What Is the Role of Women Is Macbeth?

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The role of females within Macbeth is of pivotal importance; the role of female characters – both witches and Lady Macbeth serve as a threat to the established social order as well as providing the play with some of its most darkly dramatic scenes and evocative language.
The witches imbue the play with a sense of the supernatural which, for a Jacobean audience steeped in the traditions of dark magic, which would have created a great sense of terror. When Shakespeare combines their apparent powers with malevolent intention, the threat to the social order is augmented.
The prophetic speech of the three witches carry with it some significance; revealing Macbeth’s latent lust for power and consequently, in his role as tragic hero, his harmartia: Macbeth’s belief in the witches ultimately leads to his committal of regicide and a gruesome string of murders thereafter, Macbeth’s actions confirm the witches’ final prophecy which appears to confirm their supernatural omniscience.
Despite their underlying pressure throughout the play, the language that the witches use with each other is some of Shakespeare’s most dramatically engaging and disturbing. The line with which they close the opening scene: ‘Fair is foul and foul is fair, hiver though the fog and the filthy air’, indicates his play with the natural order. The imbalance of what is sane in the world. As indicated through the inversion in gender as seen in Lady Macbeth, or sanity, in Macbeth himself.
Patriarchal society encourages Lady Macbeth to invest herself in the role of mother. Lady Macbeth is seen as selfish and abnormal when she confesses that there is a situation in which she would ‘dash her child’s brains out’, a very unnatural statement according to patriarchy’s belief that women’s desire to have and protect children is a part of “their natural biological makeup” (Tyson 97). Though intelligent and
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