Gender Roles in Macbeth and What It Means to Be a Man | Owlcation
Get an answer for 'An important theme in Macbeth is the relation between gender and power. How does the writer subvert his characters' perception of gender. Macbeth: Gender and Power Masculinity is a huge part of this play. was a man and now if he were to go through with the plan, he'd be even more of a man. An important theme in Macbeth is the relationship between gender and power, particularly Shakespeare's exploration of the values that make up the idea of.
What kind of authority? How does she do that? What would support your assertion? Since Macbeth murders Duncan as suggested by Lady Macbeth and the witches, do you think that the feminine power is inherently poisonous? If it is, explain how. What does her behavior suggest? What does it tell you about the extent of feminine power? Is she feminine or masculine? What part or parts of the monologue support the idea of the feminine or the idea of the masculine? Students also have to analyze whether misogyny contributes or creates the idea of the evil woman and if it does, they have to revisit what are the underlining ideas or concepts and how they have developed or have not.
Students may want to analyze why, aside from the witches, Shakespeare created only two female characters, Lady Macbeth and Lady Macduff, in the entire tragedy. Students first discuss in groups and then write a paper with their detailed analysis. Some of the most relevant scenes that the teacher would suggest are the following: Students need to revisit these concepts so they can better understand and discuss how Macbeth perceives the concept of masculinity.
To begin with, students will analyze act 1, scene 4, lines where Macbeth has just learned that Duncan has appointed his son Malcolm Prince of Cumberland. What does Macbeth fear? Is it fear or the troublesome thought to become king suggested by the witches?
Is this a sign of femininity? If it is, why?
What does patriarchy expect from a man? What is the patriarchal concept of manliness? How does Macbeth conform or does not conform to the patriarchal idea of masculinity? What is the idea of the masculine hero? What is different in Macbeth and why?
Does fear diminish power? What does he have to do to become a true man? Does being a man mean being revengeful? Is revenge a necessary attribute to manliness? What does it mean to be a real man?
What is a masculine reaction to death? What is the feminine reaction or response to death? How does Shakespeare represent masculinity in this tragedy?
Does Shakespeare try to challenge the patriarchal concept? If he does, how does he challenge the societal expectations for masculinity? If he does not, explain why and how. Ross seems to convey the idea that masculinity means power, and courage even to die without ever showing any sign of weakness or fear. Before concluding this part, students will analyze act 5, scene 8, lines Does this technicality Caesarian birth have symbolic value, or was Macbeth deluded into thinking it has?
They can also study misogyny, causes and effects. Sophomore and Junior Students This group of students is quite different from the AP students and it includes students who have special needs, have difficulty with reading comprehension, and have weak motivation. Gender is also a topic that can raise conflicting positions because some students tend to be very literal and identify the societal construct of gender with biological gender.
Some also have no notion of the related differences and implications, and other students may be biased against a liberal construction of gender identity. Pedagogically, the teacher has to lead students to reading comprehension and critical thinking through visuals, appropriate pre-reading activities, and a series of simple, deductive questions8.
This strategy will give students the opportunity to share their initial understanding in a free and safe environment, but it will also help them understand the differences between gender and biological sex and overcome their original bias. Students begin the unit with a class discussion of the unit theme: They will also be prompted to think and write what they expect from a man and from a woman.
They can be prompted to consider what colors, clothes, and shoes a man and a woman should feel free to choose, but they also have to explain the reasons of their choices. Students can also consider what jobs are or are not appropriate and the reasons for these categorizations. This activity will generate interest but it will also help all students reflect on gender as societal construct.
Before concluding this initial activity, students will have to look up the definition of gender and sex. If possible, the teacher can suggest to search the OED website, so that students can also see if the meaning of the two words has changed in the course of the time or has never changed. The teacher will then ask them to answer the following questions: What are the societal expectations for a man?
What are the societal expectations for a woman? Can you suggest the reason or reasons for these societal expectations? Do these societal expectations for gender reflect your vision of masculinity and femininity? Students will then work in groups and prepare five to eight questions for an interview on how gender and sex are interpreted.
The students may use the questions modeled in class.
The Relationship between Gender and Power in Macbeth by Christy Ferrens on Prezi
They have to interview a peer, an adult, and a teacher. In class, they will share the responses, discuss, and write a brief reflection. This activity will teach students how to phrase open-ended questions but it will also give them the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of interpretation of the thematic idea before drawing their own conclusion of what gender means.
This group, in particular, tends to be very literal in their understanding of subtle concepts and they need all these supporting activities9. After this initial activity, the students will read the tragedy of Macbeth.
Since the students in this group have different learning levels and skills, the teacher might choose to use different texts to maintain the interest and motivation in every one.
Some can use a simplified English version or a graphic rendition of the text students can use an unabridged one or a simplified version — the simplified text is appropriate for struggling readers. When students know the plot, the teacher will begin analyzing some specific scenes.
Students will analyze and discuss the gender identity of the witches, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and Malcolm. They will also discuss how gender identity may or may not influence Macbeth in his decisions.
Gender and power in Macbeth?
