Often in literature women are depicted as powerful, impelling forces that alter the characters or entire society that surrounds them. In Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, Lady Macbeth urges Macbeth into murder, in The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne alters societys attitudes toward her sin, and in My ntonia, by Willa Cather, the life of ntonia Shimerda motivates Jim Burden to lead an exceptionally successful life. In Macbeth, Lady Macbeth compels Macbeth to assassinate King Duncan. From the instant Lady Macbeth is introduced to the reader, one can infer that she is a strong and ambitious woman. Moreover, when the reader first encounters Lady Macbeth, she is already plotting Duncans murder. From this first meeting with Lady Macbeth, one can easily deduce that Lady Macbeth is an ambitious woman who has an intense desire to gain more power. Lady Macbeth is mentioned as the ambitious wife who instigates her husband to murder [so] that she may herself be queen (Freud 33).
Furthermore, she is the dry, mannish fury, the harsh, rough, vain mistress, the detestable business woman, inflexible, self contained, unfeeling, crafty, treacherous and colder than the steel of the dagger which she wields(Brooke 30).
Lady Macbeth is thus powerful enough to manipulate Macbeth into murdering King Duncan. In addition, Lady Macbeth promises to provide the pusillanimous Macbeth with the courage he desperately needs to make the prophecy of the three witches become true, fearing that his nature is too soft to take the direct route to the throne (Dominic 256).
Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, we have heard the defence glorify Macbeth in an effort to cloud the horrible acts of murder that he committed. The question that we are here to answer today stands, ?is Macbeth guilty of the murder of our beloved king, Duncan?. Many questions cloud our judgement today. Did Macbeth have a motive to kill the king? Did Macbeth meticulously premeditate the murder of ...
Furthermore, she realizes that Macbeth is too full of human kindness, and part of her tactics with Macbeth is to urge him to be more of a man (Johnston).
Ultimately, Macbeth murders King Duncan as a result of the vigor and forcefulness of Lady Macbeth. Likewise, the power of women is illustrated in The Scarlet Letter, wherein the vitality of Hester Prynne provides for the change of her Puritan society.
Hester, characterized as a tough and persevering woman, is tall, with a figure of perfect elegance on a large scale (Stewart 104).
After the township discovers Hesters sin, Reverend Dimmesdale publicly torments her. While on the scaffold, under the pressure of the entire parish, Dimmesdale tortures Hester into revealing the name of the father. Nonetheless Hester stays strong and does not fall victim to his constant palaver, and she does not disclose the name of the father. Ostracized from society, Hester does not move to a different town, but instead she devotes her life to charity and good works. Even under the constant anguish caused by society Hester remains resolute, which demonstrates her strength and perseverance.
The further elaborate on her vigor, at one point in the novel Hester goes to the Governors house to defend herself against powerful people who [wish] to take Pearlaway from her (University of Wisconsin-Madison), a seemingly futile act for a person in her position. These actions, all of which were done while she had been living in continual humiliation, made a momentous impact on Puritan society. Moreover, there is a change in the communitys perception of Hester. The pejorative outlook that society had once held towards Hester is now that of utmost veneration and reverence. Hesters A is no longer a symbol of her sin, but rather a sign of comfort and help. Due to the fact that Hester aids those that are poor and ill, she is now regarded as a hallowed being, and …the capital A might have been thought to mean Admirable (Ryskamp 19).
The power of Hester Prynne, aided by her strength and perseverance, allowed her to holistically alter the society around her.
'Macbeth has, with the aid of his wife, committed the murder of Duncan and he has claimed the throne of Scotland for himself. During his reign as king Macbeth has created a tyranny in Scotland. He has continuously been dragged further and further into the world of evil, visiting the witches during his reign. He is suspicious of everyone and has spies in the homes of the thanes of the country; he ...
Similarly, in My ntonia, the life of ntonia Shimerda impels Jim Burden to live his life to his full potential. ntonias family was faced with a myriad of problems within the first year of their arrival in America. At times they had little or no food, ntonias father killed himself, and the family had high expectations of the land that were ultimately not met. Due to this, ntonia was forced to act as the father figure in the Shimerda household. Additionally, as a result of constant farming and other labor, ntonia had to sacrifice many aspects of life, including education. All of her struggles had a major impact on Jim Burden, for she influence[d] [Jim]hundreds of times when [he didnt] realize it. Furthermore, Jim views ntonias struggles, and understands that he must never take anything for granted.
Since ntonia sacrificed her education, Jim does not take his for granted and works as hard as he can to reach his potential. His work pays off; he becomes valedictorian of his high school and eventually attends Harvard to study law. Jim undoubtedly reached Harvard and a career in law as a result of ntonias struggles and sacrifices. The novel then concludes, a conclusion wherein Jim reflects on his past experiences with ntonia and realizes how much she essentially means to him; he ultimately recognizes the significance of ntonia and understands the imperativeness of the impact that she had on him. Frequently in literature women are depicted as powerful individuals that alter either the characters or total society that surrounds them. In Macbeth Lady Macbeth coerces Macbeth into murder, in The Scarlet Letter the life of Hester Prynne alters her entire Puritan society, and in My ntonia the life of ntonia Shimerda motivates Jim Burden to live to his potential. Works Cited Bloom, Harold. Macbeth.
New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987. Brook, Stopford A. Macbeth, On Ten Plays of Shakespeare. Bloom 26. Dominic, Catherine C. Shakespeares Characters for Students. Gale Research, 1997. Freud, Sigmund.
Some Character-Types Met With in Psycho-Analytic Work. Bloom 31. Johnston, Ian. An Intro to Shakespeares Macbeth. 31 August 2005. Malaspina- University College. 14 November 2005.
Ryskamp, Charles. The New England Sources of The Scarlet Letter. Twentieth Century Interpretations of The Scarlet Letter. Ed. John C. Gerber. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1968.
Do you feel stress in your life? Does this affect the way you live and work? Many things currently going on in one's life, such as work, health, family and finances, can cause stress. It is how we individually identify the root cause and begin working on managing them effectively. As adult learners, there are various aspects of our work life that cause each of us some form of stress. We discovered ...
Stewart, Randall. The Woman with Exotic Richness, Hawthornes Female Characters. Readings on Nathaniel Hawthorne. Ed. Bruno Leone. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 1996. Thrasher, Thomas.
Understanding Macbeth. Lucent Books, 2002. University of Wisconsin-Madison. 14 November 2005. . Willa Cathers My ntonia. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987..