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Gender Inversion as Theme in "Macbeth"?Is theme of inversion of gender roles in...

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aicha-91 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 15, 2008 at 1:03 PM via web

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Gender Inversion as Theme in "Macbeth"?

Is theme of inversion of gender roles in macbeth as much as is connected to the break down of the natural order?

Describe the theme of inversion of gender roles in "Macbeth," and its connection to the breakdown of the natural order of things.

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purplepenguin | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted November 25, 2008 at 9:17 AM (Answer #2)

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Reversal of gender roles appears often in Shakespeare's plays. In "Macbeth," it is more subtle. The natural order of Macbeth ascending the throne and continuing to rule begins to break down as Macbeth himself begins to break down. The weaker Macbeth becomes, the stronger his wife, Lady Macbeth, bolsters him. While Macbeth suffers from the guilt of the murders he has committed, Lady Macbeth appears to have no conscience at all. Macbeth continues to place his confidence in the witches prophesy rather than reality and continues to murder to retain the throne of Scotland. The natural order of ascension to the throne is broken as Macbeth continues to murder and is only brought back to normal by McDuff defeating Macbeth in battle and Malcolm becoming king.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 23, 2012 at 2:50 AM (Answer #3)

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Lady Macbeth is definitely the one who pulls the strings, and she does ask to be unsexed so she can have the power.  However, in some ways she is a stereotypical woman.  She does not think ahead, she cares what other people think, and she needs her husband to get ahead.

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