These three scenes can be discussed separately or together to determine what the three witches attempt to teach Macbeth, what he needs to learn or fails to learn. The teacher will reread the specific scenes in class before prompting them with the following questions depending on the specific learning needs of this group the teacher will lead the conversation with simple to more complex questions: Who are the witches?
What are your initial thoughts? Are these human beings? If they are, what makes them human? If they are not, what do they represent? What do you think their gender is? According to our previous discussion of gender and how society views gender, what do the witches represent? What knowledge do the witches share with Macbeth? Does it make a difference? Does Macbeth need to learn anything? If he needs knowledge or emotional strength, does this need identify him as less masculine?
The students will also discuss whether knowledge gives power to Macbeth and if it does, they will discuss whether power means being masculine. Before concluding the analysis of this scene, the teacher will ask students to research what sixteenth century witches represented and how society viewed them. They have to research all possible practices connected to witchcraft like the voodoo practices. When they conclude their research, the students might create a more modern interpretation of the encounter between the witches and Macbeth.
They will be urged to start by choosing what the witches represent.
Do they represent power, or evil, or knowledge? Also, who might be a modern Macbeth? Students conclude this scene with two or more pages of refections in response to this prompt: We have read, researched, and discussed the role and gender of the witches.
You have also written your modern version of this scene and we have also discussed at the beginning of the unit about the societal expectations for a man and for a woman. Reread all your notes, Act 1, Scene 1, Act 1, scene 3, and Act 3, Scene 5, and the responses of the person you have interviewed. Also, consider why Shakespeare has introduced the witches.
What did he want to prove or say about masculinity and femininity? What gender has more power over the other one? Does Shakespeare challenge the patriarchal concepts of gender? If he does, explain why and how. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth Due to the particular composition of this group of students, the approach to the analysis of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is completely different in order to maintain interest and motivation.
In class the teacher will divide students in groups. Each group will use the written text struggling students use the simplified text and the illustrated one. The teacher will first select some scenes from various acts and the students have to choose the one they want to focus on: The idea to give them choice is very important to maintain interest and motivation and it is strongly recommended by pedagogy At this point, the teacher will ask them to take into consideration the meaning of gender as societal construct and find modern characters for the Shakespearean Macbeth and Lady Macbeth— Macbeth can be a present leader, even a political leader and his wife, but they can also choose a very simple couple; age is not important as well as education or financial status.Free Will, Witches, Murder, and Macbeth (Part 1): Crash Course Literature #409
The students will create four scenes: A dialogue between wife and husband about a promotion he has just received. A dialogue always between wife and husband in which she expects and fantasizes about an even higher promotion for her husband.
The husband monologue s in which he expresses his fears, hesitation, and insecurity. In the same monologue sthe husband conveys his deep ambition for more success. A dialogue between husband and wife in which she mocks him for his fears and indecision and pushes him to do something that makes him very uncomfortable. A great theme of the play is ambition, and it is what spurs on practically everything that takes place.
Macbeth- The relationship between Gender and Power by Luke Castle on Prezi
Of course, the ambition is overzealous and fueled by greed, but nonetheless, it is what Shakespeare uses to examine gender roles in Macbeth. From the moment the Witches tell Macbeth that he is to be King, he cannot shake the idea from his head. In uttering these words, Lady Macbeth accuses her husband of taking the feminine quality of holding milk.
Even though they are quite powerful already in society, the Macbeths believe they are still somehow inadequate. Their marriage itself is an obvious indication of this as neither seems content with the qualities of the other. Lady Macbeth especially chastises her husband for her wants in him.
Although Macbeth intends his words to assert that he represents the epitome of manhood, his wife takes them as more of a confession that he is no man at all. She proceeds to deliver her perverted and haunting idea of what it means to be a man.
It is a practically unbelievable thing for any woman to say, but goes to show how Lady Macbeth has removed herself from her femininity which she obviously believed was holding her back. As a man, she believes she could commit any act of horror to get what she wants.
Still, she relies on Macbeth to commit the deed itself, for even with all her newfound might, there is some sensitivity in her that she cannot seem to shake. This line shows how Lady Macbeth may have once been at peace with gender identity, but since her father left, she may have lost her assuredness in the idea.
The brutal phrases Shakespeare crafts for her before this line indicate the violence between the sexes that Lady Macbeth now feels is necessary. Experience their twisted psyches with this scene from the famous Royal Shakespeare Company's "Macbeth War Within A Marriage There is a tremendous battle taking place over the idea of masculinity at this point in the play, and a great fortune is at stake.
The problem is that the battle is taking place between a husband and wife as they vie for dominance in their marriage. Their relationship should be about balance, but neither is satisfied with the way things are because they lack the knowledge to appreciate what they have. They do not understand that the battle they wage is futile because they both hold warped senses of gender identity. Both characters want the title of King as evidenced by their actions, but neither is capable of reaching that point on their own.
Nothing good can come from them. Someone more assured of his purpose must intrude. They are the noble characters of the play who Shakespeare grants good fortune to in different ways. Banquo is murdered, but his name lives on in nobility with his legend and his son. This line serves somewhat as an indictment of the Macbeths for believing that sensitivity is unbecoming of a man. Macduff is obviously a powerful character, yet he does not lack feelings.