William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” is one of his darkest and most powerful tragedies. In the play, the two main characters, husband and wife Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, share many similarities. Like all people, however, they have their dissimilarities as well. They’re ruthless, ambitious and driven by their hunger for power. Yet, Macbeth is remorseful and hesitant, while Lady Macbeth is a cold and hard bitten woman.
Macbeth and Lady Macbeth both have the same goal in mind in the beginning of the play; They both want power over the Scottish throne. They’re willing to do anything it takes to get to the top, even if it means taking the life if an innocent. Fortunately Macbeth still has his conscience and wavers with the decision of killing king Duncan. “First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, strong both against the deed; then, as his host, who should against his murderer shut the door, not bear the knife myself.” (I, 7, 14-17). Macbeth does not have it in him to kill Duncan due to his loyalty to Scotland, family, and his king. He says he should protect him from murderers since he is a guest in their home, not kill him. Lady Macbeth on the other hand was the opposite of her husband. She feels no remorse or consciousness when it comes to slaughtering her king. Right from the get- go we get a glimpse of Lady Macbeth’s insanity and hunger to be something greater than a General’s wife; A queen. “…yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o' the milk of human kindness; To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great; Art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it” (I, 5, 11-15). Reading the doubt she expresses towards Macbeth gives the impression that she is the dominant figure in their relationship and shows her willingness to take matters into her own hands. After the deed has been done and she is covered in Duncan’s blood, she acts as though everything is fine. But after the killings that precede his, she starts going mad. “Out, damned...
Bibliography: Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Adventures in American Literature. Pegasus Edition. Ed William Keach, John Richetti and Bruce Robbins. Orlando, FL.: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989.
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