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Masculinity in Macbeth

            Shakespeare's play Macbeth follows the story of a man who struggles to acquire and remain in power in Scotland. The play begins with the character Macbeth, who hears a prophecy from the three witches, the weird sisters, who told him he was destined to become King. It is the events that follow, that all of his troubles emerge, beginning with the murder of the beloved King Duncan, countless deaths of other characters, and ending with the ultimate destruction of Macbeth. Macbeth is driven to achieve an abundant amount of power, an obsession that transforms the honorable man he once was. In Macbeth, Shakespeare shows that Macbeth ultimately fulfills stereotypes of masculinity. Macbeth further yields to these stereotypes through his demonstration of an unbridled ambition, his eagerness in needing to prove his toughness, as well as his violent nature that is evident throughout much of the play. .
             Throughout William Shakespeare's tragic drama Macbeth, Macbeth's unbridled ambition fulfills the stereotype of masculinity. During one soliloquy by Macbeth, he is contemplating whether to follow through with murdering King Duncan he thinks to himself and says, "I have no spur/ To prick the sides of my intent, but only/ Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself/ And falls on th' other." (I, VII, 25-28) Here Macbeth says that he has "no spur", or real provocation for killing Duncan, other than his "vaulting ambition" which serves to feed his hunger for power and superiority. This theme of unbridled ambition, fueled by selfishness, emerges again when Macbeth numbly confronts the success of the two murderers he sent to kill Banquo, "Tis better thee without than he within" (III, iv, 16) In this scene, Macbeth describes the blood of Banquo and the fact that it is vital that his blood is not inside of him flowing through his veins, but rather "without".

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