Lady Macbeth Is the Real Villain of Macbeth

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Shakespeare’s Macbeth explores the notion of villains through its key characters and throughout the play the audience is left wondering who is actually the ‘real’ villain. Lady Macbeth seems to portray certain characteristics of a villain and appears to have evil intentions and Macbeth is also perceived as a villain due to his violent rampage. Nevertheless, both Macbeth and his wife have a conscience and they realize what they’ve done wrong. With this considered, it is ultimately the witches who are the true villains as they continue to encourage Macbeth on his murderous journey and they are soulless as they have a sense of what is right and wrong, however they find pleasure in disrupting the natural order.

During the exposition act, Lady Macbeth immediately displays certain characteristics similar to a villain, and she appears to have evil intentions. Since she fears that Macbeth is too full of “th’ milk of human kindness” to take the steps necessary to make himself king, her attitude becomes very strong and forceful and she states “unsex me here, and fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full of direst cruelty! Make thick my blood” which presents her evil intentions as she desperately wants the crown for her husband, and does so in a dark way to emphasize the supernatural world as she would put aside her natural femininity so that she can do the bloody deeds in order to seize the crown. It also seems to be Lady Macbeth that is the “spur to prick the sides of [Macbeth’s] intent”, as she is adding to his “vaulting ambition”. Moreover, she belittles her husband, as she believes he needs to be “more the man”, and portrays herself as a woman who is capable of doing something unthinkable.

At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is introduced as a “brave” and “worthy gentleman”, as he fought bravely and was loyal to his king. However, the witch’s prophecies affect his ultimate desire to become “king hereafter”, and he begins to display certain characteristics...
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