Hanna de Villa Ms. Jackson ENG 3U1 - 11 16 May 2008 The Source of All Evil in Macbeth: Women Macbeth is a play full of betrayal, deceit and murder. Generally, men carry out these actions but instead women stir the cauldron of trouble. From the witches’ prophecies that spark Macbeth’s murder, Lady Macbeth’s domineering presence and the exploitation she uses on her husband are the inevitable roots of catastrophe and evil in the play. They do not show any aggression and violence but relies on deception, manipulation and supernatural phenomenon. The Witches and Hecate portray the image and eminence of evil in Macbeth.
Despite being written during patriarchal Jacobean society, the protagonist is a female, which is was highly unusual in those days. Of course this protagonist is Lady Macbeth. Throughout the play, through Lady Macbeth's actions we are forced to believe that she is evil. In contrast, the novel John Steinbeck tells a story of dreams, hopes and loneliness. We are introduced to a majorly significant and complex character, named Curley’s wife.
Although she is a ‘woman’, she is considered one of the many infamous murderers and remember her insatiable appetite for power, even at the cost of human life. Not only does modern society show women who behave against these stereotypes, but so do women of all ages. Take for example Shakespeare’s play ‘Macbeth’, and the powerplay between the characters of the Three Witches and Macbeth. The Three Witches are more strong and provoking in character as they tend to dominate power over Macbeth. The Three Witches recklessly deal with their supernatural charms, spells and prophecies which make them seem ridiculous.
Lady Macbeth understands that in order to committ murder they both must remove all sense of humanity. This shows that she has a major influence on Macbeth and his change in character. Within the time of the Elizabethan era, witches were believed to be real and in fact very powerful. For this reason, the witches prophecies could be seen as an important influence on Macbeth and his desire to murder. When Macbeth meets with the witches they tell him two things - 1.
She has the ability to build up a climax into a higher level and then to defuse it by ending an act – turning it into an anti-climax. Moments of high tension include the initial accusations of witches, and John Proctors attempt to undermine Abigail. This could suggest that Abigail Williams is only part of the play to relieve or exacerbate problems occurring in the play, demoting her from the category of being the most important character in, “The
Macbeth by William Shakespeare is a dramatic play written to reinforce these patriarchal ideologies in question. The representation of characters Lady Macbeth, Macbeth and the Three Witches deviating traditional ideologies and creating turmoil and disorder within society help to support the dominant patriarchal ideologies within the Great Chain of Being. Shakespeare constructs the Three Witches as defiant and disloyal to contextual gender ideologies of the time to emphasise the immorality of transgressing into masculinity. When we are first introduced to the weird sisters in Act 1 Scene 3 Banquo comments on one of their defining features; “you should be women, but your beards forbid me from interpreting that you are so”. In this we are clearly shown that the weird sisters possess traits of masculinity.
The weather conditions when they meet can all be linked with the theme of chaos and disorder, which foreshadows their role within the play as it is their predictions which awaken the seeds of ambition within Macbeth. The fact that they cannot be trusted is also implied in this first scene as their speech is full of antithesis and this foreshadows the equivocation they use to confuse Macbeth and fill him with a false sense of security, “When the battles lost and won” “Fair is foul, and foul is fair;” When we next meet the witches, the setting is again chilling in that they meet in thunder. Again, the supernatural powers that the witches have are highlighted as they wreak their revenge on a sailor, whose wife refused to give one of them chestnuts. Their power to control the experiences of the poor sailor is established and they explicitly discuss their ability to
The witches are possibly linked as the “charms” seem to influence Macbeth and he begins to echo “foul and fair”. Whenever Macbeth seems at his most inhumane he uses rhyming couplets for example, “knell that summons…to heaven…hell” is used before killing Duncan in act 2 and “fight…heaven…find it out to-night” before killing Banquo in act 3.
The author demonstrates his opinions and concepts of the Jacobean times through the difficulties in which Lady Macbeth and Macbeth endure. Lady Macbeth’s input is very significant as her manipulative nature drives Macbeths actions in the play of the Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is a strong, ambitious woman who implants a temptation in Macbeth’s head for him to carry it through. Shakespeare contrasts the relationship of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to the traditional male dominate partner of the 11th centaury. Lady Macbeth questions the meaning of manhood, as she believes masculinity is measured in committing murder rather than being noble.
The opening scene usually serves the purpose of an exposition and truly, what Coleridge pointed out, strikes a spiritual key-note. Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” is a tragedy of the triumph of evil: we are in a world of moral anarchy, symbolized by the withered beings, to whom "foul is fair ". In a drama, the first impressions is the last impression, and Shakespeare contrives to put the spectator in the right mood at once. The first scene, other than being expositional, establishes a mood or an atmosphere for the action of the play. The hostile weather featuring ‘fog and filthy air’ and the loathsome witches chanting the key-note create a world of darkness and foulness in which are found the echoes of the sinister designs of Macbeth and his wife to be seen later.