In the play Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare gender roles and ambition play a vital role in the characters’ lives. The play is a tragedy about Macbeth, a hero with severe flaws whose ambition and paranoia leads to complete destruction in his character. More powerful than Macbeth is Lady Macbeth whose ambition is far greater than Macbeth’s. She plays a pivotal role in his life and influencing him to make decisions unheard of from women of her time. Lady Macbeth is a prime example of breaking gender stereotype and having the ambition to achieve her goals at any cost.
In a way, she is stronger than all the male characters which correlate with Sheikh Hasina because she is the most powerful person in her country. Sheikh Hasina has been prime minister of Bangladesh for the past decade and has been named one of the most powerful women in the world. Both Sheikh Hasina and Lady Macbeth has broken gender stereotypes of women’s role by being more powerful than those around them and reflected their ambition through their journey of keeping that power. Lady Macbeth has proven that women can be more powerful than men by influencing others around her, specifically Macbeth to share her beliefs. In addition, she has also shown her ambition to be Queen of Scotland and desire to stay in power. Lady Macbeth is the focal point of the exploration of gender roles in Macbeth.
Her difference in attitude from women of her time is first shown when she wishes to be a man.In her most famous speech, she cries “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!”(Shakespeare I.v.30-38). Lady Macbeth indicates her craving to lose her feminine qualities and gain masculine characteristics. Her “feminine” qualities get in the way of her desires, therefore she wishes to be born as a man so that she can become powerful and control those around her. She is like the Palm of the Christ, as she appears to be the picture perfect innocent woman yet in reality posses poisonous qualities.
Feminine qualities signify innocence, yet she breaks that traditional gender role by wanting to be dangerous and filled with cruel thoughts. Lady Macbeth’s attributes blur the lines of gender roles and showcase what it truly means to be a strong woman. This interruption of gender roles is likewise exhibited through Lady Macbeth’s usurpation of the prevailing job in the Macbeth’s marriage; on numerous events, she governs her better half and manages his activities“You should project a peaceful mood, because if you look troubled, you will arouse suspicion. Leave all the rest to me.” (Shakespeare I.v 63-65) .This scene showcases Lady Macbeth’s manipulation skills toward her husband. She often influences him to do the unthinkable.
It is a common custom that women were not prone to violence nor did they ever talk about it. As Lady Macbeth propels Macbeth toward killing Duncan, she demonstrates that she possesses “masculine” attributes. Furthermore, by influencing Macbeth’s decision, there is a reverse role played in a traditional marital relationship. Not only does she break gender stereotype, but she also has an extreme desire to obtain the crown and remain in power. Her aspiration to acquire the crown can be seen when she reprimands Macbeth for being excessively kind. “Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be What thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way.
Thou wouldst be great, Art not without ambition, but without The illness should attend it”. (Shakespeare I.v.15-20) Lady Macbeth’s assurance to succeed is clear here. She is unyielding that Macbeth will move toward becoming King (‘shalt be what thou art promised’) However, she perceives that he is ‘too full o’th milk of human kindness’ and this could be a vital obstacle. It is intriguing that she portrays the fundamental merciless streak as an ‘illness’. This proposes even at this stage she realizes what she is doing is wrong.
Lady Macbeth is impressively more ambitious and merciless than her husband. At the point when an opportunity to obtain power presents itself, she has a course of action already arranged. She uses her effect to influence Macbeth that they are making the right course of action and even shares in the bad behavior herself. Furthermore, she encourages Macbeth to murder Duncan and prompts him on the best way to carry on the plan so that they don’t get caught.“Your face, my Thane, is as a book where men May read strange matters. To beguile the time, Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye, Your hand, your tongue; look like th’ innocent flower, But be the serpent under’t.” (Shakespeare I.V.73-78).
Lady Macbeth is much more determined than her better half. She can only be Queen if he moves toward becoming King so when he falters she shows enough ambition for them both. When she has worked out an arrangement, nothing will divert her from that course until her desire is fulfilled. To the outside world, Lady Macbeth appears as though the perfect innocent wife yet this is a piece of her capacity to be beguiling. At the point when Macbeth conveys doubts, she utilizes each trap she can consider to ensure he completes their arrangement to kill Duncan. When he dithers, she is there to prompt Macbeth on. Her ambition to become powerful never falters and she achieves her goals no matter the cost.
