By playing on Macbeth’s deepest ambition, it brought forth thoughts of evil and as a result, it leads Macbeth down a violent path. Lady Macbeth also has a part to play as she is the driving force, who plotted and urged Macbeth into committing the hideous act. Lady Macbeth attacked qualities of Macbeth’s manhood, telling him when he commits the murder then he “[is] a man”. Shakespeare suggests that Macbeth lacks the strength of character, but through manipulation of his ambitions, he gains the strength to carry out the act. Straight after the murder of Duncan, Macbeth is shaken by what he has committed and says will all “great Neptune’s ocean, wash this blood/clean from my hands”, reveals that he is now regretting his decision and is making an attempt to get rid of the evidence.
(Act 1, Scene 7) Through the power of manipulation, Lady Macbeth powerfully challenges Macbeth to commit to the plan to murder King Duncan by exclaiming “screw your courage to the sticking-place. And we’ll not fail.” (Act I, Scene 7) It is through her words that Lady Macbeth has her husband, Macbeth, murder King Duncan and achieve her great desire to become Queen of Scotland. Unfortunately, the death of King Duncan begins Macbeth’s reign of tyranny, which also begins the emergence of Lady Macbeth’s guilty conscience. As a result of serving as a catalyst that effectively unleashes Macbeth’s true side of evil, Lady Macbeth’s guilty conscience begins to surface. Immediately upon becoming King of Scotland, Macbeth’s wicked and selfish ambitions to achieve absolute dominance over the throne begins his murderous reign of tyranny.
In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, blood is not just a symbol, but represents Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s opposing journeys from guilt and regret, to acceptance. After killing Duncan, Macbeth is feeling distraught and guilty, while Lady Macbeth is perfectly fine. As the story continues, Macbeth transitions from cracking under guilt to to feeling none at all, while Lady Macbeth’s guilt drives her insane. Macbeth is a tragic hero, which means that he wasn’t always as inhuman as he seems. Because of his wife’s pressuring, Macbeth has now taken his first step down a dark road, killing his king.
From murder to greed Shakespeare’s Macbeth portrays a story of how one’s flaws can transform into a person’s way of thinking and acting. Throughout the play, Lady Macbeth changes from a cold-hearted, greedy, shell of a human body into a guilt ridden woman. Her selfish desires met with ambition and a want for power pushed her into driving Macbeth to kill Duncan. Both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth become very guilty because of the crime they have committed. Although Macbeth actively kills the King, Lady Macbeth was more guilty of Duncan’s murder than Macbeth.
Second, Lady Macbeth’s insanity shows when she sleepwalks. While sleepwalking, Lady Macbeth repeats words she said to Macbeth on the night Kind Duncan was killed, “Fie, my lord, fie! A soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?—Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him.” (Cowther 5: 1: 26-28). Lady Macbeth’s lust for power was evident as she pushed Macbeth to kill Duncan because she wanted to be queen, but after the deed is done, it is apparent that it has messed with her mind.
Lady Macbeth starts out the play as a ruthless and ambitious woman but her evil actions that she used to brush off starts to weight on her. After she becomes queen she starts to take notice that she is not as happy as she should be. She says: “Naught’s had, all’s spent, / Where our desire is got without content..” . Lady Macbeth questions her happiness and questions weither her sins are worth the crown. “'Tis safer to be that which we destroy / Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.” Lady Macbeth claims that its better to be the person who were murdered than to be the killer and be tortured by guilt.
Unlike Oedipus, after realizing the accuracy of his prophecy, instead of avoiding all possible negative actions, Macbeth devises a plan with the help of his wife to murder Duncan in order to fulfil the dark prophecy. However Macbeth’s weak character becomes provoked by a disappearing dagger, which he hallucinates before the murder of Duncan. The further Macbeth travels the path of corruption, the further he travels from reality, and illusions become his truth. Macbeth acts upon his illusions and as he hears the Lady Macbeth’s bell he questions whether Duncan will go to heaven or to hell, a choice Macbeth lost (Shakespeare 2.1.75-77). Throughout the play Shakespeare illuminates Macbeth’s escape from reality.
In addition to wanting to be evil, Lady Macbeth continues to convey her true side. Later in the play, long after the murder of Duncan, Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking and beings speaking, “What, will these hands ne’er be clean? No more o’ that, my lord, no more o’ that!”(V, i, 38-39). Dwelling on the murder of Duncan, Lady Macbeth is still feeling emotions for what she has done. She never asks for forgiveness for what she has done, which causes belief that she is truly evil and doesn’t mind the feeling of guilt.
In the following catharsis, Macbeth releases those emotion, “And be these juggling fiends no more believed,/that palter with us in a double sense,/that keep the word of promise to our ear,/and break it to our hope” (5,8,23-26). The last part of this characters downfall, is when he is killed by Macduff. Shakespeare wrote this part beautifully because it evokes a feeling of sadness and sympathy for Macbeth. This scene indicates that Macbeth is a tragic hero because, Macbeth thought that he would be safe, according to the witches, but when he uncovers Macduff is the only human able to end him, he immediately gives up all hope and confidence, and dies. To wrap this up, Macbeth’s downfall, proves to show how he is a tragic hero because from when he kills Macduff’s family, to
As she screams, “Out damned spot”, she rubs her hands together, showing that she is trying to rub the spots of blood from her hands. A couple lines later Lady Macbeth exclaims again in her sleep, "Here's the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. O, O, O!" (5.1.50-52). She says she can still smell the blood on her guilty hands, and she can not get the smell