GENDER ROLES IN MACBETH - Tragedy then is an imitation of...

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στ ν ο ν τραγωδία μίμησις πράξεως σπουδαίας κα τελείας, μέγεθος χούσης, δυσμέν λόγ , χωρ ς κάστ τ ν ε δ ν ν το ς μορίοις, δρώντων κα ο δι’ παγγελίας, δι’ λέου κα φόβου περαίνουσα τ ν τ ν τοιούτων παθημάτων κάθαρσιν.” Αριστοτέλης, Περί Ποιητικής “Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action, not of narrative; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its katharsis of such emotions. . . . “ Aristotle , Poetics, translation by S.H. Butcher, “Outline of Aristotle’s Theory of Tragedy in the POETICS” ( )
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2 Charalampia Noussi Dr. Demetrios Bogiatzis Shakespeare 04/17/2013 Gender Roles in Macbeth Abstract Since ancient times, a lot of people have been sharing the belief that an ideal person is an individual who possesses a balance of masculine and feminine characteristics, on the basis of his or her own sex. Gender behavior has not been considered something innate, but on the contrary, it has been regarded a social and cultural construct, from which many stereotypes concerning human behavior have arisen. Gender stereotypes have been traced in human society so deeply that they have come to represent “natural order”. In Macbeth , we are taught that men do not always behave the way they should (Macbeth); the same applies to women (Lady Macbeth). As a result, a reversion of gender roles takes place, and thus, hubris against “natural order” occurs. Hubris is followed by divine outrage ( nemesis ) and punishment of the “wrongdoers” ( tisis ). In this play, the audience is taught that “natural order” should never be disturbed, due to the fact that divine justice, according to the Christian faith, is always there to penalize evil and its human accomplices in the end.
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3 Introduction William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is considered to be the greatest dramatist of the whole world as well as “England’s national poet”. One of his greatest and at the same time most violent tragedies is Macbeth , or in other words, “the Scottish tragedy”, where Macbeth, a nobleman, decides to murder Duncan, the King of Scotland, so as to ascend the throne. After Duncan’s slaughter, Macbeth does not hesitate to drown anybody who may seem a “threat” to him in blood, until he is murdered at the end of the play.
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