Over and over again in Macbeth, characters discuss or debate about manhood: Lady Macbeth challenges Macbeth when he decides not to kill Duncan, Banquo refuses to join Macbeth in his plot, Lady Macduff questions Macduff's decision to go to England, and on and on.
Through these challenges, Macbeth questions and examines manhood itself. Does a true man take what he wants no matter what it is, as Lady Macbeth believes? Or does a real man have the strength to restrain his desires, as Banquo believes? All of Macbeth can be seen as a struggle to answer this question about the nature and responsibilities of manhood.
Manhood Quotes in Macbeth
The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
Win us with honest trifles, to betray's
In deepest consequence.
Let not light see my black and deep desires.
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself
And falls on the other.
Who dares do more, is none.
Lady Macbeth: We fail?
But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we'll not fail.
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,