Sheikh Hasina has broken pivotal gender roles by becoming prime minister of a Muslim majority country and having significant control of her party. In societal norms, it is uncommon for a woman to be a leader, especially of a country. Usually, Islamic societies tend to be more traditional when it comes to gender roles. By becoming Prime Minister of a country that is 98% Muslim, she has proven a woman can be powerful anywhere. The Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina is indeed an exception.“ Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed, who headed the country in the late 1900s and came back to power in 2009 and has been prime minister ever since.”( Bast 1)
She has proven that head of state positions don’t only belong to men. She has overcome the problems that women face in politics by becoming a prominent figure in her country, thus breaking the traditional role of women belonging in the house. Her leadership abilities have secured her position and keep getting her re-elected.The notion that women are incapable of the ruling has been defeated. Furthermore, she has become a symbol of women’s empowerment as her ascent to the chair has opened doors for many women and provided opportunities for women in all sectors in Bangladesh. She has vocally expressed her desire to give women more opportunities.“It was my idea, and during my last tenure, I made sure that in each and every sector women should get the opportunity.”( Bast 2)
She is well aware of the fact that when you lift women up, you lift communities up. Her encouragement and inspiration have made Bangladesh a very secular country when it comes to gender equality. This contributes to the empowerment of women to take on leadership positions. She is paving a path for future generations. The heinous acts that are performed against women are looked down upon and Bangladeshi women seek education and are very career oriented.Women are receiving education free of cost in public institution and they are provided with easy access to jobs.
Currently, there are millions of women employed in all sectors of Bangladesh’s industry and they contribute greatly to the economy. Hasina has made this possible as Bangladeshi woman make history by holding high official positions. Not only is she an inspiration for women in Bangladesh but she is also a very good leader.“Hasina is seen as a leader with compassion and a strong prime minister.” ( Same 1) She has significantly improved the economy of the country. Bangladesh is slowly taking over as the leading consumer produced nondurable goods sector.
She has received praise for heading the country in the right direction. Bangladesh is a young country that has a long journey ahead to become industrialized. With Hasina’s leadership, the country is expected to head in the right direction. Not only is she headstrong but she is also kind which makes her exceptional. She has received international praise for handling the Rohingya refugee crisis.“ So overwhelmed are the Rohingya refugees that they are viewing Hasina as a hero.” ( Same 1) Her true nature has shown as she was incredibly compassionate with allowing them in. Her “feminine” qualities can be seen here as selflessly helps those in need. “Hasina has shown that she has a tight grip on her security forces and is effectively using her Army to oversee refugee relief work.” ( Same 1)
To head an army by a woman would have never been thought of decades ago, yet here she is leading one. She has strong control of her parliament and more importantly the military thus breaking the notion that women can’t give orders or control an army. She has broken traditional gender roles by leading a country. Not only can men rule properly, but so can a woman. She has proven that woman can have control yet be kind thus leading a nation towards greatness. Sheik Hasina has appeared outrageous desire to acquire the post of Prime Minister and remain in power after her entire family was killed and she was in a state of banishment. Hasina’s way of getting to be head administrator has not been easy.“Hasina, the daughter of Bangladesh’s founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is termed by many as the country’s iron lady.” ( Sheikh 1)
She has observed weakly as her family got ruthlessly killed as a youthful kid. Many believe she has a vendetta and the motivation behind why she looked to be pioneer was to get retribution on those that did her father wrong. She has a tight grip in all sectors of Bangladesh’s government and does everything in her power to hold that control in her hand tightly.She has done everything in her power to get to the top of the pillar and despite her obstacles, she did reach the top. “She has won the 11th parliamentary elections with a landslide victory.”( Sheikh 1)
She has continuously ruled for years without the want to let her power go. Her desire to maintain that has made her paranoid in one way or another. She has sent many of her father’s ex-allies to jail and in some cases has killed many. Her return home from banishment was a sight to be seen. “On May 17 in 1981, she returned home after a long exile.”(Sheikh 1) Her arrival home was unbelievably noteworthy as she knows could achieve her objective to take control and do her family right. Her ambition has never faltered and she has been determined to gain control of Bangladesh.
Her prime motivation has never left her side. By keeping her family’s brutal murder in mind, she has prompted ways to become Prime Minister. “Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with his family members were brutally killed on August 15, 1975. Luckily, his daughters, Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana, were in Germany then, and thus became survivors.”(Sheikh 1) One of her most noteworthy driving focuses has made her the most influential lady in Bangladesh. She has accomplished the unattainable and will remain determined to keep that control. Women have come a long way from Shakespearean time.
Today, women are allowed to be involved in the political and economic aspects of societies.Our society still has a long way to go to break systemic barriers against women and to achieve equality in developing countries. However, women have made exceptional progress in obtaining equal opportunities with men. By defining gender roles, women have been able to achieve basic humans rights that everyone should be born with. It was their ambition to gain that freedom that has paved the way for generations to come. It is an ambition that will lead to more progress and societal balance in the future. By uplifting women and giving them equal opportunities, society has been able to prosper like never before in the history of humankind.