Preview

How Does Shakespeare Present Lady Macbeth? Essay Example

Good Essays
Open Document
Open Document
507 Words
Grammar
Grammar
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
Writing
Writing
Score
Score
How Does Shakespeare Present Lady Macbeth? Essay Example
Initially, Lady Macbeth is just ambitious, but when she reads the letter from Macbeth about the prophecies she contemplates murder. She only cares about ‘the future in the instant’. This means that she doesn’t care how she achieves greatness, but uses her cleverness to convince Macbeth to kill King Duncan. Even as she loves him, she calls him ‘my dearest partner of greatness’, which shows that she is very aware of her position. She is calculating and knows exactly what her plans are to kill Duncan; she also tells her husband to look ‘innocent’ but to be a ‘serpent’. She manipulates her husband by calling him a coward and using emotional blackmail to get her own way.
She shows that she can remain in control and is the stronger one of the two, by not panicking and ordering Macbeth around. She tells him to ‘go carry (the daggers), and smear the sleepy grooms with blood’, and when he refuses she shows no remorse by taking the daggers herself.

There are various influences on Lady Macbeth, but the letter from Macbeth telling her about the witches and the prophecies has the most effect. The witches make her believe that it is possible for Macbeth to become king and Macbeth himself encourages her that she may be able to convince him to kill Duncan because when she asks him how long the king is staying at their castle, he replies ‘tomorrow, as he purposes’, which suggests to her that he has ambitions as well.
She also talks about ‘spirits that tend on mortal thoughts’, so she thinks about dark subjects and can’t help herself, because they are ‘spirits’ and she has no power over them.
Lady Macbeth may be disturbed because of a child. She mentions ‘giving suck’, which could mean that she had a child, and she talks about it when she is trying to convince Macbeth to kill Duncan. This suggests that she has unpleasant memories of her child and they may have unhinged her because she talks about ‘how tender ‘tis to love the babe that milks me – I would… have dashed the brains

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Analysis Of Lady Macbeth

    • 607 Words
    • 3 Pages

    In William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, Lady Macbeth undergoes a dramatic change. She starts out as a confident, dominant, and forceful partner. She was ruthless and cold-blooded, but then she became weak and mentally unstable. The guilt of Duncan’s murder, the banquet, and the Macduff massacre begins to break her down. These events affected her more than she let on. Ultimately, she was not able to bear the burden of what happened and she commits suicide.…

    • 607 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    As the main motivator to Macbeth’s actions, Lady Macbeth is a character whose ambition and greed lead her and her husband to their inevitable fate of death. Lady Macbeth’s relentlessness, as well as her longing for power generate an emotion of pain and suffering. After hearing the prophecies of her husband, Lady Macbeth is intent on making her husband King of Scotland, as she will not let anything get in her way; even if she needs to resort to murder. After Macbeth’s murder of King Duncan, she is fearful that his loyalty and consciousness will overcome their “priorities”; however, as the play progresses, we are able to see that ironically, it is her that slowly becomes insane for she is being consumed by guilt and fear. This is distinctly apparent as Lady Macbeth sleepwalks and perpetually attempts to wash the blood aka the guilt of killing King Duncan, off her hands. In this quote from Act 5 Scene 1, Lady Macbeth states, “Out, damned spot! Out, I say!—One, two. Why, then, ’tis time to do ’t. Hell is murky!— … —What, will these hands ne'er be clean?—No more o' that, my lord, no more o' that…,” we can perceive that she is near lunacy as she can no longer comprehend her actions and what she can do to eradicate the constant sense of guilt.…

    • 259 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    The only way Lady Macbeth can rise in status and gain power is through her husband; she is an ambitious woman in a time where only men profit from ambition. Therefore, she concentrates all her ambition on her husband. This ambition and loyalty is her driving force, but ultimately her downfall. Lady Macbeth is presented as a loyal, ambitious, flawed character that is stronger than her husband and knows it. She has both feminine and masculine characteristics which allow her to literally get away with murder-she is manipulative, ruthless and cunning.…

    • 525 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Motivation in Macbeth

    • 975 Words
    • 4 Pages

    In addition to the prophecies, Lady Macbeth is a firm generator of motivation for Macbeth's actions. Once she hears about the prophecies, she becomes determined to do whatever is necessary to become Queen on Scotland. In the beginning of the play, she proves to have a stronger willpower than Macbeth, and is arguably the first valuable piece of motivation for his actions, since Macbeth is hesitant to commit the murder on the basis of the prophecies alone. Lady Macbeth uses her cunning, persuasive manner to convince Macbeth that murdering Duncan is the right thing to do. Lady Macbeth also taunts…

    • 975 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The effect of Lady Macbeth’s ambition and compassion towards her devoted husband is immediately shown in the first scene of which she appears. When she receives a letter from Macbeth informing her on his meeting with the three witches, who they promise him that he will be king. This is, in Lady Macbeth’s eyes, his rightful position and by her first words, ‘Glamis art thou cawdor/ and shalt be what thou art promised’ makes us instantly recognise that she will stop at nothing to make sure that he gets what she feels Macbeth deserves.…

    • 727 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Macbeth Ambition Quotes

    • 621 Words
    • 3 Pages

    After reading the letter from her husband (which recounts the witches' prophesy), Lady Macbeth's thoughts immediately turn to murder. In her mind, Macbeth must take action if he is to become king. Macbeth, she says, is certainly not without "ambition." The problem, as Lady Macbeth sees it, is that her husband is too "kind" to do what's necessary to achieve "greatness."…

