Although introduced as a thoroughly hardened, ambitious woman, Lady Macbeth’s seemingly unbreakable character shatters when she is consumed by the demon of guilt. The guilt of Lady Macbeth seems nonexistent when she persuades Macbeth to kill King Duncan, but the heinous acts she and her husband commit throughout the play strain her slowly. Eventually, the guilt Lady Macbeth harbors emerges from her subconscious and crumbles her. The downfall of Lady Macbeth reveals that even the toughest, strongest, and most powerful people can succumb to guilt. At the commencement of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the guilty conscience of Lady Macbeth is overshadowed by her relentless pursuit to become Queen of Scotland.
Furthermore, Lady Macbeth has a strong desire to neglect all of her femininity in order to gain strength and power. With these qualities she believes she will hold more power over Macbeth and his potential shot at becoming the king will be in her control. Once again, Lady Macbeth wants to rid all of her femininity, “I have given suck, and know how tender ‘tis that loves the babe that milks me: I would, while it was smiling in my face, have pluck’d my nimple from his bonless gums, and dash’d the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done to this” (1.7.30-32.) This quote shows Lady Macbeth’s ability to get rid of every ounce of femininity she posses. She is explaining how she had once loved a baby, but would kill him in a heartbeat for Macbeth and his potential success as king.
Although Macbeth actively kills the King, Lady Macbeth was more guilty of Duncan’s murder than Macbeth. Lady Macbeth manipulated Macbeth into killing Duncan; she is just as involved in the murder as Macbeth, resulting in her being guiltier than Macbeth. Lady Macbeth exclaims, “Wouldst thou have that which thou esteem’st the ornament of life, and live a coward in thine own esteem, letting ‘I dare not’ wait upon ‘I would,’ like the poor car i’ adage?” (Shakespeare 163). In this instance Lady Macbeth is talking to Macbeth, exclaiming that he will be a coward if he does not go through with murdering Duncan. In doing this she’s making him feel as if he has no other choice but to
To become this way she calls upon the spirits to change her own body, “Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood, Stop up the access and passage to remorse, That no compunctious visitings of nature Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between The effect and it” (1.5.44-51). The purpose is to a cruel and evil monstrous beast. Blood is a measure of your guilt in the eyes of Lady Macbeth. So by having thick blood that cannot flow, she assumes that there would be no guilt in her actions.
It was her ambitious plan on murdering Duncan, but Macbeth does not want to kill him. After Lady Macbeth reads the letter she says, “Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood.” (Shakespeare 1:5:30-33). This quotation by Lady Macbeth says “unsex her”, which means she is wanting to be like a stereotypical man to give her enough power and to be less emotional. She says this because she can then make herself a cruel person and murder Duncan.
Yet i do fear thy nature; it is too full o'th'milk of human kindness." (1.5.15-17) In saying this, Lady Macbeth rejects the common role of women and pushes her husband to rid himself of his human kindness and bring them success. Shakespeare including this exposes Macbeth's tendencies to be timid with the actions perceived to bring the family greater success, conforming to a more
Lady Macbeth’s lust for power was evident as she pushed Macbeth to kill Duncan because she wanted to be queen, but after the deed is done, it is apparent that it has messed with her mind. If it was a common act to sleepwalk and talk in your sleep the gentlewoman would not assume the doctor could prescribe medicine to help. Lastly, it is apparent that Lady Macbeth’s lust for power drove her to insanity when she committed suicide. Macbeth and Seyton heard a scream and Seyton went to check on the cause. After returning he made the statement, “The queen, my lord, is dead.” (Cowther 5:5: 17).
Colors that would represent Lady Macbeth are red, black and gray. First, the color red portrays Lady Macbeth because of her ambition and cruelty. A scene that illustrates this would be when Lady Macbeth is persuading Macbeth to murder Duncan. Lady Macbeth says “Does unmake you. I have given suck, and know how tender ‘tis to love the babe that milks me: I would, while it was smiling in my face, have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums, and dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done to this.” (1.7.54) This quote shows Lady Macbeth’s determination for reaching her desires.
One of Shakespeare’s superlative examples of a troubled mind is located in Macbeth. The impertinent character Lady Macbeth exhibited many symptoms of depression and antisocial personality disorder. While mental illness is generally developed through an accumulation of several events, as it was in Lady Macbeth’s case, it was definitely more profound after the murder of King Duncan. Prior to killing the king, Lady Macbeth unveiled sociopathic behavior through her negligence of others. She first began to reveal her sociopathic tendencies in Act I, Scene VI when she lied, without remorse, to King Duncan -- flattering him as she plotted to end his life.
Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth as a power hungry and vindictive women, whose character is against the stereotypes of a Jacobean woman. Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth as a deceptive woman, who uses the fact that she is a woman as a weapon. ‘Why, worthy thane, you do unbend your noble strength to think.’ Lady Macbeth is talking to Macbeth. She begins by praising him, ‘worthy’, however ends the speech with orders and telling Macbeth that he did things wrong, she also insults him ‘infirm of purpose’. Macbeth would be proud of himself because Lady Macbeth is his wife and her opinion means a lot to him.
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