Masculinity in Macbeth

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In all aspects of nature, being the male, particularly the dominant male, requires diligent work and holds much respect. To become the alpha in a pack of wolves, they fight or show other aggressive behavior to prove dominance. To be the bird that gets to mate and pass on its genetic material, the male must have the flashiest feathers or the best nest. All males of the animal kingdom need to possess certain qualities in order to be deemed alpha, including humans. In some cultures, boys have to go through rituals and ceremonies to become men. In the end the results are the same, praise and honor for the boys who become men, and shame for those who cannot meet the standards. In an idealized society, all boys become men who are strong, resolute, and courageous. The play, Macbeth, showcases many great examples of what it takes to be masculine. From the very beginning of the play there are allusions to what he ideal man is supposed to be like. In the first scene, Macbeth is characterized as the quintessential man. He is strong and courageous and battle, a characteristic that is seen by many to be ideal. He fights for his country and the love of his king. “For brave Macbeth—well he deserves that name—/ Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel/ Which smoked with bloody execution/ Like valor’s minion carved out his passage” (I, i, 16-19). The captain is retelling all the heroic details of how Macbeth defeated Macdonwald and his rebels. Here Macbeth is everything that an honorable man should be. Everyone that is in the room listening to the captain recall all of Macbeth’s heroic deeds is in awe of how great of a man Macbeth is. His valor and strength he showed in battle is what earned him his new title of thane of Cawdor and what lead to everyone respecting him so much in the beginning. Courage and strength as ideal masculine characteristics are also exemplified in

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