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Brains over Brawn
Max Hummel

How did a once normal woman turn into an invidious and manipulative person? In William Shakespeares’ Macbeth, Lady Macbeth’s manipulation is the catalyst that gets the story rolling. Her dominance over Macbeth illustrates the theme, gender equal power. By undermining his weaknesses and usurping his masculinity, Lady Macbeth effectively facilitates a shift in power; the masculine loses its domination as Macbeth falls prey to Lady’s Macbeth’s abusive ways. Her ruthlessness ultimately brings about both Macbeth’s downfall and his transformation into a monster as he resorts to violence to prove his masculinity. This manipulation is illustrated when Lady Macbeth coerces Macbeth to kill Duncan. This single event has collateral damage throughout the rest of the story finally causing Macbeth’s demise.

In the opening of the play, Lady Macbeth acts as an extremely manipulative individual who essentially controls her husband's actions. This is evident through the plot and ultimately the death of King Duncan. From the beginning, as soon as she has word of the witches’ prophecies, she starts plotting Duncan’s murder. Lady Macbeth targets Macbeth’s weak mind and his lack of initiative, “Art thou afraid to be the same in thine own act and valor as thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that which thou esteem’st the ornament of life, and live a coward in thine own esteem, Letting ‘I dare not’ wait upon ‘I would. (3.7.35-44)” Through intimidation and criticism , Lady Macbeth orchestrated Macbeth’s transformation into a monster. Initially Macbeth was portrayed as a noble person and an independent thinker. He was a loyal subject of Duncan and a friend to Banquo. However, his desire to be king proved to be another flaw that Lady Macbeth exploited. His ambition was his downfall as he would do anything, including committing murder, to become king. In essence, the quote introduces a pivotal theme of the play:...
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