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Shakespeare's sexist portrayal in Macbeth

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Courtney Goodson

on 15 January 2014

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Transcript of Shakespeare's sexist portrayal in Macbeth

Shakespeare's sexiest creation of Lady Macbeth through the Renaissance Period
William Shakespeare develops Lady Macbeth into a Gothic, manipulative character who utilizes her sexuality, marital position, and societal position to undermine Macbeth; her fraudulent behavior pushes Macbeth to his murder and her remorseful suicide.
Being a mother means compassion and to get Macbeth to kill the king she needs her "passage" of childbirth to be blocked.
Asks the spirits to "unsex" her, to take away all of her reproductive abilities and make her "passages remorse" meaning stop her from menstruating.
This allows her to become like a man cruel and vindictive.
Marital/Societal Position
Utilizes her position to question Macbeth's manhood.
By questioning his manhood, she is able to pressure Macbeth into maintaining the powerful icon he thinks himself to be in his community.
Sigmund Freud Theory
Proposed that Lady Macbeth's actions come from her unchecked id (the part of the mind that lives off of innate impulses)
Leaving the id unchecked leads to destruction and despair.
Hypothesized as the reason for her death.
Historical Background
Women were portrayed as either virtuous and chaste or seductive and deceptive.
Represented as iconic images. For example, Virgin Mary or Eve.
Lady Macbeth could be compared to Eve. For she fell into the temptation for power and greed.
"Art thou afeard to be the same in thine own act and valor as thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that which though 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'th th' adage”
Out, damned spot! Out, I say! One: two: why, the 'tis time to do't. Hell is murky. Fie my lord, fie! A soldier, and afread? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to accompt? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?
Here's the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh! Oh! Oh!
Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thought unsex me here, and fill me, from the crown, to the toe, top-full of dinest cruelty!
Glamis thou art, and cawdor, and shalt be what thou art promised. Yet I do fear thy nature; it is too full o'th; milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way
Turn Point
Lady Macbeth knew that Macbeth was seen as a hero to the community, that by being king it could only better his reputation.
Lady Macbeth conjures spirits to help get rid of her compassion and give her intense cruelty, because she does not have the time to worry about what was going to happen but only how she was going to deal with the murders, she had to stay strong for what ever outcome effected Macbeth.
Stereotypical Ending
The inner woman inside Lady Macbeth, that was kept hidden in the entire play, comes out when she begins to feel remorseful for her actions.
She begins to sleep walk and reveal that she is afraid of Banquo coming out of his grave. And begins to see the blood on her hands and notices that water won't wash away her past.
Wash your hands; put on your nightgown, look not so pale! I tell you yet again Banquo's buried. He cannot come out one's grave
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