Lady Macbeth Has Been Described as the ‘Fourth Witch.’ Do You Agree with This Statement?

Topics: Macbeth, Three Witches, Lady Macbeth Pages: 3 (1113 words) Published: May 21, 2011
Lady Macbeth is an insidious and complex character. Throughout the course of the novel, she manipulates her husband, Macbeth, and spurs him to commit his first murder in order for him to ultimately achieve what she believes he deserves. Lady Macbeth is shown to the audience as a loyal wife who wants the best for his husband, but at the same time, she is portrayed as a malicious character from the very beginning of the play. The line between an evil human being, and a scheming witch, is so fine that Lady Macbeth could easily be either. The fact that the three Weird Sisters’ predictions would not have become true without the supreme influence of Lady Macbeth provokes the thought that, perhaps Lady Macbeth is more than an anti-mother and a schemer, perhaps she is a witch. This possibility would also change the nature of the witches from the future-seers they are portrayed as, to merely influencers of a string of events that they plan. In order to differentiate or associate Lady Macbeth from or to the weird sisters, the similarities and differences of Lady Macbeth and the witches must be explored. Firstly, Lady Macbeth and the witches both call on to evil forces at times of need, such as when Lady Macbeth cries “Come, you spirits/ That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,”(I, 5, 39-40) to discard her feminine traits in order for her to eventually be successful in fulfilling the witches plan by spurring Macbeth to kill Duncan. This invocation signifies a link between Lady Macbeth and the supernatural, or witchcraft, which is utilized by her and the witches. Soon after the invocation, she questions Macbeth’s manhood by telling him that “When you durst do it, then you were a man/ And to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man.”(I, 7, 49-51). As Lady Macbeth discarded her womanish traits and understands the true nature of a man, she began to share a certain gender ambiguity with the witches, Banquo observes the genderless appearance in the...
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