women are evil
SATAN (MET) A LADY
~ a comparative essay by Robin Grahm ~
I argue that women are, by nature, evil. And those who choose to socialize with women are forever lost in damnation. I hope to prove this with quotes of dialogue and scenes from two of our society's landmark stories namely Shakespeare's Macbeth and Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon. I will now go through each of the book separately and in somewhat chronological order to later merge my findings within the two books and come to a conclusion.
“Thunder and lightning. Enter three WITCHES” (Shakespeare 1:1) is the opening of said text. As understood by stereotypical standards, the word 'witches' point to old ugly female characters that deal with evil forces. Thus making this story begin with evil women.
In Macbeth it is the witches who starts the whole thing. He goes home not really thinking about it that much but when he consults his wife it is she who emphasises the importance of the power the witches has told Macbeth about. Macbeth is sceptical of if he should murder the king but his wife finally convinces him of doing it, possibly by lying. Later at the banquet when Macbeth sees Banquos ghost, (his consciousness), his wife denotes this quickly to uphold that what they have done is OK. Macbeth then visits the witches again and yet again the enforce his paranoia that he has enemies within his circle of friends and they phrase the cause of his death so vaguely and strange that it is easy for him to take this strange description as actually happening to him. Even later his wife has come to terms at what she has caused and shows us that true evil can never be abolished by living beings. The only way of stopping it is to end life as she, towards the end of the story, does.
The Maltese Falcon opens with describing the main character, Sam Spade, as looking “rather pleasantly like a blond satan” (Hammett 3). The instance we read this we get a picture of a harsh, bold and tough character. Then it goes on to the second main character - first of all, please note her supposed name “Her name’s Wonderly” (Hammett 3). This suggests to us unconsciously that she is wonderful. Secondly her appearance “She was tall and pliantly slender” (Hammett 4) making us see her as weak and fragile. Third the way she talks “Could you –? I thought – I – that is –“ shows her as insecure and, again, meek. If a story begins with descriptions of two characters that are the opposite of each other in every possible way, it is not so difficult to wonder if there is something more to this apparent difference than meets the eye. She starts of telling him “Miss Wonderly wants us to find the sister and get her away from him and back home” (Hammett 7) which later is revealed to be a lie “That story I told you yesterday was all – a story” (Hammett 33) directly leads to the death of not just one but two people and even though one could argue she didn’t not really know what would happen if she told this lie (for some reason I am not aware of), this is still irrelevant because telling a lie that involves some sort of criminals and this kind of activity and knowing about it “but I want you to know he’s a dangerous man” (Hammett 8) is something that only a person with, to put it bluntly, evil features would do.
This woman is not the only evil in this book. The morning after the murder of Archer his widow comes to Spade and asks him “did you kill him” (Hammett 25) suggesting to us that their relationship which was being secretly held by the two of them away from the eyes of her husband, could work out even better if her husband was to be killed. She does not even think about what job her husband had and that he could have been the victim of some criminal. She shows even less sorrow of her husband’s death by, to her knowledge, the hands of her lover by suggesting to Spade that they should meet the following evening “you’ll come tonight?” (Hammett 26). Not showing emotion after such a tragic event of a person, and even more, in this case – her spouse could be a sign of some sort of post-traumatic stress, but the way she seems completely untouched by this could also be a sign of pure unfiltered evil.
Going back to the first woman, we know now she is a mistress of lies, “The hell of it is Miss – Is your name Wonderly or LeBlanc? [...] It’s really O’Shaughnessy” (Hammett 33). Lying, again, is not something innocent people do when it involves life threatening (as previous quotes have shown) things. In the middle of the book she uses her womanly charms and bambi-eyes to try to convince the other characters that she is the victim: “Her eyes were wide and dark and earnest. “I had to”, she said in a low throbbing voice” (Hammett 74). This makes her blatantly obviously evil since we as readers already know, or to the minimum extent, can make an educated guess what really has happened, and it is not in her favour. Her womanly charms come into play again as she uses sex as a way out of answering questions “Oh, I’m so tired” (Hammett 89). This is the way a succubus works, first capturing her victim and then seducing him so she escapes any kind of accusation that she may be involved with evil doings. Why would she do this if she wasn’t evil?
When the plot unravels she is the cause of everything bad that has happened. First she uses betrayal “We thought we would get it for ourselves” (Hammett 206) three times “Then I began to be afraid that Joe wouldn’t play fair with me” (Hammett 207) for her own gaining “Yes. We left him in Constantinople, in jail” (Hammett 207) then she sets up so that her protectors die so she has less persons to share her goal with “You thought Floyd would tackle him and one or the other would go down” (Hammett 210). All of this is somewhat known to us in a sense that we know that she isnt exactly trustworthy since she tells the characters and us one thing and then through the entire book everything she says turns out to be false. Earlier in the book this betrayal-feature she has is commented on by the main character “if you think she can be rigged fir the part I’m perfectly willing to discuss it.” (Hammett 183). What we can interpret from this quote is that it is most likely she will betray the others as soon as she gets her chance. And betrayal is one of the worst thing a person can do. Thus evil. The best evidence of evil is a comment made by the character who is supposed to be the real bad guy “If you don’t give her as much as she thinks she ought to have, my word of advice is – be careful.” Being said in a, what really only could be complete honesty in the voice, by the supposed bad guy, this quote says alot about our lovely mistress of lies. Evil to the core.
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