Lady Macbeth's Personality

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Lady Macbeth is an iconic figure representing a manipulative woman who is intent and dangerously ambitious. Her potential to persuade Macbeth to commit regicide is one that disrupts the social order in the community. At this point, however, Shakespeare’s portrayal of Lady Macbeth takes a pivotal turn and her relationship with Macbeth and her personality alters immensely. This essay analyses the development and downfall of Lady Macbeth’s character in Macbeth.

Lady Macbeth had a very strong and manipulative personality at the beginning of the play. This destabilises the stereotypes of the 1600’s, which assumed that women were not the dominant force in a relationship. Shakespeare positions the viewer to interpret Lady Macbeth in a unique manner
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She goads Macbeth and convinces him to murder King Duncan. During this period of time Lady Macbeth’s masculine traits are at their peak, as she states “That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,” (Act 1, Scene). This phrase is vital in Lady Macbeth’s character development as it emphasizes the masculinity that she portrays. As contemporary audiences are much more open minded about gender equality, are the dominance of Lady Macbeth in the relationship between her and Macbeth is not surprising. However, as this play is based in the Jacobean times and was staged during the 1600’s, this characterisation of Lady Macbeth by Shakespeare was extremely contentious and controversial, as females didn’t have much authority in a relationship when compared to…show more content…
When Macbeth was contemplating on why Lady Macbeth didn’t commit the murder she comes up with the excuse that Duncan looks like her father. After Lady Macbeth finds out that Duncan is murdered she is extremely joyous. However as Macbeth is mentally traumatised from the event she doesn’t get an opportunity to express her happiness. This is where Shakespeare begins to split the relationship between the two characters and the distance between them gradually increases. This split in the relationship is what starts the major turn of events in the character development as we see the psychological decline of both of the characters take place. Shakespeare juxtaposes both the characters as he shows Macbeth hallucinating about Banquo’s ghost, while Lady Macbeth tries to protect the situation. This is shown in the following quote, “Prithee see there! Behold! look! Lo! (Act 3, Scene
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