The role males play in macbeth

Essay by stef_eHigh School, 10th gradeA+, May 2004

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

In William Shakespeare's Macbeth we see the portrayal of male characteristics through the actions of the various characters in the play. Macbeth's manhood was influenced greatly by his fatal flaw, his ambition. Lady Macbeth placed many pressures on Macbeth, which also challenged his manhood. Duncan and Malcolm portray the ideal characteristics of a man. All these characters greatly assist in Shakespeare's discussion of what it is to be a man. No two men are the same; through various internal and external forces their characters are altered.

Macbeth's ambition overrode his preset male characteristics. Macbeth had always been a righteous man; he was good and noble, a model soldier. When Macbeth came across three witches who foresaw his future, telling him he would one day become Thane of Glamice, Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland. Upon hearing this, Macbeth's ambition began to stir. He couldn't see himself becoming King of Scotland unless he took matters into his own hands, literally.

This is how his conflict came about: Macbeth's sense of good feels he shouldn't murder the King, Duncan, but his ambition starts to override his decent male characteristics. In the end, Macbeth's ambition won out over his original, good self. This caused Macbeth to spiral into a life of terror, deceit and despair. Even though he had become a tyrant, Macbeth felt remorse for his actions throughout the play. This showed that even though sinister characteristics were shown on Macbeth's surface, the battle between the good and bad man was always fought, even till his death.

The pressure put on Macbeth by lady Macbeth's yearning for power lead to Macbeth having inner turmoil concerning his manhood. Upon hearing the prophecies made by the three witches concerning Macbeth's destiny, Lady Macbeth becomes extremely intrigued. Saying "Unsex me here," she doesn't...