Define the concept of ''manhood,'' according to Malcolm, Macduff, and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Lady Macbeth defines the concept of manhood and masculinity by being bold, hostile, and violent. When Lady Macbeth initially receives her husband's letter regarding the witches' presumably favorable prophecies, she calls upon evil spirits to "unsex" her and take her "milk for gall." In her soliloquy, Lady Macbeth reveals her perspective on the female gender and feels that she must shed her gentle nature in order to be callous and cruel like a man. In act 1, scene 7, Macbeth tells his wife that he has reservations about assassinating King Duncan, and Lady Macbeth once again comments on gender roles by telling her husband,

When you durst do it, then you were a man; And to be more than what you were, you would Be so much more the man. (Shakespeare, 1.7.50–51)

Lady Macbeth's comments support her belief that manhood implies acting resolute, violent, and bold.

In act 4, scene 3, Macduff receives the terrible news that his entire family has been slaughtered by Macbeth's assassins. Malcolm encourages...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 913 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on