Ambition can be used for good or evil. At the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth uses her ambition for cruelty and wants to gain power. Lady Macbeth shows her cruelty by saying, “Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe topful of direst cruelty!” (1.5.38--41). What she means by this is that if Macbeth is too scared and cowardly to kill Duncan then she wishes that she was not a woman so that she could do it herself. She persuades her husband into killing Duncan by saying, “screw your courage to the sticking-place, and we’ll not fail” (1.7.60--61).
In the play of Macbeth, there are some characters that could be responsible for Duncan’s death. I personally think Lady Macbeth is the cause of Duncan's murder. She is the most ambitious to kill the king in the beginning of the play, pressuring Macbeth. Lady Macbeth was persuasive of driving Macbeth to commit the murder. She manipulates him to go through with the murder even though he was very doubtful about it.
There comes a point in life where some people are faced with an opportunity to do an illegal act. Macbeth is faced with a chance to end King Duncan’s life and to become King himself, as Lady Macbeth had just come to him and made him aware of her plans to murder Duncan. In Macbeth’s soliloquy during Act I scene VII, he uses an apprehensively foreboding tone to convey how conflicted he is to the readers. The purpose of this speech is for Macbeth to explain why killing Duncan is a horrible idea. Also, Macbeth’s faith in the three witches is a big reason he decides to do and they are why Lady Macbeth created the idea to kill the King.
Lady Macbeth feels as is if Macbeth is too kind to kill Duncan and get the crown on his own. “My hands are of my color, but I shame to wear a heart so white”. (Act II, scn ii, 63-65) Macbeth ends up killing Duncan and instead of him leaving the daggers with the guards, he brings them back with him. Lady Macbeth then takes it upon herself to take the daggers back to the scene of the murder. She does not want to look like a coward like Macbeth.
Throughout the story of Macbeth, Macbeth’s ambition for power, provoked by his significant other, Lady Macbeth, and the witches’ prophecies consumed his life. At first he committed murder against King Duncan so he could become king himself, but the one murder had a domino affect. Although ambition can be a positive attribute for someone to acquire, Macbeth’s ambition began in Act One and proved dangerous as his death approached in Act Five. In Act One of Macbeth, Macbeth and Banquo meet three witches that tell them three prophecies. One at a time, each witch mentioned a prophecy, “All hail Macbeth, Thane of Glamis!
She insults him and calls him a coward while also questioning his manhood which makes Macbeth come to a realization that not killing the king is the way of a coward and he is motivated to carry out the plan and murder the king because of Lady Macbeth’s insults and speech that she gives him. By successfully persuading Macbeth into murdering the king this shows that Lady Macbeth is controlling towards people and she can be a very manipulative person. It shows that she is the type of person that gets things done by manipulating other people to do her dirty work for her. Lady Macbeth can simply achieve her own goals by getting into anyone’s head and turning their own conscience against them in, which is essentially what she did to her husband. Macbeth would have never went through with killing King Duncan if Lady Macbeth had never persuaded him because he really does have a soft heart and is good and honorable.
A real villain would not feel guilty after committing a crime. As the guilt gets too much for her, Lady Macbeth ends her life. In the 1983 and 2010 adaptations of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is expressed as a harsh manipulating character. Dark lighting and ominous settings are used to express this in all Lady Macbeth scenes. In Act 1 Scene 7 when Lady Macbeth is convincing Macbeth to murder Duncan she uses a hard tone and very angry language to exploit Macbeth.
Her idea is to kill the current king Duncan by getting him drunk and murdering him in his sleep. Macbeth hesitates to perform this action, and Lady Macbeth responds to his uncertainty, “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.” (I.vii.56-58) This quote proves how Lady Macbeth believes that in order to be a man, Macbeth needs to kill Duncan to show how he is valiant and indomitable therefore elucidating the impression that Lady Macbeth’s definition of a man is being strong and courageous. Macbeth continues to be fearful and replies, “If we should fail [this murder? ]” (I.vii.68). Lady Macbeth responds, “screw your courage to the sticking place/And we’ll not fail.” (I.vii.70-71) Lady Macbeth believes that screwing Macbeth’s courage and bravery in place will help him get through the process of killing Duncan, and she believes courage is what will make him manly.
Macbeth is responsible for his destruction because in life we make our own decisions however he was heavily influenced by the three witches and Lady Macbeth. The witches foretell Macbeth becoming king and Lady Macbeth persuades him to kill the king, which backfires on her. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth can be compared to Ahab and Jezebel in the Bible in that they both got selfish and went after things that would catch up with them and cost them their lives. Macbeth is ultimately responsible for the decisions he made but he was first influenced by the three witches visiting him telling him he would be king. All hail, Macbeth!
On many occasions she rules her husband and dictates his actions. Although near the end of the play Lady Macbeth’s personality and strength begins to deteriorate. Later committing suicide after having many detailed memories and thoughts from the murder. Shakespeare not only shows how guilt can change a person’s personality but he also portrays untraditional gender roles. After the vision of the three witches, Lady Macbeth had persuaded Macbeth to go against fate and kill Duncan.