Maternal Power In Shakespeare's 'Lady Macbeth'

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Lady Macbeth Lady Macbeth is Macbeth´s wife. At the beginning of the play, she has a female traditional role, but when the plot starts to develop, she changes it. Thus, whenever it suits her she adapts a masculine role. She is shown as instigator in Macbeth´s downfall, inciting him to do the wrong things, and in some situations, she is thought to be a representation of evil. Lady Macbeth is very ambitious, and she “wants” to be a man, because men are supposed to be cruel. She is the force that allows Macbeth to act without will. Consequently, her husband´s cruelty and her own guilt send her into a madness from which she never recovers. So, as Janet Adelman (2010) explains: “Maternal power in Macbeth is not embodied in the figure of a particular…show more content…
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 she says, “unsex me here”, she wants her femininity to be taken away because she thinks that men are more courageous, and she needs bravery to kill Duncan. The language used suggests that her womanhood impedes her from performing acts of violence and cruelty, which she associates with masculinity. Since she represents the “breasts” and “milk” as symbols of woman and nurture. As the play go on, the relationship between masculinity and violence will be shown by Macbeth. In addition, he is not capable of committing murder, but his wife is the one who encourages him to do it, saying that “he needs to be a man”. Lady Macbeth is the whisper that convinces Macbeth when he is not sure of it. That is why her wife is seen to a large extent as evil during the
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