Discuss the representation of women in Macbeth and explain the dramatic techniques Shakespeare has used to construct his female characters.

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Men dominated Elizabethan times. It was a patriarchal society. Women needed to conform to the social expectations. They were not supposed to show off their bodies. Their dresses had high, choking necklines, a plate that flattened their bosom, and layers of cloth that made them appear larger than they really were on the hips. The ideal picture of beauty was fair-skinned, red hair, high foreheads and very thin eyebrows. They spoke softly and did not …

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…characters endorse the ideals of how a woman should be and act, and others challenge it, like Lady Macbeth. But in the end, Lady Macbeth is 'punished' for challenging the ideals, as she goes insane. The dramatic techniques Shakespeare uses are dialogues by the characters themselves, dialogues by other characters about them, and the setting. The three different female characters clearly give the audience an idea of how women like in Macbeth, and Elizabethan times.