Lady Macbeth persuades and manipulates Macbeth by pointing out his insecurities successfully and pressuring him into murdering the king. Along with this, Lady Macbeth also questions Macbeth’s manhood and masculinity when he does not want to carry out the plan when she says “When you durst do it, then you were a man;//And to be more than what you were, you would//Be so much more the man” (Shakespeare 1.7.49-51). By saying these things, Lady Macbeth persuades her husband to believe that murdering the king will be his redemption from being a
Lady Macbeth feels like she has to convince Macbeth to kill before he gives up, so she thinks that threatening his masculinity will work. Another time gender roles are brought up is when Malcolm calls Macduff womanly because he is crying and that he should seek revenge to be a man. Macduff responds with, “Oh, I could play the woman with mine eyes / And braggart with my tongue (4:3:237-238)!” Macduff is embarrassed when seen crying because men were thought to not be emotional. Even today, men are taught that crying is for women. Macduff now feels as if he has to kill Macbeth for revenge.
This shows Lady Macbeth going through lengths just to become royalty and this shows she is ruthless because she is only thinking about herself. Besides, the idea of dashing out the brains of a child deliberately shows Lady Macbeth is willing to killing her own blood, which is cold because usually mothers have a stronger and more intimate bond with their babies. Therefore, Lady Macbeth is shown as a ruthless person, who is very controlling, however there is a shift in her character at the end of the play, she becomes weaker. In the beginning of the play Lady Macbeth manipulated Macbeth into doing things he didn’t want to do, by targeting is insecurities (his masculinity). But, now her persuasion no longer works on Macbeth, for example at banquet Macbeth was acting crazy and Lady Macbeth challenging his manhood by asking him if he were a man.
She even calls upon the dark spirits to take away her soft womanliness. The Witches use words to spark the deep desire within Macbeth to become king. They prophesize that he will one day become king, but, they also prophesize that although Banquo may not be king himself he will produce a long line of heirs to the throne. Macbeth sees this as a threat and he ultimately ends up murdering Banquo and his family. The Witches words spark the conflict within the play.
After the victory of Banquo and Macbeth against the king 's traitor Macdonwald the witches presence contract the vibe of manipulation seeking Macbeth as its next victim. As they encounter with Macbeth and Banquo, they start-off questioning the trio of leery ladies. "look not like the inhabitants of the earth, / And yet are on it"; they seem to understand him, and yet he cannot be sure; they "should be women," and yet they are bearded. One by one the witches told Macbeth his upcoming abundance of power leaving him immensely petrified. As a result the prophecies were the contemporary force plaguing Macbeth into slaughtering King Duncan for his aspiration.
Furthermore, Feminist Criticism provides a better view of literature because it shows that women can be powerful. When Emilia finds out that her husband has been plotting an evil plan she says,” Tis proper I obey him, but not now”(Othello V.2.195). Emilia refuses to help her husband after she finds the cruel intentions he has despite the expectation of women always being submissive to their husbands. Women also have a voice and feelings, they are capable of defying their husbands commands when they know what he expects is simply wrong. In a literary article,The Role of Women in Othello: A Feminist Reading states that,” Society weighs heavily on the shoulders of women; they feel that they must support the men and defer to them, even if the actions of the men are questionable” (Literary Articles).
Macbeth states to Lady Macbeth, “we will proceed no further in this business” (I, VII) since he almost finally decides to refuse to kill Duncan. However, Lady Macbeth uses different manipulative methodologies towards Macbeth and persuades him to consult the killing of Duncan. “So green and pale” (I, VII), Lady Macbeth even called him a coward. From the same scene, she mentions, “From this time, such I account thy love”, implying that if Macbeth cant stay steady concerning the murder of the king, then she will consider his love for her to be as similarly conflicting. Later in scene, Lady Macbeth states that if she had made such a promise as Macbeth did to her, she would “dash the brains out” of her own child as “it was smiling in her fail”.
After reading the letter she said, “Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o’th’ milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way.” (1.5, 15-18) Lady Macbeth is questioning whether Macbeth is too kind to do what has to be done to become king. She wants to be queen so badly that she is willing to do anything, but she wants to make Macbeth kill king Duncan. All of her evil intentions are seen when she says, “That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe topful Of direst cruelty. Make my blood thick.” (1.5, 47-49) She is asking evil spirits to take the good from here and fill her with evil. This just stiffens the argument that she is willing to go to any lengths to gain power and wealth.
Shakespeare believes that ambition, when taken too far leads to our destruction as shown through Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. In the beginning of the play, Macbeth is a heroic soldier who fights for the king without mercy, but he has struck for ambition, his curious nature and his wife’s ambition lead him to the witches who told him the prophecies. After the second prophecy has come true, Macbeth has become the thane of Cawdor. He has led to the growth of his ambition by his thought “whose horrid image doth unfix my hair and Ames my seated heart knock at my rib again the use of
A key reason for why Macbeth killed King Duncan is because of the manipulation and control from Lady Macbeth, ‘that I may pour my spirits in thine ear and chastise with the valour of my tongue ‘. This quotation influences the reader and shows us that that Lady Macbeth wants Macbeth to get back, so she can ‘pour’ all her ideas and thoughts into his mind. Lady Macbeth is encouraging her husband to disregard his chivalric code of honour. The code of chivalry was a moral system that went beyond rules of combat and made qualities like bravery, courtesy and honour more idealised, but because she knows Macbeth is so honourable she, like the witches, tempts Macbeth with power. At the beginning of the play, we believe that Lady Macbeth is strong and very masculine, but by the end of the play, her guilt has taken over her, a quotation that conveys this is, ‘Out, damned spot!