Character Study of Lady Macbeth

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Character Study of Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth comes into the play in act 1 scene 5, when Lady Macbeth

is reading the letter from Macbeth. Lady Macbeth fears that Macbeth’s

heart “is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness”. She knows that her

husband has is “not without ambition, but without the illness should

attend it”.

Lady Macbeth’s immediate response to the letter is the thought of

killing the king. “Hie thee hither, that I may pour my spirits into

thine ear” she wants her husband to hurry back so she can talk to him

about killing the king.

Lady Macbeth’s determination to be queen is evident when she refers to

“the raven” who “himself is hoarse” and “croaks the fatal entrance of

Duncan”. It is here that we realise she means to end his life, she

calls upon evil spirits to “unsex me here” abandoning all her feminine

qualities, her “direst cruelty” to evident when she opposes her nature

asking for it to “take my milk for gall.”

She warns him warns him of such things such as “your face, my thane,

is a book where men may read strange matters” She tells him how to

behave when around the king “…bear welcome in your eye, your hand,

your tongue; look like th’ innocent flower, but be the serpent

under’t”. She is so certain of her own strength and determination that

she can say “leave all the rest to me”

Act 1 scene 7, when Macbeth has doubts with regard to killing Duncan,

Lady Macbeth is quick to manipulate him knowing exactly what to say.

“Was the hope drunk?” Lady Macbeth calls Macbeth a coward “and live a

coward in thine own esteem”. She is clever to say this because Macbeth

is brave and won’t tolerate being called a ...

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...beth responds “cure her of that” notice how he cares

less for her now. His guilt has now become her guilt. Macbeth does not

understand the implication of her guilt, believing it would be easy

to, “pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow” and “cleanse the stuffed

bosom of that perilous shift which weighs upon her heart”

Act 5 scene 5, Macbeth hears the cry of Lady Macbeth committing

suicide. Lady Macbeth went from being normal to being overcome with

selfishness and greed to become queen. She called upon the spirits to

take away her feminine qualities, which made her wicked and cold

hearted. She manipulated her husband and persuasively more than once

changed his mind on killing Duncan. Her guilty conscience grew more as

Macbeth guilty conscience grew less. Eventually her guilt was too much

and this lead to her death.
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