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How does Shakespear potray women in Macbeth

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How does Shakespeare portray women in "Macbeth"? This essay will observe and study William Shakespeare's portrayal of women in "Macbeth". In this essay I shall look at various scenes from the play Macbeth and use quotes to back up my evidence. This shall be neatly presented in a word document, and I hope to answer the question, "How does Shakespeare portray women in "Macbeth"? Act 1 Scene 7 In Act 1 Scene 7 Shakespeare displays Lady Macbeth as a woman who is extremely cruel and heartless. "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." (1.7.54-59) In this scene Macbeth is having second thoughts about killing King Duncan and confronts his wife about it, and she harshly ridicules him and calls him such things as a coward and that he is not a real man if he does not kill the King, and that she is more of a man than he is. And she explains to her husband that she would murder her own baby, whilst breast feeding which is one of the most special things a mother can have with her child as it is a type of bonding, and she explains that she would murder her on baby whilst feeding it. ...read more.


"pray you, speak not; he grows worse and worse; Question enrages him. At once, good night: Stand not upon the order of your going, But go at once." (3.4.127-130). In my opinion I think that Shakespeare has done this so that to show that she is not always in control of Macbeth because whilst he was making a scene she could not control him, and every time she gave him a tongue-lashing he still managed to carry on to disobey her wishes for him to remain normal. And every time he seemed to be talking to himself Lady Macbeth grew very anxious and worried and she was not in control of the situation as we know she likes to be in, and in the end she had to get everyone to leave. Act 5 Scene 1 In this scene Lady Macbeth cannot get the thoughts of killing Duncan out of her head and she seems to be feeling guilty. "Out, damned spot! out, I say!--One: two: why, then, 'tis time to do't.--Hell is murky!--Fie, my lord, fie! a soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?--Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him." (5.1.35-40). Lady Macbeth is continuously washing her hands as she cannot seem to get a drip or a spot as she says it of Duncan's blood off of her hands. ...read more.


This is another example of how the witches are portrayed as iniquitous, "Her husband's to Aleppo gone, master o' the Tiger: But in a sieve I'll thither sail, And, like a rat without a tail, I'll do, I'll do, and I'll do."(1.3.9-12). At the start of the scene one of the witches enquires were the other has been and she replies that a woman's husband has been out at sea, and that she had him die at sea. This again shows the evil and malicious side of the witches. Again I think that Shakespeare has exposed the witches as malevolent as they enjoy doing wicked things for example killing innocent people, and so forth. And because the witches are prophesising the future it is showing them as evil and eerie, as it is not normal. This essay has shown me and you, the audience, how Shakespeare renders women in Macbeth. In this essay I have shown a variation of different portrayals of women in the play, and how Shakespeare sees them more importantly. In my opinion, I think that Shakespeare finds women maybe not so focal, as out of all the characters in the play there are only two key ones which are Lady Macbeth, and the witches. Also he seems to not find many good aspects for the women in the play as they are both seen to be quite spiteful and cruel. ...read more.

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