Letter to English Department

February 15, 2018
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Dear English Department,

I strongly believe that “Macbeth,” by William Shakespeare should stay a large part of the curriculum. While the poetry is beautiful and the plot is interesting, the main reason I think this is because the book relates so strongly to today and can teach us. What I mean when I say this, is that misogyny and women thinking that they aren’t good enough is a huge theme in this book, and even though it was written over 400 years ago, sadly, it still relates to today. Women are often brought up thinking that they aren’t as strong as men or aren’t capable of everything men are, which is very heartbreaking and also completely FALSE.

An example of this appears in Macbeth when Lady Macbeth says “Unsex me here,” this a great example of a terrible thing. She feels that she can only do something if she is stripped of  her female weakness, or inadequacies. I often see this happen today, sometimes even with my friends. I remember one time I was in health and fitness, on a day when we were in the gym working out and a girl said, “I wish I was a boy so I could lift those weights.” While this was an absurd statement, she truly believed it. The teacher overheard and said what do you mean and she said “I’m a girl, I’m not strong enough,” next the teacher handed her a weight and said “lift it.” Not only was she completely capable, but she lifted a heavier weight than most boys had been lifting!
Another example in Macbeth is when Macbeth is talking to Lady Macbeth and says, “Bring forth men-children only. For thy undaunted mettle should compose nothing but males.” This for some reason reminded me of the movie “Anne,” when she is adopted into a family and her new dad is very angry that he didn’t get a boy. It really just begs the question why? Why do some people think that women aren’t as strong or fit? Why wouldn’t you just accept and love the child that you have no matter of its gender or anything else? Without reading Macbeth we might not even discuss these things. Yet another example in Macbeth of women being seen as less is when Macduff says, “O gentle lady, tis not for you to hear what I can speak: the repetition in a woman's ear would murder as it fell.” By this he means that woman are too frail to hear the details of a murder.

If we didn’t learn Macbeth in school, I feel as if you would not only be depriving young women of getting an opportunity to discuss their gender and what it means, and how they have to overcome people’s misperceptions, but also you would be letting boys go on thinking that they are better or stronger than girls and that is horrible cycle will repeat

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