Ambition or murder? Lady Macbeth’s ambition and her desire to become the queen is the driving force behind Duncan and her husband’s demise. This can be seen in her decision to act upon the prophecy, her questioning of Macbeth’s manhood when he was unwilling to kill Duncan and the fact that she was the one guilty for coming up with a plan to murder Duncan.
In my opinion, Macbeth is a play of contradiction and desire. Headed to be King, Macbeth will slaughter all and any that get in his direction. He puts his confidence in the words and predictions of three witches, after their initial one, that he will get to be Thane of Cawdor comes through. Macbeth's wife, Lady Macbeth, is instrumental in Macbeth's aspiration, egging him on when he fears he has gone to far, and plotting of significance. An example of his murders are King Duncan and Banquo which he killed out of power and suspicion.
However, he starts to believe that there is no need to take any actions in order to become the ruler; “If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me without my stir.” (I, III) While, Lady Macbeth, when she received the prophecies, she immediately thinks that Macbeth must kill Duncan in order for Macbeth to replace him. “too full o’ the milk of human kindness. To catch the nearest way.” (I, V)
Macbeth evidently undergoes a mental process by which he come round to the idea or murdering Duncan. He does this as a result of his wife’s manipulation, her leverage being his manliness. Without the role of Lady Macbeth, the murder of King Duncan would never have occurred in the play. Lady Macbeth had already been plotting for the murder since she received the letter concerning the three prophecies by the witches. Although Macbeth had sinister thoughts about having the throne, Macbeth would have never dared to take it upon himself to kill King Duncan and steal the throne from
There are many different aspects of this play that could have contributed to Macbeth’s tragic end, including characters. The three witches in the play could be to blame for this. They predicted his future which influenced him greatly. However, the main person to blame for Macbeth’s downfall is Lady Macbeth for three reasons: her insult on his manhood, her her manipulative tricks, and her influential qualities. The first reason Lady Macbeth is to blame for Macbeth’s downfall is her insult to his manhood.
The only way for Lady Macbeth fulfill her ambitions is by influencing Macbeth to murder King Duncan and take his throne away. Lady Macbeth manipulates Macbeth persuasively throughout their conversation: “When you durst do it, then you were a man; / And to be more than what you were, you would / Be so much more than man” (1.7, 50-52). Macbeth shows weakness and cowardly on trying to murder King Duncan. It proves how Lady Macbeth tries to corrupt him by doubting his manhood.
From the moment that she receives the letter from Macbeth, where he announces her that he has become king of Cawdor and the witch´s predictions, Lady Macbeth starts showing her ambition. The gender starts to be out of its traditional order. Lady Macbeth´s usurpation role in her marriage and her ruling paper over her husband shows up. Furthermore, she wants to do the bloody actions to seize the crown.
When Macbeth displays uncertainty regarding the murder of Duncan, Lady Macbeth uses his fear of not adhering to the masculine gender role of being cold-hearted and ambitious and only “when [Macbeth] durst do it, then [he was] a man”. (1.7.56) Upon first glance, it would seem as though Lady Macbeth is strong and powerful. However, Shakespeare uses the downfall of both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to display that women in power are dangerous and corrupt. Due to Lady Macbeth’s coercion into the murder of Duncan, she allows and essentially encourages Macbeth to ravage all of Scotland.
Lady Macbeth in the beginning of the play is manipulative, most of the times she manipulates her husband into doing either what she wants or what she thinks he should do. For example, when Macbeth does not want to kill Duncan anymore, Lady Macbeth convinces him by saying “from this time such I account thy love. Art thou afeared to be the same in thine own act and valor as thou art in desire? (I.vii line 38-41). Besides, the audience see Lady Macbeths is influencing her husband’s feelings by she is using her love as a weapon because she is saying do it
Lady Macbeth even views her husband’s weaknesses as leverage to harass him into killing Duncan. This can be seen when, at one stage, Macbeth repels the idea of killing a good king and believes that the assassination should not be done, his wife demands him to kill by saying abusive words. She questions if Macbeth loves her, she questions Macbeth’s masculinity and she criticizes Macbeth’s aspiration to be king. These three brutal statements hurt Macbeth. Since Macbeth wants to prove his manhood, his love for
Lady Macbeth accuses her husband saying “Art thou afeard/ To be the same in thine own act and valour… And live a coward in thine own esteem” (1.7.40-41, 46) at which Macbeth takes great insult. To prove to Lady Macbeth wrong, Macbeth finally agrees on the murder of Duncan. Macbeth wants to prove to Lady Macbeth that he has the courage to kill Duncan and he is very manly and will not stop until Duncan is dead. Once he kills Duncan Macbeth begins to change mentally and emotionally.
He does not want to be labeled with female characteristics because this would be a major insult towards him. He decides to follow through and commit the murder. Lady Macbeth also takes a shot at Macbeth’s courage. Macbeth has a problem believing that the plan will succeed. He has a strong feeling that the plan will fail and he will be the one to deal with the consequences.
This tactic works for her as she get Macbeth to go through with the killing of King Duncan. There are times where Macbeth is very hesitant in killing the king and but she uses her emasculating tactics to make him feel that he has to go through with the murder to feel more masculine and prove himself of his manhood . One example of how she uses this tactic is by questioning his manhood. Although cruel, this tactic works and makes her husband murder King Duncan.