Throughout most of the play, she is portrayed as powerful and confident, and more daring than Macbeth himself, though this image changes when she shows signs of weakness, resulting in her death. In Lady Macbeth’s first appearance in the play, Act 1, Scene 7, she behaves in contentious ways that might lead the audience to question her morals. After reading the letter in which Macbeth shares the news, the first words in her soliloquy show her determination and ambition: “Glamis thou art, and Cawdor - and shalt be what thou art promised!” The fact that she states that he shall be what is promised and become king, shows that she is aware of her own strengths and influence over Macbeth. It reveals the possibility that she is the dominant character in their partnership. Aware of Macbteh’s weaknesses, Lady Macbeth knows that he is too gentle to carry out what she may have in mind, and that she will need to help him.
Shakespeare’s portrayal of Lady Macbeth is distant to the role that a Jacobean audience would be comfortable with women being in. In a time where “the repetition in a woman’s ear/would murder as it fell”; a woman readily savage and merciless caused a disturbance to their ideas of how a woman should behave. This makes Lady Macbeth one of the most striking villains in Shakespeare’s plays. Lady Macbeth’s entrance is her reaction to the letter sent by Macbeth in which he discloses the Witches’ prophecies. In this scene, Shakespeare’s use of diction presents Lady Macbeth as a calculative woman, who holds no qualms in manipulating her husband and chastising his character.
As Lady Macbeth is being introduced, we can already sense her dominance and power over her husband, Macbeth. For instance, when she immediately takes of control of the situation of when Macbeth is hesitant of how to administer King Duncan’s visit to their home as shown in the play it says, “ But be the serpent under’t. He that’s coming Must be provided for; and you shall put this night’s great business into my dispatch,” (Macbeth 1.5. 58-60). This proves how the gender roles are reversed as the wives are usually portrayed as caring and timid when it comes to making difficult decisions especially in cases like
The traits Lady Macbeth wish to portray also exhibit the traits needed to be a man. Lady Macbeth states, “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”(1.5.47-51). In other words, Lady Macbeth is willing to give up her femininity to become a man so that she may in turn, possess manly qualities that would be unethical to possess as a woman. She wants to become a man so that her “blood [can be] thick”, and she can feel no remorse when having “direst cruelty”; all of these traits would help the plot to kill King Duncan. Furthermore, the traits Lady macbeth wishes to have are also the ones she wants to see manifested in Macbeth.
She shows contrasting features during the play such as femininity and masculinity; ruthlessness and guilt; and influence and ignorance. Lady Macbeth is a powerful character who brings great conflict to the play. Even though her dominance seems like her main characteristic for her masculinity, her ambition to become queen is also compelling. It is obvious in the play that she manipulates Macbeth and finds devious techniques to reach her goal. She quotes: And chastise with the valour of my tongue.
“Was the hope drunk, wherein you dressed yourself”, here Lady Macbeth views him as too weak to chase his ambition. She’s using reverse phycology to trick him into viewing himself as a coward by doing so he, might stand up for himself go with the plan. She’s acting as if she was more powerful than Macbeth which shows the swap of the gender roles. “To full of milk of human kindness” this shows that gender roles are being swapped as Macbeth is too kind to proceed with the plan. She will continue questioning his manliness till she’s able to manipulate and influence
An Evil Wife in Macbeth The stereotype women are supposed to be nice, gentle and kind. In some other cases, some women are crueler than men. In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare tells a story of Lady Macbeth, a ruthless wife who manipulates her husband to achieve her evil desires. Lady Macbeth is an evil woman because she is extremely ambitious, greedy and controlling which shows that her desires leads her to be a ruthless person. Lady Macbeth is extremely ambitious in terms of gaining power and advantages for her own life.
The women in Macbeth are presented by Shakespeare to be powerful and ambitious which was unlike the typical views during Jacobean times. The playwright portrays Lady Macbeth and the witches to be highly influential to male characters in the play, which again contrasts the contemporary views to that time. Their ambition and power are demonstrated through the perversion of nature. This highlights the evil and immoral side, they possess. Shakespeare, however, presented Lady Macbeth and the witches to be manipulative and cunning, rather than violent like Macbeth was during the play.
The doctors that found her assumes a feminine role saying, “I think, but dare not speak (5.1.69).” Lady Macbeth’s power, at that point, had become so strong that male characters were acting in ways that were expected of women. Her power, along with her insanity, left the Doctor dumbfounded. Men expected women to think but not speak. This swap of roles starts the end of the play with the start of downfall of the Macbeths. As the start of the play, Lady Macbeth held most of the relationship power between the two of them and at the end left both of them in
Lady Macduff embodies what motherhood should look like and she does not invest her time creating evil plots to kill other people. Whereas on the other hand, Lady Macbeth, not as bound to household duties, she sharpens her knowledgeable capabilities for the use of her own and the power which she holds. This is a very untraditional and unnatural factor that a woman would hold. Lady Macbeth also is seen as the more dominant role in the Macbeth marriage. On many occasions she rules her husband and dictates his actions.