Shakespeare's Macbeth - Shakespeare as both a feminist supporter & oppressor

Essay by omniromHigh School, 10th gradeA+, September 2004

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Throughout history, there have been several instances in which a woman's splendor and wit have corrupted man in order to do their own bidding. Even from the dawn of man, women has manipulated her male counterpart, as shown by the story of Adam and Eve. In the Garden of Eden, there was a forbidden tree in which nobody was supposed to pick the fruit from. Despite the fact that there were a multitude of other trees which were just as satisfying, Eve felt a temptation to pick this one tree's fruit to eat. After eating the forbidden fruit, she enticed Adam to eat the fruit, who reluctantly did so in order to please his companion. With this horrible act, mankind was cursed to a life of suffering and sin, as opposed to a world of happiness and bliss. It was Eve, a woman, who corrupted Adam into eating the forbidden fruit and dooming all of mankind.

However, what would have happened if Adam would have resisted Eve's temptations? Would the world today be completely rid of the sin the Eve has brought upon us? Despite this, all of the blame cannot be placed on Eve alone, for although she was the one who tempted Adam, it was also Adam who was too weak to resist this enticement. Shakespeare's tragic play, Macbeth, thus intriguingly explores these aspects of our lives, for throughout his work, he seems to express typical feminine stereotypes and how they can corrupt men.

William Shakespeare lived in a time in which women's rights had not yet been thoroughly introduced. Consequently, his texts are full of such feminine stereotypes as them being weak, submissive, and soft. However, couldn't it be possible that William Shakespeare, by acknowledging these stereotypes, was actually expressing their falsehood? For example, in his most...