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Copy of Masculinity vs. Femininity Motif

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Carrigan Cass

on 2 November 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Masculinity vs. Femininity Motif

Masculinity vs. Femininity Motif
Macduff
Femininity
Masculinity
Manipulative
Solve problems
runs away from the problem at hand
shows his softer side when his family is killed
"He has no children. All my pretty ones? Did you say all? O hell-kite! All? What, all my pretty chickens and their dam at one fell swoop?/Dispute it like a man./I shall do so,But I must also feel it as a man. I cannot but remember such things were that were most precious to me." (Act IV Sc. 3)
Power & Control
Legal power (kings/thanes)
Must understand masculinity to be a successful ruler
Control over family
Confidence
Macbeth goes to witches a second time to figure out what he should do (Act IV)
Faints to save him from sounding suspicious (Act II)
When Macbeth sees ghost, tells people this happens often and he is crazy (Act III)
Lady Macbeth has to get rid of the daggers after Macbeth kills Duncan
"Give me the daggers. the sleeping and the dead are but as pictures. 'Tis the eye of childhood that fears a painted devil. If he do bleed, I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal, For it must seem their guilt." (Act II Sc. 2 Lines 69-73)
Evil
Contrary to typical views of 11th century women, Shakespeare shows their cruel and evil side
Chestnut lady and witches cause husband's death (Act I)
Lady Macbeth gets Macbeth to commit murder and causes mayhem, indirectly kills Macbeth
Witches manipulate Macbeth, knowing it will lead to his downfall
Snakes, symbols of evil, are described as female
"We have scorched the snake, not killed it. /She'll close and be herself whilst our poor malice / Remains in danger of her former tooth" (Act 3 Sc. 2 Lines 15-17)
Witches control what Macbeth does, everything they say comes true
Lady Macbeth has the control in the relationship
Wants power as queen, forces Macbeth to kill Duncan in order to take the throne
Taunts him to get what she wants: says he isn't a man
"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 car i' th' adage?" (Act I Sc. 7 Lines 45-49)
"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." (Act I Sc. 7 Lines 56-58)
Lady Macbeth
not the common nurturing motherly figure
"I have given suck and know How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me- I would, while it was smiling in my face, Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums And dash'd the brains out had I so sworn as you Have done to this." (Act I Sc. 7)
Macbeth claims she would have male children based on her masculine attitude and behavior
"Bring forth men-children only, For thy undaunted mettle should compose Nothing but males." (Act I Sc. 7)
"unsex me here" (Act 1 Sc. 5 Line 48)
controls Macbeth
murder of Duncan
Macbeth
cannot give his wife children
no confidence
women dictate his actions
"Are you a man?...This is the very painting of your fear; This is the air-drawn dagger which you said Led you to Duncan. O, these flaws and starts, Impostors to true fear, would well become A woman's story at a winter's fire, Authorized by her grandam. Shame itself! Why do you make such faces? When all's done, You look but on a stool. (Act III, Sc.4)
Lady Macbeth continually questions his masculinity
does not stand behind his actions (admit to murdering Duncan)
shows fear
misinterprets the meaning of masculinity (violent)
afraid to kill Duncan
Witches
women with beards
"You should be women, And yet your beards forbid me to interpret That you are so." (Act I Sc. 3)
have power/control
impact others' lives
influence Macbeth's actions
Power & Control
Fighting on the battlefield
"For brave Macbeth (well deserves that name), Disdaining Fortune with his brandished steel, Which smoked with blood execution, Like valor's minion, carved out his passage Till he faced the slave; Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, Till he unseamed him from the nave to th' chops, And fixed his head upon our battlements." (Act I Sc. 2 Lines 18-25)
Macduff is able to defeat Macbeth because he is not born of a woman, making him more powerful than other men
"Tell thee Macduff was from his mother's womb/ Untimely ripped." (Act 5 Sc. 8 Lines 19-20)
Urban Dictionary:
adj.) -Often defined as aggressive, strong; in modern times, at least, no shows of emotion, no flamboyance, must be interested in sports and physical/violent activity.
Modern Ideologies
Masculinity
Dictionary.com:
adj.) -pertaining to or characteristic of a man or men
-having qualities traditionally ascribed to men, as strength and boldness
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