Lady Macbeth

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Lady Macbeth, a leading character in William Shakespeare’s famous

tragedy Macbeth, progresses throughout the play from a savage and

heartless creature to a delicate and fragile woman, having no regard

for mortality.

In the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth is both equally ambitious

and evil as she urges her husband to kill King Duncan in order to

fulfill the witches’ prophecies by gaining social power on the throne as

king and queen. Lady Macbeth calls upon the spirits to give her

emotional strength in order to help her husband go through with the

murder plot, “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,” (1.5.39-42). She asks the spirits to take away the

tenderness, love, and pity that makes her a woman so that her

conscience will not allow her to hesitate in her wicked plans. Lady

Macbeth, seeming to have no conscience, takes total control in

planning the plot against Duncan proving to be stronger, more

ruthless, and ambitious than Macbeth. He is too honorable a man to

do what he must to be king and this worries Lady Macbeth as she

fears it may prevent him from murdering the king leaving her to

commit the crime, “Yet I do fear thy nature, It is too full o’ the milk of

human kindness to catch the nearest way,” (1.5.15-17). Assuming the

role of stronger partner, she manipulates Macbeth with effectiveness

by ignoring his objections about the murder. Refusing to understand

his doubts and hesitations about the situation, she scorns his

manhood by calling him a, “coward,” (1.7.43) and questions his

virility, “What beast was’t, then, that made you break this enterprise to

me? When you durst do it, then you were a man,” (1.7.48-49) until

Macbeth feels that he must commit the murder to prove himself.

Lady Macbeth’s strength of will persists through the murder of King...
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