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'What importance do the women play in the shaping of the events in Shakespeare's classic, 'Macbeth'?

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English Drama Coursework- 'Macbeth' (William Shakespeare) 'What importance do the women play in the shaping of the events in Shakespeare's classic, 'Macbeth'? In modern times, women have been walking shoulder to shoulder with men to match, at times, even excel any of man's accomplishments. From the likes of Mary Curie and her famous invention to the space travelling women of today, the feminine gender has been an influential one to today's society. On the contrary, during the period where Shakespeare's play takes place, seemingly the 'Renaissance', an ordinary woman had very little say in their families, let alone in the society. Back then, the society was very 'male-dominated' one and their significant others would merely grant their every will. In the play however, we encounter a plot very different to this. Written by William Shakepeare, Macbeth is a story of courageous and loyal general whose lust for the ultimate power of the throne eventually results in the downfall of himself and his loved ones. Here, I will talk about how the women in the play, along with Macbeth himself, played a significant role in doing so in William Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'. ...read more.


The Witches leave the two, stunned and ambiguous from the encounter. Hereafter, they are greeted by their counterparts who tell them about the ascension and they realise that the prediction was indeed true. Due to this, Macbeth's belief that one day he may become the king becomes stronger and he wonders whether it is time that shall make him the king or is it him that has to do something about it (Act I Scene III... 'chance may crown me, Without my stir.') Here we can see how the prophecy of the three Witches has influenced Macbeth's mind. The fact that one of their predictions has become a reality has led the Thane of Glamis to believe in them. The once loyal general to the king Duncan is now thinking whether he shall wait or does he need to take action himself in order to gain control of the throne. Here we come across for the first time three women influencing the events in the story. Had Macbeth and Banquo not met the Witches, they would not have come across their foretelling and the thought of being the king would have never crossed his mind. ...read more.


Later on in the play, Lady Macbeth goes as far as emasculating her husband, intending to provoke him to kill the king and gain control over the throne. Ultimately, it proved to be effective as Macbeth committed the sin. This, however, was due to the Lady's constant provocation rather than Macbeth's own will. This event goes on to influence the rest of the happenings in the story which ends tragically. From this, we can clearly see that the women in Shakespeare's Macbeth play an important role in the story. The appearance of the witches at the beginning gives an indication that this story will have women affecting the storyline as well as the men. The marriage that we encounter between Macbeth and his wife is not an ordinary one, specially keeping in mind the time period. The Lady seems to 'wear the pants' in the relationship and is quite predominant over her husband. She gets whatever she wants from her husband either by demanding it or in King Duncan's case, clear manipulation. It was Lady Macbeth, that shaped the storyline and is arguably one of the most important characters in the play! ...read more.

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