Lady Macbeth: Victim or Monster Lady Macbeth is an extremely unusual character as she is by far, the most complex and domineering female role in all of Shakespeare’s plays. She first appears in the play, plotting the king’s murder but the audience last sees her sleepwalking and drowned in guilt. This suggests that Shakespeare portrays her as a character who cannot be classified as any of the two categories (as a victim or as a monster), but rather as an ambitious woman prepared to go any lengths to achieve what- she believes- she and her husband deserve, but could not handle the consequences of her actions in the end. Lady Macbeth is depicted by Shakespeare as a lady filled with her dangerous desires, in Act 1 Scene 5; after reading Macbeth’s …show more content…
Lady Macbeth herself mimics the way they speak, “Which shall to all our nights and days to come, Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom”, thus makes the readers associate her with these supernatural entities and therefore giving her a monstrous aura. Or, another explanation would be that this is a sign that the witches have possessed her or using her to act as puppeteers within the Macbeth’s lives; making her, once again a victim of the …show more content…
This might suggest that Shakespeare is telling the audience that Lady Macbeth identifies everything with disease or illness which can either mean that she (as queen) is a sickness that plagues Scotland, or that she herself is ailing. In act 4 scene 3, Macduff personifies the land of Scotland to “bleed” as “another gash is added to her wounds”, Macduff might be indicating that now that The Macbeth’s have turned away from God and killed the king (according to the Divine Right of Kings), they are unfit rulers and are therefore causing an illness to spread through the country. On the other hand, Lady Macbeth is said to be diseased herself: when in act 5 scene 3 Macbeth begs the doctor to cure her mind and tend to her with “some sweet oblivious antidote”, and the Doctor referred to her as a “patient”. Illness and disease have connotations of suffering and pain which connote that she is in deep anguish and in deep need of help, almost at the mercy- which Shakespeare has shown in act 5 scene 1, in her sleepless and almost insane state- she hardly seems capable of harming anyone else but
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Lady Macbeth is one of the most complex characters in Shakespeare's play "Macbeth". She is portrayed as a powerful and ambitious woman who plays an important role in driving her husband Macbeth to his own quest for power. Lady Macbeth is determined to become queen and uses manipulative tactics to commit murder. Lady Macbeth's desire to become "unsexed" is an example of how she defies the gender roles of her society. By asking the spirits to remove her feminine features, Lady Macbeth rejects the traditional expectations of women in her society, which were to be passive, nurturing, and maternal.
Shakespeare, like any other man in the 16th and 17th century, saw ambitious and dominant women as evil and even disturbing or disturbed. From Macbeth, we can see Shakespeare feels women should be challenged and punished because they are trying to change society. Nowadays these ambitious and dominant women are regarded as brave and respected because of their ambition, such as Lady Macbeth’s ambition to become Queen. Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth as mentally disturbed.
She progresses throughout the play from a seemingly atrocious and inconsiderate creature to a very fragile woman. In the beginning of the play, she is very assertive and athirst for power. For example, she pushes Macbeth to kill Duncan in order to fulfill the witches’ prophecies. Towards the end of the play, she seems to be a scared, and regretful woman that questions her and her husband’s quest for power. Overall, Lady Macbeth is a self-driven, ruthless, and resilient woman in Shakespeare’s play.
Women think they are powerful and superior and can handle anything a man can. They do not think about the actions they are taking and how men can take their words very seriously. Our world today think women cannot be callous and do bad things to men, but really that is not the case. Lady Macbeth verbally abuses Macbeth by calling him a coward. “When you durst do it, then you were a man;” (1.7.56).
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.
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?" (Mac.5.1.29-33) Lady Macbeth is trying to scrub the blood off her hands while in a conscious state. She thinks she has blood on her hands.
As the Macbeth’s portray the opposite of social constructs and expectations in the play, they eventually fall into their belonged stereotype after Lady Macbeth slowly starts to spiral downhill. Once Macbeth feels as though someone is in the way of him becoming King, he instantly creates a plan to murder them like Lady Macbeth did with Duncan. As they eventually take up each others common behavior, Lady Macbeth drives herself to insanity due to her womanly feelings. “I have seen her rise from her bed, throw her nightgown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fold it, write upon ’t, read it, afterwards seal it, and again return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleep.” , she is seen sleepwalking and participating in strange activities due to the insanity driven from guilt (5.1.4-6).
William Shakespeare portrayed the character Lady Macbeth to be extremely ruthless, malicious and manipulative. Thus, being the reason she could easily convince Macbeth to do her will, yet still put on such a convincing performance in front of those who knew nothing of her and her husband’s actions. Lady Macbeth shows her complexity constantly throughout the story when she shares her view-point on masculinity by demasculinizing her own husband, when she strategically plans the murder of the King Duncan, and finally when she finally goes crazy because of the guilt she possesses for not only her own actions but also turning her own husband into a
“Come, you spirits, That tend on mortal thoughts,/unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full/ Of dire cruelty” (1.5.41-44). Lady Macbeth is the personification of male dominance, ruthlessness and violence. She hopes that she could take control of all action. She yearns to be a man and her implication is that she is more masculine than Macbeth. Her drive and violent nature is more akin to men and their masculinity.
Those who are weak often manipulate others to do the things they cannot. Shakespeare's Tragedy of Macbeth describes two characters’ desire for power, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Throughout the play, Lady Macbeth displays many facets to her personality. She is such a diverse and complicated character that it is hard to know if she is truly evil or weak. However, no matter how strong and evil Lady Macbeth appears to be to others, her weakness is clearly apparent when she is alone.
Macbeth went through so much pressure to do the crime he later regretted and suffered and battles with himself and his paranoia. Lady Macbeth only saw the effects of blood visually she did not see how the blood stain was eating Macbeth from the inside. Once again Lady Macbeth is pushing Macbeth to forget about what happened and move on, the murder does not affect Lady Macbeth but the way Macbeth is acting shows that he was never ready to commit this
Villain, a character whose evil actions or motives are important to the plot. Just like the definition of villain states, they show traits just like macbeth. In Shakespeare 's “ The Tragedy of Macbeth”, the character Macbeth is displayed as the villain throughout the play. Macbeth shows the readers that his amiton gets in the way and makes him do things that are considered “evil” until the end of the play. Macbeth is thinking to himself that it is not fair that Duncan 's kids will become king so he kills Duncan and has his sons flee.
Celia Beyers Tinti Period 1/5 12 April 2015 Literary Analysis: Macbeth In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, he presents the character of Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is shown, as a character that schemes into making rebellious plots. She reveals the desire for wanting to lose her feminine qualities in order to be able to gain more masculine ones.
How does Lady Macbeth change over the course of the play? Over the course of the play the characters of both Macbeth and his wife Lady Macbeth develop intensively. They share similar ambitions, but it is Lady Macbeth who dares to do unspeakable things to accomplish them. This creates great conflict within Lady Macbeth who does not conform to the traditional female stereotypes of her epoch.
In comparison, females were significantly limited in their ability to access political or patriarchal authority, as embodied by Lady Macbeth. During the Elizabethan era, it was customary for females to hold supportive and domestic roles as wives and hostesses. At first glance Lady Macbeth satisfies this norm. However, upon learning of the witches’ prophecies, Lady Macbeth ambitiously devises a plan in a lead to access the power she is denied her traditional gender role. Lady Macbeth desire is to wield influence as Queen of Scotland.