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The Theme of Masculinity in Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth

The Theme of Masculinity in Macbeth

In Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth‚ the theme of masculinity is explored. As Macbeth matures‚ there are times when his masculinity is put to the test, mostly after the murder of Duncan. There are four main themes in which masculinity is presented in the play.

It was once considered that the more bloodthirsty and violent you were, the more manly you would be considered. Patriotism was regarded as a very masculine pathway and to die in battle for your cause, or better, for your country was in some ways a great act of heroism and a honourable way to die‚. This is one of the main themes of masculinity explored in Macbeth and can be illustrated by the simple quote of the man who will soon cold-bloodedly kill Banquo. The question put forth by Macbeth is whether the murderer will try and be a good Christian. He believes that to kill another man will make him more of a man and replies,

We are men, my liege.‚

We can see patriotism active in the play when Siward seems unmoved by the news of the death of his son brought to him by Ross. Pleased in the knowledge that his son died an honourable man, fighting for his cause, he is happy because, knowing that his sons wounds were on his chest, he knows his son was not killed running away. If that was the case, Siward would not of though of his own son so highly.

But like a man he died‚

There is a point where one cannot do anything that will make one more of a man‚ is a concept that Macbeth argues, indirectly, in the play. He thinks that after the murder of Duncan, which is wife thought made him a great man, there is nothing that he could do to be more of a man‚, Macbeth believes that he has done the ultimate deed, and that to do anything else to try to prove yourself would just be wrong because it would overshadow the deed that was done before it.

I dare do all that may become a man;

Who dares do more is none.‚

In Lady Macbeth‚s eyes if Macbeth did not kill Duncan than he would not be a man to her anymore, she believes that he would be denying all urges for greater wealth and prosperity that man should have. She is wondering why he is not taking the opportunity to be king when he can easily do so, in reality, we know why Macbeth is contemplating the murder of Macbeth, because he has morals, qualities that we consider manly today.

moralhf Comparing Moral Strength in Huckleberry Finn and On The Rainy River

Moral Strength in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and On The Rainy River In both The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, and “On The Rainy River” by Tim O’Brien, the main characters are faced with situations where they must do either what they think is right or what the rest of the world they know thinks they should do. Huck must choose either to save Jim and help him escape to freedom, and maintain loyalty to his friend, or do as society would dictate and let the runaway slave remain in captivity. Tim O’Brien must either flee a war he thinks is wrong or obey his country’s call to arms. While the morals of both Huck Finn and Tim O’Brien are put to the test, only Huck is strong enough to stand up for his beliefs. Together, Huckleberry Finn and a runaway slave named Jim head south along the Mississippi during one summer. During their adventures, Huck has trouble with his conscience—he knows Jim is a runaway, and that the socially correct thing to do would be to turn him in and get him sent back to his owner. However, whenever the opportunity to do so arises, Huck finds it impossible to do. Near the end of the book, when Huck is out meandering and Jim is still on the raft in the river, Jim is captured by an old man as a runaway and gets sold for $40. It is here, at this point, that Huck has his largest moral dilemma. Should he let Jim remain captured, as he is legally the property of Miss Watson, or should he rescue the true friend who has stayed steadfastly and unwaveringly by his side? Huck does not want to remain “wicked,” as he himself calls it, so he writes a letter to Miss Watson informing her that her slave is being held by a Mr. Phelps down south of Pikesville. He cannot, though, bring himself to send the letter. He winds up ripping the letter to shreds, with the comment, “All right, then, I’ll go to hell” (p. 207). He is willing to sacrifice his soul, and do a deed he believes he will be damned for, to save Jim, the runaway slave. It takes a character of great moral strength to do what he did. Tim O’Brien, on the other hand, has a somewhat different story.

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