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TOPIC: Does Lady Macbeth want to be a man?

Does Lady Macbeth want to be a man? 7 years 8 months ago #4957

  • Zok
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I have to do a research paper, related to literary works, and I decided to study Macbeth. This was possibly a blunder of mine, considering that it needs to be an original topic. With everything under the moon that has already been done on Shakespeare’s works: I pray that no one has done this.

I know that Lady Macbeth probably does not want or care to be male, but for the sake of argument, hear me out.

Lady Macbeth wants to be a man.

She finds her husband to be incompetent and weak, while she is strong. She is also power hungry, yet has no way of satisfying it, and as a result, she attempts to live her life through her husband whom she easily manipulates. Even so, Lady Macbeth still desires to be a man so that she, not her husband, can be in complete control.

That, in essence, is my working thesis. To prove my point I need to use literary citations as well like proof enclosed within the text. The citations will not be a problem (though any that you know of would be greatly appreciated): instead my problems stem from quotes or facts inside the play. I have found three so far, they are as follows:

(1) They have no children, which is odd for a family of that era. Everyone else around them has children, yet it seems that they have never attempted, as Macbeth never seems to directly address the issue. It’s entirely plausible that one of them is sterile, and I have heard that before. The reason that they have no kids is that Lady Macbeth does not want any; it would force womanhood upon her.

(2) “Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts! unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe, top-full
Of direst cruelty; make thick my blood,
Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect and it! Come to my woman's breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers,”

That’s pretty self explanatory.

(3) "Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,
And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn

A woman of that era to say that she would smash her own child’s brains out, no matter the context, would go against all that they are suppose to be. She is masculinizing herself by saying that. (Also, I know that quote is used by to some suggest that she, in fact, did have kids at one time or another).

This is what I have found so far. Anything that you can offer would be greatly appreciated, and I will cite you for anything that you offer or helpful quotes, as a primamry source. I don't steal ideas.

Thanks for your help.
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