How far do you agree that Lady Macbeth is presented like a Fiend-like Queen

Topics: Morality, Gender role, Gender Pages: 3 (915 words) Published: December 3, 2013
How far do you agree that Lady Macbeth is presented like a Fiend-like Queen Throughout Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ it can be argued that Lady Macbeth, who ruthlessly questions Macbeth’s masculinity catalysing his unnatural acts of violence and brutality, is presented as a fiend like queen. Nonetheless, her calling on spirits in order to remove her gender identity as well as masking her moral consciousness in order for her to transgress against the divine right of kings suggests that she does not entirely embody Malcolm’s biased label of a ‘fiend-like queen’. Firstly, the presentation of Lady Macbeth as ‘fiend-like’ explores the concept of being possessed by an evil spirit or demon which is evident as she attempts to challenge all her natural as well as maternal properties. To fit the Jacobean role of a woman she should “love the babe that milks her” but rather she would “while it was smiling in [her] face, pluck [her] nipple from it’s boneless gums”. Her distortion of the role of her contemporary woman solidifies her presentation as fiend-like, as the contrast between the innocence of a smiling baby and the cruel plucking and dashing of it’s brains creates a horrific image and thus justifies Malcolm’s view of her. Furthermore, the use of the pure symbol of ‘milk’ and her distortion of it, makes her appear more demon-like and thus more ‘fiend-like’. Her request for the spirits to ‘come to [her] woman’s breasts’ and ‘take her milk for gall’ is another way in which she distorts the role of woman, as this nurturing substance is replaced with one that is poisonous. This image of milk reoccurs throughout the play and becomes a symbol of ‘innocence’ and ‘goodness’ and through Lady Macbeth’s rejection of it she ultimately rejects goodness and can be viewed as evil and therefore fiend-like. Furthermore, her constant questioning of Macbeth’s masculinity as well as her accusations of his cowardice does not present her as evil but instead as manipulative and fuelled by...
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