To Waht Extent Is Masculinity Associated with Evil and Violence in Macbeth?

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To what extent is masculinity associated with evil and violence in Macbeth?

Evil is a theme widely explored by Shakespeare in his plays and “Macbeth” is no exception. This play demonstrates violence in relation to evil and evil in turn is a reflection of the desperation and anxieties of the characters in “Macbeth.” The question of whether masculinity is associated with evil and violence is easily answered as the main character in this horrific tragedy is Macbeth himself, who commits a range of heinous crimes from murder to dabbling with witchcraft. However, the extent to which masculinity is related to evil is more obscure. In this essay I am going to show that evil and violence in “Macbeth” is not monopolised by masculine characters. To show this I will be analysing female characters who demonstrate strong evil qualities and personalities such as Lady Macbeth, The Witches and Hecate. I will also discuss Banquo, Macduff and King Duncan because these characters represent chivalry, nobility and honour of human characters, even though they are male.

The first character I will be looking at is Macbeth himself. This is because he is the central character and focus of the entire play. From the outset Macbeth is depicted as a fierce war hero: “Till he unseamed him from the nave to the chops, And fixed his head upon our battlements.” (Act 1: Scene 1: Lines 22 – 23)
The captain using the word, “Unseamed…….nave to the chops,” gives the impression that Macbeth has an evil side to him which he is struggling to control as no admirable man would commit an attack like murder in such a heartless way. It also shows how bloodthirsty and gory Macbeth is on the battlefield. Shakespeare has used this vivid imagery of the brutal battle that Macbeth has won for King Duncan in order to show…...

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