Gendered reading of macbeth
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Gendered reading of Macbeth. By Robyn McCoy. P.S everyone, sorry if I sound a bit croaky, I was struggling with a sore and scratchy throat haha enjoy . Definitions .

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Gendered reading of Macbeth

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Gendered reading of macbeth

Gendered reading of Macbeth

By Robyn McCoy

P.S everyone, sorry if I sound a bit croaky, I was struggling with a sore and scratchy throat haha enjoy 



  • Gender: A term of social classification that refers to the sexual difference and the roles, identities and practices that are related to sex differences in culture.

  • Gendered Reading: In literature, gendered readings focus on the representations of femininity and masculinity in texts-how they are produced and why, and what effects they may have.

List of traits

List of Traits


  • Submissive

  • Dependent

  • Unintelligent and Incapable

  • Emotional

  • Receptive

  • Intuitive

  • Weak

  • Content

  • Passive

  • Cooperative

  • Sensitive

  • Attractive because of physical appearance


  • Dominant

  • Independent

  • Intelligent and competent

  • Analytical and Logical

  • Rational

  • Brave

  • Strong

  • Ambitious

  • Competitive

  • Strong

  • Assertive

  • Attractive because of achievements



  • Cicero states "a man's chief quality is courage."

  • the Hebrew Bible states King David of Israel told his son "Be strong, and be a man" upon David's death.

  • “To be a man you have to be brave, cruel and strong”

  • Ideas of masculinity seen in myths about Gods and Heros:

  • -Ancient Greece Mythology- Zeus

  • - Roman Mythology- Mars, Saturn

  • - Norse Mythology- Odin, Thor

  • - Ancient Egyptian Mythology- Ra,



  • Macbeth is praised for his work in battle in Act 1, Scene 2

  • Is made Thane of Cawdor because of his “personal venture”, admired for being afraid of nothing and his multiple killings.

  • Ideas of valor and honor

  • Protagonist

  • Relationship between



Lady macbeth

Lady Macbeth

  • The character of Lady Macbeth helps establish and emphasize masculine characteristics

  • She criticizes him for being weak and cowardly when he does not go through with the murder

  • She seems to be the driving force for Macbeth’s plans and uses manipulation to get him to do what she wants

  • In this way lady Macbeth and Macbeth subvert gender role expectations



  • His love and care for his family is evident, which contrasts to Macbeth who does not seem to care when his wife dies

  • Seems to embody Shakespeare’s idea of what a man should be-strong, but also able to show emotion

  • When he learns of his family’s death, he is told to “dispute it like a man.” and he replies, “I shall do so, / But I must also feel it as a man”

Affected response

Affected Response

  • Sophisticated and unique for its time

  • Makes us question ideas on femininity and masculinity in current life and how they shape our actions, thoughts and expectations

  • Explores the idea of men expressing an emotional side and how this does not make them weak but only enhances “masculinity”, which I believe is an idea seen more commonly today

Why this information is useful

Why This Information Is Useful

  • Can be used in exam questions involving;

  • -discourses and readings

  • -character construction

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