In William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, Lady Macbeth is responsible for the death of King Duncan. Although other characters did contribute to the downfall of the king, such as the three witches and Macbeth himself, Lady Macbeth’s role in his murder is the most prominent and influential. Upon first reading her husband’s letter, Lady Macbeth instantly believes that the way to achieve the crown is to kill King Duncan. The three witches in the play, who play an important role in the King’s downfall, are not as responsible as Lady Macbeth, as they never claim outright that any foul play must occur in order for their prophecies to come true. Furthermore, Macbeth himself, although clearly playing a pivotal role in the fatal act, is not entirely convinced that he should murder in order to become king and is therefore not nearly as responsible as his wife.
She begins the play with MacBeth giving her all the inside information and asking her for advise in confusion of how he is going to become the King and the Thane of Cawdor " Glamis thou art Cawdor; and shalt be/ what thou art promised: yet do I fear thy nature"(16-17). As soon as things get stirred up MacBeth starts to question the task at hand (Act 1, scene 7 ln. 40-43) "Such thy account I love. Art thou afeard/ To be the same in thine own act and valor/ As thou art in desire." He also turns on his second wife, stripping the respect, input, and dignity completely from her.
From the first act to the last act, Macbeth repeatedly tries to prove his masculinity. In Act I, when she is introduced, she makes a startling speech, calling spirits to make her a man, fill her with evil, and take away any remorse she might have. In addition to making these surprising statements, she says that her husband is too kind to commit the callous murder of Duncan, his own cousin. Macbeth fully voices his feelings about the murder not only in several soliloquies and asides, but to his wife before and after he murders Duncan. Lady Macbeth, the master of manipulation, knows precisely what to tell her husband to get him to do what she wants.
The witches’ prophecies intensify her ambitions for her husband, to be the King of Scotland. Lady Macbeth is the one who encourages him to kill the king and she not only encourages him, she makes all the plans herself. We see how clever she is and how she understands her husband well, she knows he has great ambitions, but she also knows that he is honourable and mentally weak: “yet I do fear thy nature, it is too full o’th milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great. Art not without ambition, but without The illness should attend it.” She also knows that she will have to use all her powers of persuasion to control and manipulate Macbeth into the murder.
Lady Macbeth is the first to strategize a way to kill Duncan. As a character foil to Macbeth she juxtaposes their possession of guilt and ruthlessness, which creates irony and excitement to the play. Originally, she is very power hungry and wants to utilize her husband’s position in status to become queen. Macbeth objects to the plan to kill Duncan because he believes Duncan is Macbeth’s kinsman, host, and an overall virtuous ruler (Act. 1 Scene.
Worthy gentleman!” The audience's initial perception of Lady Macbeth is of a confident and evil woman. In her first scene she is reading a letter from her husband telling her about the witch's predictions. Upon reading the letter she instantly decides to obtain the crown for Macbeth through any possible means. “Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be What thou art promised.” It is these two bold and sure views of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth that are soon to change. Lady Macbeth forces Macbeth to murder Duncan and when he first refuses, she appeals to his manhood and courage.
Women's Sinister Roles in Macbeth In reading Shakespeare's tragic drama Macbeth, one meets only one good woman - Lady Macduff. The remaining female characters are basically evil. Let's consider mainly Lady Macduff and only briefly the three witches. Blanche Coles states in Shakespeare's Four Giants that Macbeth's wife had considerable leverage over her husband's mind: This was her opportunity to do as she had promised herself she would do after she had read the letter - to pour her spirits into his ear, to chasten with the valor of her tongue all that might impede him from the golden crown. We may be sure she took this opportunity to use all her monstrous powers of persuasion.
When Lady Macbeth reads the letter from her husband telling her the news about becoming the Thane of Cawdor, Thane of Glamis and of the three witches that told him he would be king, she was overwhelmed by ambition to have power. She then goes on to plot the death of the King, then realizing that Macbeth would not go through with the plan unless she pushes him to do it, “Yet do I fear thy nature; it is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great, Art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it. (p 256)” She knows that Macbeth is a loyal warrior and it would be difficult, and she does it by questioning his manhood, “But screw your courage to the sticking-place And we’ll not fail. (p 260)” When the King arrives she makes Macbeth stay out of the room because his face releases the secrets that lye within, “Your face, my Thane, is as a book where men May read strange matters.
“Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be What thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o' th' 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.v., 2-5). Macbeth’s wife, Lady Macbeth, was a woman who strived for a leading role in the kingdom and true power who would have done anything to get it. Lady Macbeth had the intention to kill King Duncan and take away the throne by convincing Macbeth to commit scandalous and shameful crimes in the kingdom. Lady Macbeth was a manipulative woman whom no one can trust.