Gender Stereotypes In Macbeth


William Shakespeare a well-known playwright around the world is the author of a famous play, entitled Macbeth, also referred to as The Scottish Play. The play subverts many gender role stereotypes during the Elizabethan era. Macbeth as the main character of the play conforms and fails to conform to the ideals of masculinity. Along with this Macbeth’s wife, Lady Macbeth adheres and fails to adhere to the role of a woman in Elizabethan society. Strict gender roles are of great importance during the Elizabethan era and influence many parts of a person's life.

The play Macbeth subverts many gender roles, in particular for the main character Macbeth his subversion deals with masculinity. The Elizabethian society along with “cultural definitions of which traits are appropriate for men” (Firestone 2) affects the Macbeths view of how he should behave. Traditionally many leaders in a king’s army are treated with respect and dignity. Macbeths conforms to the ideals of what a man should take part in when he succeeds to win the war for his king. After the war between the beginning of the play, King Duncan conveys “What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won” (Shakespeare 1.2.67) referring to Macbeth winning the war and the title of Thane of Cawdor.

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