Woman or Monster?

Topics: Macbeth, Macduff, Conscience Pages: 3 (992 words) Published: December 16, 2012
In William Shakespeare's tragedy, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, is the wife of the play's protagonist, Macbeth, who sometimes is viewed as the most extreme representation of evil but truly is not. An obviously loving wife, Lady Macbeth is determined to have Macbeth rise through the ranks in the Scottish monarchy and do everything she possibly can to get him on the king’s throne. However, the psychological effects of her deeds get the best of her, eating away at her mind until she is forced to commit suicide. Through Lady Macbeth's thoughts, actions, and relationship with Macbeth, she proves herself not to be so cruel suggesting that Shakespeare wanted the reader or audience to feel sympathy for Lady Macbeth.

Lady Macbeth can be portrayed as ambitious and ruthless from her deeds, but her thoughts throughout the play show her humane side and her ability to recognize her morals. After Macbeth commits the murder of King Duncan, Lady Macbeth thinks to herself: "Hark! I laid their daggers ready / He could not miss them. Had he not resembled / My father as he slept, I had done't" (II.ii.16-17). Lady Macbeth was not able to kill Duncan because he resembled her father, which shows her more liberal side and her good conscience. The fact Lady Macbeth did not commit the murder herself adds to the effect that she is well-natured. When Lady Macbeth prays to the evil spirits to be able to convince Macbeth to commit the murder, she says, "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!" (I.v.43-46). Lady Macbeth has to pray to the spirits to be filled up of "direst cruelty" which shows that being evil and inhuman is not in her true nature which disregards her as a monster. This shows Shakespeare not wanting the audience or reader to judge her so severely because Lady Macbeth only prayed to urge her husband on. Because Lady Macbeth could not even bear to murder Duncan with her own hands and was...
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