    • 621 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Macbeth

    • 912 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Lady Macbeth’s ambition impacts her acquaintances, her relationship with Macbeth, and her own future. Firstly, she displays ambition towards the witches’ initial prophecy. The messenger delivers a letter from Macbeth explaining that the witches said he will be king. Lady Macbeth thinks aloud, “Cawdor; and shalt be / What thou art promis’d. 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” (Shakespeare, I.v.14-18). This quote shows Lady Macbeth’s realization that Kingship would be ideal but in order to obtain the title, it will take ambition and fearlessness. Next, she urges Macbeth and mocks his manliness in order to motivate him to agree to killing Duncan, so that he will be able to take over the throne. She states: “bear welcome in your eye, / you hand, your tongue: look like the innocent / flower / But be the serpent under’t” (I.v.62-65). Her words have the impact she intended and Macbeth agrees to murder King Duncan. By using her ambition and forcing him into things he initially did not want to do, tension is created within their relationship. Her ambition is also evident in her unrelenting need to obtain power. Lady Macbeth’s goal, as previously stated, is to encourage Macbeth to kill those who stand in…

    • 912 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Macbeth believed that from his third prophecy, “none of women born / Shall harm Macbeth,” (4.1.82-830) he would never be vanquished because everyone is born from a women. Macbeth assumed that he was safe, but what he did not know was that, “Macduff was from his mother’s womb / Untimely ripped,” (5.8.15-16). Macduff’s mother had a caesarean section before she died.…

    • 941 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    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…

    • 915 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Macbeths Downfall

    • 959 Words
    • 4 Pages

    To contribute to his downfall, while Macbeth kills King Duncan, she chides him again when he brings the daggers back to her instead of spreading the blood on the grooms; “Why did you bring the daggers from the place? They must lie there, go carry them and smear the sleepy grooms with blood” (2.2.48-50). Lady Macbeth does not understand why Macbeth has brought the evidence of the murder back with him. The blood needs to be spread on guards so the guards with be framed and accused and not Macbeth. Macbeth however is too guilt ridden and shocked at what he has done to return to the scene, so Lady Macbeth takes it upon herself to do what must be done. “Give me the daggers. The sleeping and the dead are but as pictures. ‘Tis the eye of childhood that fears a painted devil.…

    • 959 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Macbeth involves 3 witches who make prophecies for Macbeth about taking the throne. Ambition and desire drive Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to kill King Duncan. Later Banquo is killed due to Macbeth?s greed for the throne and jealousy of it being taken away and Lady Macbeth appears to go mad and die. Macbeth is then defeated. These themes of murder, ambition, greed and desire appear throughout the play among others. These themes are factors towards the portrayal of Lady Macbeth and contribute to changes that take place in her character and also how the audience responds to this.…

    • 4119 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Lady Macbeth to Blame

    • 299 Words
    • 2 Pages

    When receiving the news about the prophecies, Lady Macbeth wasted no time developing a plan for Macbeths domination over the throne. She tried to suppress her feminine qualities in order to show no mercy. Knowing that she could not do it by herself, she manipulated Macbeth into committing her murder. She steadily lost power over him after Duncan's death but she was still the reason behind the shift in Macbeths honest and honorable mentality.…

    • 299 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Corruption In Macbeth

    • 676 Words
    • 3 Pages

    As a result, her desire for power allows her to be stronger, more remorseless, and more driven than Macbeth. In fact, she is fully aware of this when she declares that Macbeth is "art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it.” This is why Lady Macbeth acts not only as Macbeth's confidant, but his also his controller. Consumed by her desire to become Queen, Lady Macbeth herself plots the murder of Duncan and when Macbeth questions the idea of regicide, she manipulates him with her powerful soliloquies. This is done by condemning her husband’s biggest insecurity; his manhood. She states that Macbeth would be “so much more the man” if he were to follow through with the plan. Lady Macbeth even points out that she herself would even kill her own baby as a means to reach her goals. This drives Macbeth to the point where he is “settled and bend-up” to prove himself. Her condescending inspiration is the first to trigger a change in his morals and attitude. However, as Macbeth’s own ambition starts to flourish and facilitate an obsessive and power hungry killing spree, Lady Macbeth’s character changes as well. She becomes helpless and is reduced to a weak figure that sleepwalks and is constantly trying to wash nonexistent blood from her hands. This is because she is so overwhelmed by the guilt of her treachery that a…

    • 676 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Lady Macbeth Quotes

    • 653 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Lady Macbeth can be described as a dark and manipulative character as she urges her husband the naïve Macbeth into killing Duncan by questioning his honor and strength as a man. She manipulates him with such great effect that it causes him to override all his objections, when he still hesitates to kill Duncan she repeatedly questions his…

    • 653 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Just like her husband, Lady Macbeth also does not show her true self to others. She pretends to be a potent woman such as when she pretended to faint in front of the Noblemen ‘’Help me hence, ho’’. King Duncan calls her an ‘’honour’d hostess’’ and gives her a diamond rind when in reality she is planning the murder. She appears strong and heartless when she would ‘’[pluck] the nipple from his boneless gums’’ however, she is not strong at all, her insides were tearing apart at the seams…

    • 328 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays