Lady Macbeth

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Discuss whether or not you feel sympathy for Lady Macbeth

There are certain aspects of Lady Macbeth's character that suggests she is good and therefore her downfall increases my sympathy for her by the end of act 5. But I would also argue that she entailed evil to fuel her sleeping ambition that would make her nemesis, her mental collapse, fully justified.

Lady Macbeth's role as a supporting wife at the start of the play exceeds the duties of a ‘normal' wife. She is the ‘Eve' to Macbeth's ‘Adam' and is tempted. Although Macbeth hints at the idea of taking the crown in his letter home, it is Lady Macbeth's ruthless determination to make him king that persuaded him to murder Duncan. Did she do this in the interests of Macbeth or was it to fulfil her own ambition? I would argue that it was to fulfil her own ambition because she decided straight away that murder was the best option to take without any regard to guilt, in this view I have no sympathy for Lady Macbeth because it is a sign of her inner evilness.

To commit the murder of King Duncan Lady Macbeth calls upon "…the spirits that tend on mortal thoughts…". She evokes evil to commit the deed and loses her identity; I would then argue that if she has lost her identity then she has lost her soul and that, in my opinion, makes her a monster. This is illustrated by her willingness to "…dash the brains out…" of her baby, if she had one. The loss of her feminine qualities exemplifies her knowledge of the consequences of killing Duncan, this is demonstrated when she asks the "…keen knife see not the wound it makes…". This reveals her hope that she will not feel any guilt after the murder and she naively believes that "…a little water clears us of this deed…"; these examples show that Lady Macbeth knew the deeds she was going to commit were evil and therefore sustains my unsympathetic feelings for her.

Although I have expressed unsympathetic views about Lady Macbeth, I do feel that a certain amount of...
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