Gender Stereotypes Of Macbeth And Lady Macbeth Essay

1554 Words Nov 22nd, 2014 7 Pages
In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, gender stereotypes are often related to power. Both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth show characteristics of presenting gender stereotypes of the opposite sex. Maureen Bohan of the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG) defines gender stereotypes as “Preconceived ideas whereby males and females are arbitrarily assigned characteristics and roles determined and limited by their sex. Sex stereotyping can limit the development of the natural talents and abilities” (Bohan). Throughout the play audiences may read Macbeth as taking on the feminine role and Lady Macbeth as taking on the masculine role due to a gender stereotypical reading of these two characters. One can read the play in a gender stereotypical way because Shakespeare presents power as being gender specific, and this is clearly seen through the fluctuation of gender roles and stereotypes between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth throughout the play. Throughout the play there is a progression of gender stereotypes being fulfilled by the opposite sex. The first and most important example of power being specific to gender roles and stereotypes is in act one scene five. Lady Macbeth learns about Macbeth’s promotion, and that he is next in line for King. Lady Macbeth herself addresses gender stereotypes claiming that she needs to be a man in order to be strong for her husband, she exclaims “Come, you spirits/That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here” (390-1). Catherine Thomas argues in…

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