem To have thee crown'd withal." (1,5,15-22). Lady Macbeth sees her husband's ambition but quickly realizes he is still too kind. She directly targets his ego and pride and tells him he is a coward if he does not kill the King. Resulting from that, she is showing dominance by getting Macbeth to do what it is that she desires. Macbeth eventually kills the king but feels very much guilt after doing so. Although Lady Macbeth is still triumphant because of the kill and reigns superior over Macbeth, the reader catches a sense of manipulation from Lady Macbeth because what she wanted was done, even if Macbeth did not necessarily feel good about his kill.
"Was the hope drunk Wherein you dress'd 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 thine own act and valour As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life, And live a coward in thine own esteem, Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would,' Like the poor cat i' the adage? Prithee, peace: I dare do all that may become a man" (1,7,3). Lady Macbeth sort of taunts her husband by asking how he is with a sarcastic connotation. She does not truly care about his well being, she is just merely making him feel even more terrible for what he has done by insulting and provoking him. In addition, she refers to Macbeth as green and pale, almost making the assumption he is sick because of something. That something is referred to as anemia: a disease that is only found common in young virgin girls. So yet again, Lady Macbeth is torturing her husband by constantly infuriating him by relating him to a young virgin girl.
The stereotype relationship is when a man has all the power over a woman. However, Lady Macbeth beats that stereotype and shows how the roles of dominance can and have been reversed.
The topic of masculinity vs. femininity has been going on since the first creation of man. There is a fine line between the two, however they can be closely related when it comes down to who can obtain the dominant role in the sense that they both essentially want it, and they're willing to do anything to get it. "The raven himself is hoarse That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan Under my battlements. Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to the toe topful Of direst cruelty!" (1,5,3). Lady Macbeth is asking the spirits to "unsex" her, or take out all the feminism in her body. Thus making her stronger and able to control the things she wasn't able to before. In addition, not only does she want to be rid of her feminism to gain control, but to also find herself on the same level as Macbeth as far as mindset and thinking goes. Unfortunately for her, Macbeth is now on a murdering rage and has gained back his dominance.
"But to be safely thus.--Our fears in Banquo Stick deep; and in his royalty of nature Reigns that which would be fear'd: 'tis much he dares; And, to that dauntless temper of his mind, He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour To act in safety." (3,1,50). Macbeth wants Bargus to attend the feast so he can be killed as well. Oddly enough, when planning for the moment Bargus appears, Macbeth asks two murderers to do the deed for him. This shows masculinity and a sense of dominance because one who is dominated against would not deviate from the plan made from the controller. In this instance, Macbeth came up with this plan and wants to execute it with no opinion or knowledge from Lady Macbeth. Macbeth has effectively put himself in control by killing when and whom he desires. Masculinity and femininity go hand in hand once balanced in the proper way. However, once one out weighs the other, problems usually occur.
Macbeth's and his wife's relationship cannot compare to any other. They have been through certain things that no other couple has. Even though Macbeth has lost all feeling and conscience, Lady Macbeth is still in love with him. "'Thane of Cawdor,' by which title, before, these weird sisters saluted me, and referred me to the coming on of time with 'Hail, king that shalt be!"(1,5,5). Lady Macbeth is acting like she is already queen. Macbeth seems to realize this and decides that maybe she should have a say in what he does, but he calls the shots. He continually brings up Duncan's arrival because he wants to hear what she thinks about killing him as well. Macbeth later finds out that she is thinking of killing him too because she talks about the future being so close. The only thing in Lady Macbeth's sight right now is her being queen and nothing will prevent that.
"She should have died hereafter; There would have been a time for such a word. To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time,And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing." (5,5,25). Macbeth asks the doctor how his "patient" is (Lady Macbeth). He merely asked him to give her medicine; he wants anything given to her that will make her better. Although, when he sees her dead all he says is she was going to die eventually anyways. At this point, he does not care if she lives on because he has no conscience. Macbeth and his wife's relationship cannot be rendered as a normal relationship by any means. They definitely put a new meaning on the word love.
Macbeth is one of the most memorable pieces written by Shakespeare because anyone can relate to the story; Macbeth can be inside anyone, we just don't know it. The ability to cause mass murder is not inside everyone, but the fact that we all have some sort of a hidden monster inside is. The real essence of control is being able to keep that monster in when needed to be kept in, and let it out when it needs to be seen.