Macbeth Research Paper Gender Roles

1 – Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth was in power a year both Macbeth was written, and Queen Elizabeth was a very powerful female figure which helped expanded women’s powers.
3 – Lady Macbeth
Lady Macbeth is intent on killing Duncan, and is very demanding and manipulative of her husband.
6 – Lady Macbeth
“Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full of direst cruelty!” pg. 29-30 Line 40-43
6 – Lady Macbeth
“And live a coward in thine own esteem, Letting ‘I dare not’ wait upon ‘I would,’ Like the poor cat i’th’adage?” pg. 40 Line 43-45
6 – Lady Macbeth
“When you durst do it, then you were a man; And, to be more than what you were, you would be much more than a man.” pg 40 Line 49-50
6 – Lady Macbeth
Sleep walking scene
3 – Lady Macbeth
“Lady Macbeth is still concerned that they act, and cope, as a couple. This is important. Remember she can only really have power through her husband. She has no power of her own. So her main worry is that the guests see them as man and wife, king and queen.”
3 – Lady Macbeth
Her persuasion doesn’t work on Macbeth anymore
6 – Masculinity
Macbeth was doubting killing Duncan until his masculinity was threatened by Lady Macbeth causing him to agree to kill him.
8 – Masculinity
“Instead of showing the hot anger that Macbeth is looking for, First Murderer only says, “We are men, my liege.” Then Macbeth gets even more sarcastic, saying, “Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men; / As hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs, / Shoughs, water-rugs and demi-wolves, are clept / All by the name of dogs” (3.1.90-94). He goes on to say that they won’t be real men until they’re ready to kill Banquo.”
8 – Masculinity
“Are you a man?” (3.4.57). He replies, “Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that / Which might appall the devil” (3.4.58-59). She tells him that his “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!” (3.4.62-65).
8 – Masculinity
After his families death, Macduff is upset and Malcom tells him to “Dispute it like a man.”
4 – Masculinity
We have in Macbeth what appears to be the ultimate man, one who knows exactly what he wants, a man of action.
4 – Lady Macbeth
Lady Macbeth is one of the strongest women in all of Shakespeare’s plays. However, consider how she must contend with the role of women in her world.
4 -Lady Macbeth
Despite Lady Macbeth’s desire to be more like a man for the task at hand, she proves to be still the weak female when it comes to the actual deed. She needs wine to maintain her courage. As she says, “That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold” (II, ii).
4 – Gender Roles in Elizabethan Times
According to Stephanie Chamberlain, fear of the power of women was a strong force in early modern England.
4 – Witches
Fear of women in early modern England is also evidenced by the accusations of witchcraft toward primarily women. “In the period 1300-1500 about two-thirds of all accused were women. A closer examination. . .indicates, however, that many of the male one-third were persecuted in the early fourteenth century, and by the end of this period the trials. . .show an overwhelming concern with women”
5 – Gender Roles in Elizabethan Times
In Macbeth, as in Renaissance society, men were expected to engage in public affairs (as soldiers, politicians, leaders), to be talkers, make decisions, move events forward. They led lives which were duty-bound (mostly to the state), aggressive, and self-satisfying. On the other hand, women were expected to assume a more passive role
8 – Masculinity
A little later, when the Ghost of Banquo appears for the second time, Macbeth acts more manly. Saying, “What man dare, I dare” (3.4.98),
2 – Gender Roles in Elizabethan Society
“Spinsterhood was unheard of; women who didn’t get married fell into destitution and were labeled witches.”
2 – Gender Roles in Elizabethan Times
“Of course, by today’s standards, Elizabethan society’s treatment of
women was barbaric but, at the time, the advances occurring were
monumental. “
2 – Gender Roles in Elizabethan Society
” Religious fanaticism enforced by law molded
women into the form of the dutiful wife and mother. Their lives
were dull and hard, with successive childbirths making them old
before their time and leading to very early deaths. “
6 – Gender Roles in Elizabethan Times
Lady Macbeth is never seen outside the castle.
1 – Gender Roles in Elizabethan Times

Elizabethan woman were raised to believe that they were inferior to men. The Church believed this and quoted the Bible in order to ensure the continued adherence to this principle. The protestant leader John Knox wrote:

“Women in her greatest perfection was made to serve and obey man.”

7 – Queen Elizabeth
“Queen Elizabeth was proving a women was more than capable of mastering a kingdom.”

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