In Shakespeares Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is made to act as a catalyst in Lord Macbeths evildoings. The female roles in William Shakespeares Macbeth are those of the witches, more supernatural than human, Lady Macbeth and Lady Macduff, the latter being presented in a minor, almost insignificant way. This paper will explore the role of Lady Macbeth and only make slight comment on the witches.
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Macbeth is generally the commander in the castle of the Macbeth’s for the killings that take place in the play. Lady Macbeth also plays and evil role beside him. She mocks him, if he frets over her instructions, saying that he will be less of a man if he does not follow the plan. She gives Macbeth a lecture of deceptiveness when planning the murder of King Ducan. She had also prepared a dagger for Macbeth to kill the King in advance. Though Macbeth still had doubts, she was ready to do this blood thickening job, herself.
“Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums, and dashed the brains out!-had I so sworn as you Have done to this.”(I. VII. 56-7)
“I heard the owl scream, and the crickets cry. Did not you speak?” (II. II. 15-16)
This clearly demonstrates another villainous characteristic of hers other that the self-satisfaction. Lady Macbeth shows the fear of getting caught in her dreams. Her fear suppresses itself, consciously.
“Fie, my lord,fie!- a soldier, and afeard?”(V.i.33)
“Here’s the smell of the blood still! All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. O ! Oh- oh (V.i.44-46) (V.i.65-67, 69-72)
“Do breed unnatural troubles: infected minds to their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets, more needs she the devine than the physician.”(V.i.65-67)
Throughout the play and forwarding to her suicide plan, she slowly weakens. Yet, in the beginning of the play, she is shown as a superwife/superwoman portraying that she is unstoppable. Mabeth already fears about murdering the Lord’s King Duncan. Lady Macbeth chastises him calling him a coward to a helpless baby. She even offers to do it herself to show the ultimate cowardice of Macbeth, as she is saying the she will do the manly job. Then Macbeth finally decides to do it himself, this action of his will lead later in the play. Macbeth still unsure of his doings. He decides to convince his wife and himself that it is a dreadful wrong deed. All his tries fails as he was unable to convince her as he is still being mocked. Although he tried to convince them, he had to kill Duncan.
“And, to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man. Nor time nor place did then adhere, and yet you would make both. (I.VII.50-52)
Lady Macbeth pushes her husband to do things that he does not want to. She tells him that his face is very easy to read. She is very protective as she does not want her husband or herself to get caught on this mission. At the start of the play, she already demonstrates both her faces. Lady Macbeth acts as a welcome hostess but in reality she has other plans for Duncan.
“Have theirs, themselves, and what is theirs in count to make their audit at your Highness’ pleasure- still to return your own.”(I.VI. 26-8)
Lady Macbeth manages to manipulate him so she is able to make him do what he wants. Macbeth eventually does what he is told to as the play progresses. Lady Macbeth sets out the dagger and gives alcohol to the guards to pass out. She was still waiting for her husband to make the crime, so that they both could be safe to the throne.
“I heard the owl scream, and the crickets cry. Did not you speak?”(II. ii. 16-7)
Lady Macbeth seems afraid that she might get caught later, this is demonstrated when she sleepwalks. In her sleepwalking state, she exposes her fear as she speaks everything about her fears. She presents a metaphor: she does not truly want to get rid of Duncan’s blood itself, but fear and guilt that this murder which will be committed is for her. She constantly has nightmares upon her guilty feelings, s she decides to suicide herself, this proves that she still has villainous characters and this also proves that she cannot deal with repercussions of her evil actions.
“To bed, to bed: there’s knocking at the gate! Come, come, come, come, give me your hand. What’s done cannot be undone. To bed, to bed, to bed. (V. i. 59-61)
The results of her husband’s actions and of her coincide with an untimely demise at the end of the play. Although everything was done according to Lady Macbeth. Therefore if Lady Macbeth had not pushed her husband so profoundly to commit this evil deed, then the King would have lived, so, she would not be in an anguish phase. She was only interested in her own personal gain, maybe in her husband’s gain also but she does not specify it as the husband is the puppet and she is the puppeteer. Also it can be interpreted that she would not have been able to achieve her goals without her husband’s help. Lady Macbeth is the villain who can do anything to reach her goals and eliminate any opponents who trespasses her way, but in the end she lost.
897 words without rationale only
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