Gender Roles In Macbeth

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The history of our civilization has equated masculine traits to the qualities we look for in a good leader. Since men have held most leadership positions until recently, the values we have been looking for have historically been masculine in nature. Now that more and more women are coming into leadership positions, it is only natural to ask why. Would the world be a less violent place if women held the majority of leadership positions? Does a woman in a leadership position have to embody masculine characteristics or simply those of a good leader? In Macbeth, Shakespeare explores and challenges our ideas of traditional gender roles regarding leadership, power, and masculinity. Shakespeare readily identifies some of the stereotypical values that he finds represent masculinity. I think he leaves the question of what masculinity truly is open for the audience to decide.

In the beginning of the play, Macbeth is shown to be brave, courageous, honorable, strong-willed, and in control. Macbeth looses these strongly masculine characteristics when he realizes that the witches and t

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