Use of Female Characters in Macbeth

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In the play Macbeth, William Shakespeare emerges his audience in a world full of betrayal, witchcraft, and the schemes of men. Macbeth is dominated by male characters of all types from tragic heroes to drunkards and everything in between. Though Macbeth is a play written about a man’s world; it is how Shakespeare chooses to portray the women in his play that really shapes the story. Shakespeare chooses to depict characters of the female gender in a negative way throughout the story. He uses them as symbols of negativity by making the female characters in Macbeth highly influential and victims of circumstance. The first type of women Shakespeare chooses to portray in Macbeth is women of a highly influential nature. Though characters such as the three Witches and Lady Macbeth he shows his audience that women can also be full of spite and bitter ambition the following quotes demonstrate this: “He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear His hopes above wisdom, grace, and fear. And you all know security Is mortals’ chiefest enemy.” (3.5.30) Is said by Hecate the Queen of the Witches in regards to filling Macbeth with overconfidence to bring him down. These lines are preceded by a soliloquy of her scolding the other witches for not including her in the downfall of Macbeth. Lady Macbeth says to her husband “But screw your courage to the sticking- place/And we’ll not fail” (1.7.66) by this she means if he can pull himself together and think with her cunning he will be able to murder the King. The Witches tell Macbeth prophecies in an attempt to very publically destroy him. Lady Macbeth lets these prophecies take root too deeply inside of her ultimately leading to her convincing her husband to command the murders of the innocent and also causing her to take her own life. Lady Macbeths bold ambition is used against her because in the era of Macbeth women’s

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