Jellydetective
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In Lady Macbeth’s ‘unsex me here’ speech, she prays to lose her ability to bear children, so that she can carry out what needs to be done to make Macbeth king, but as a woman of that time, her singular role as queen would have been to bear her husband a son.

Why does Shakespeare have Lady Macbeth do this? And would it be possible that Lady Macbeth might have been played by an actor who was also playing one of the witches in Shakespeare’s original productions?
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sunsetpeony
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hey! there are multiple interpretations of the play, and as long as you can effectively explain your interpretation, you can't really go wrong! one may be that she wants to be 'unsex[ed]' in order to become of equal status to Macbeth - she is rejecting her femininity as this places her at a social disadvantage as women would have stereo-typically been deemed inferior. the expectation of females to bear children for the husbands (especially within the monarchy) could be seen as exactly what Lady Macbeth aims to achieve. something important to note may also be that Shakespeare wrote Macbeth during the reign of Elizabeth I, infamously dubbed the Virgin Queen as she did not produce an heir - we can see some similarities with Lady Macbeth here. whilst this may not be specifically linked, i wonder if it may be of some use for additional contextual info.

another interpretation of Lady Macbeth is that she could be a fourth witch - i personally didn't explore this concept too much but here's some webpages that mention the idea: here and here.

hope this somewhat helps!
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absolutelysprout
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it is clear lady macbeth doesn't fill the typical role or expectation of women at the time. the speech emphasises how much she desires power- she never wanted to fit society's expectations or mold. she sees her womanly status as a sign of inferiority.
Last edited by absolutelysprout; 1 week ago
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