Gender And Power In Macbeth

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The Relationship between Gender and Power in Macbeth
In Macbeth, William Shakespeare focuses on the association of gender and power. This idea is the subject of many themes throughout the play, making it an important component in the tragedy. While men use power as a force to impart their will, women use it to manipulate, and this sometimes leads to their own detriment as in the case of Lady Macbeth. Throughout the play, Shakespeare shows how masculinity and femininity are forms of power in this time period, and how gender guides a person’s strength and will.
For example, during the First Act, gender and power interact when Lady Macbeth receives a letter from her partner, Macbeth. This letter states that three witches informed him of his recent promotion to Thane of Cawdor and refer to him as, “’Hail, / King that
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However, Macbeth reasons that the more pragmatic approach is to wait until fate crowns him, saying, “If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me, / Without my stir” (Shakespeare 1.3.157-158) In contrast, Lady Macbeth latches on to this idea, and prepares to force Macbeth to commit regicide. She begins by recognizing that Macbeth is too weak to do it by himself, then she realizes that she needs to, “chastise with the valor of my tongue / All that impedes thee from the golden round” (Shakespeare 1.5.30-31). After this short soliloquy, she reveals the first example of the theme of masculinity and power. She says a prayer, asking spirits to make her more masculine, in order to convince Macbeth to kill King Duncan. Lady Macbeth must eventually use pathos instead of masculinity to convince him. The use of her persuasion is shown when Lady Macbeth says, “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” (Shakespeare 1.7.63-67). In this quote, Lady