In Act 1, Scene 2, the importance of honor emerges as a theme. Macbeth is hailed as a noble warrior, and Duncan bestows an additional title of honor on him: Thane of Cawdor. The current Thane of Cawdor has proven to be a traitor and will be executed. Disloyalty is not tolerated and the king values men who stand loyal to the crown. This theme will ironically run through the play as Duncan has been greatly mistaken to trust Macbeth's sense of honor and loyalty.
In Act 1, Scene 5 and again in Scene 7, another theme emerges: the stereotypical influences of gender roles. After reading Macbeth's letter in Scene 5, Lady Macbeth begs for the power to overcome her traditionally weaker femininity:
Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty. (I.v.45-48)
Lady Macbeth wishes to be "unsexed," or to have her femininity removed from her so that she can instead be filled with cruelty. She goes on to beg that feelings of regret be...
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