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Dynamic Character of Lady Macbeth

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Dynamic Character of Lady Macbeth

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  • May 2013
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In the vast history of English literature, Shakespeare's Macbeth is arguably one of the greatest tragedies to ever have been created. Lady Macbeth presents a dynamic character who undergoes significant changes throughout the text. She goes from being a determined, cold blooded and possessed cruel woman to being a nervous, scared and remorseful soul.

When we first see her at the beginning of the context, Lady Macbeth is essentially perceived as a thoroughly, irreligiously cold and cruel person with an overall sinister appeal. This is evident through Lady Macbeth's interactions and statements. Her statement “The raven himself is hoarse and That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan……” shows her determination that she will never allow King Duncan to leave her castle alive. To prepare herself for the murder, she makes herself become relentless by calling on evil spirits to "stop up th' access and passage to remorse". Otherwise her conscience would not allow her to act. By asking the spirits to "come to my woman's breast and take my milk for gall", she betrays her femininity. Just like witches, she wants to control people's lives, especially the life of Macbeth.

In the second section of the text, Lady Macbeth appears as an extremely manipulative steely woman with the power to control her husband's actions. Having committed the act of King Duncan's murder, Macbeth is shocked at the blood on his hands. In contrast, she has suppressed all sense of disgust and horror by declaring that if she finds Duncan bleeding she will smear the blood onto groom's faces to counterfeit their guilt. She reprimands him for his distraction, steadies his nerve, and calls on him to concentrate on the practical elements of present need.

However, in the third section of the text, Lady Macbeth's character drastically changes to being a nervous madwoman stricken with deep guilt and remorse for her actions. The burden of Lady Macbeth's conscience becomes so great for her and her mental...

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