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Character Analysis Lady Macbeth can be said to be one of Shakespeare’s most famous and frightening female characters. She fulfills her role among the nobility and is well respected, like Macbeth. She is loving, yet very determined that her husband will be king. At the beginning of the play, when she is first seen, she is already plotting the murder of Duncan, showing more strength, ruthlessness, and ambition than Macbeth. She lusts after power and position and then pressures her husband into killing Duncan.
Upon receiving the letter with the witches’ prophecies from her husband, she begins to think and knowing that Macbeth lacks the courage for something like this, she calls upon the forces of evil to help her do what must be done. Her immediate thoughts might make people believe she is irreligiously cold but she only calls upon the spirits to help her, otherwise her conscience would not let her act. The raven himself is hoarse Under my battlements. Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, And fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full Of direst cruelty!
Make thick my blood; Stop up the access and passage to remorse, That no compunctious visitings of nature Shake my fell purpose nor keep peace between The effect and it! Come to my woman’s breasts And take my milk for fall, you murd’ring ministers, Wherever in your sightless substances You wait on nature’s mischief! Come, thick night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark To cry “Hold, hold! ” (lines 38-54/act 1, scene 5) She knows what must be done and will do anything to achieve her goal.
She wishes that she were not a woman so that she could do it herself. I think there is a connection between gender and power and here, that is true. Many people don’t view women and power together as one but here, Shakespeare shows Lady Macbeth, along with the witches, using certain female methods of achieving power, which would include manipulation, to achieve certain male powers or ambitions. Lady Macbeth manipulates her husband with such effectiveness and overrides all his objections. She repeatedly questions his manhood, courage, and his love for her.
She knows he is too weak to kill Duncan so she has no choice but to manipulate him to win him the title of King. She does this until he feels that he has no choice but to commit the murder to prove him to her. Was the hope drunk Wherein you dressed yourself? Hath if slept since? And wakes it now to look so green and pale At what it did so freely? From this time Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard To be the same in thine own act and valor As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that Which thou esteem’st the ornament of life, And live a coward in thine own esteem, Letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would,”
Like the poor cat I’ the adage? (lines 36-45/act 1/scene 7) As the strong hold in the relationship, Lady Macbeth shows remarkable strength up to the point of Duncan’s murder. She is the comforter of Macbeth immediately after he commits the crime. Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth later lose the ability to sleep because if they do, they have terrifying dreams but she still shows more strength during the day than her husband. To help keep Macbeth from feeling guilty and to help keep him calm in the night, she once again questions his manhood. That is until she cracks and her conscience becomes too much for her to handle.
She was the one who had more ambition before the deed and thus rightly so, she suffers from more gilt than he in the end. As events continue throughout the play, she slips further into madness and eventually sleepwalks through the castle, desperately attempting to wash away the invisible bloodstain. Out, damned spot! Out, I say! One; two. Why then ? tis time to do’t. Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, Fie! A soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who Knows it, when none can call our pow’r to accompt? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had So much blood in him? (lines 32-37/act 5, scene 1)
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When the madness becomes something she cannot cope with, she kills herself. This is a symbol of her inability and weakness to deal with a legacy of crime. At the beginning, Lady Macbeth finds strength to tempt Macbeth to kill Duncan. Were her strengths and ambitions fake and pretend? Due to her conscience, she gets weaker throughout the play and becomes unstable. Compared to her husband, their characters changed throughout the play in the exact opposite ways. In a sense, they become who they loved. Lady Macbeth, a scared and weak follower and Macbeth, a dominate manipulator.
Author: Kimber Trivett
Lady Macbeth Character Analysis
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"Macbeth": Lady Macbeth's Character Essay
Lady Macbeth is a controversial figure. She is seen by some as a woman of strong will who is ambitious for herself and who is astute enough to recognise her husband's strengths and weaknesses, and ruthless enough to exploit them. They see her in her commitment to evil and in her realisation that the acquisition of the Crown has not brought her the happiness she had expected, and finally, as one who breaks down under the strain. Others see her as a woman ambitious for her husband whom she loves. She recognises the essential good in him, and feels that, without her, he will never win the Crown. She allies herself with the powers of darkness for his sake, but here inherent (congenital) femininity breaks down under the strain of the unnatural murder of Duncan and the alienation of her husband. She is seen as simple and realistic where Macbeth is complicated and imaginative. She can see what must be done; he visualises the consequence. There is a vast difference between Macduff's "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." ACT II, Sc.ii and Malcolm's assessment of her as a "fiend-like queen" (Act IV, Sc.vii). So we must examine the text. To Macbeth, in his letter to her, she is his "dearest partner of greatness", an indication of love and trust. We see her as she analyses his virtues and weaknesses and decides to overcome his scruples, "hie thee hither That I may pour my spirits at thine ear" Is there any evidence here as to why she wishes him to be king?
Overcome By Ambition - When she calls on the powers of evil to unsex her and make her cruel, does this imply that she fears her own womanliness and realises the unnaturalness of the murder of Duncan? Is she, like Macbeth just an ordinary human being overcome with ambition? Does she really lose her womanliness? Do the words(Act I, Sc. ii) "Had he not resembled My father as he slept, I had done't" imply that she is still a woman with a woman's tendernesss? Does she show herself strong willed and more determined than Macbeth, Act I, Sc.vii, as she argues and demands his agreement to the murder? Is she alloy by exploiting his love for her when she makes his consent to murder a test of his love? Is she being cynical when she inverts logic and reality in...
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