10 April 2014
Role Reversal in Macbeth
Role reversal is a very evident topic throughout Shakespeare's play, Macbeth. The concentration of this play is not on the downfall of one, but the harmony between two, in which the roles of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are gradually exchanged due to the mere thirst and desire for power.
When Lady Macbeth is first introduced, her dominance in the relationship is remarkably clear. Macbeth himself represents a respectable man with a clear conscience, until later being corrupted by his wife. Macbeth is later depicted as a man willing to go through murderous acts to achieve his desire for power. The play is equally focused on his power-crazed wife, with an intense drive for control. As the play progresses, Lady Macbeth begins to take the personality which was that of her husband at the beginning. In the introduction of the play, signs of Lady Macbeth's dominance are shown through her ambition to kill the king.
Macbeth is hesitant toward killing King Duncan, and Lady Macbeth insults his manhood through the following statement: "That made you break this enterprise to me? 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." (I, vii, 2) Upon learning about the witches prophecies, Lady Macbeth immediately takes matters into her own hands by stating: "Only look up clear. To alter favor ever is to fear. Leave all the rest to me" (I, v, 3) In saying this, she is trying to rid Macbeth's mind of the worries of planning to kill Duncan, while leaving the rest up to her.
However, as the play ensues, Lady Macbeth takes on a more passive role while Macbeth portrays...