Macbeth Literary Analysis Rough Draft
The motif of appearance versus reality is used in multiple places throughout The Tragedy of Macbeth. It appears in many forms; deception, irony, murder, etc. However, perhaps its most startling development occurs in the personality swap between Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth. Macbeth begins as an honest man who feels tremendous horror when asked to commit murder, and Lady Macbeth begins as a power hungry wife who will not let anyone get in the way of her husband’s pursuit of the crown. By the end of the play, Macbeth has become a murderously paranoid dictator and Lady Macbeth goes mad with guilt. From the beginning, Lady Macbeth is presented as very controlling and strong willed; she says that Macbeth “Shalt be what thou art promised” (1.5.14), which illustrates her position in the relationship. She literally orders Macbeth to become what the witches have predicted, and does not question whether he will achieve it, or even not attempt to make it so. The audience sees just how powerful Lady Macbeth is; she can command her husband to murder the king of Scotland against his own original will. Her power is also shown in the way she taunts Macbeth, saying he is “too full of the milk of human kindness” (1.5.16). She challenges his manhood, and manipulates his instinctual disposition to please his wife and prove his worth as a man. Macbeth, however, is on the other end of the scale in their relationship. He is extremely reluctant to murder King Duncan; he considers himself a good man and is terribly afraid of the thought of committing such a heinous crime. He only agrees to do it when his wife calls him a coward, and peer pressures him into the crime. Macbeth allows his wife to get into his head and bend his will instead of standing up for his own opinion and accepting his role as Thane of Cawdor. After the murder is done, Macbeth is beside himself with guilt and immediately regrets the deed. He looks at his hands and says...
Cited: Shakespeare, William. "Macbeth." Glencoe Literature. the Reader 's Choice. By Beverly Ann. Chin. New York, NY: Glencoe McGraw-Hill, 2002. 307-87. Print.
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