How Shakespeare Portrayed Lady Macbeth

analytical Essay
1196 words
1196 words

From the very beginning, Lady Macbeth is depicted as an ambitious and powerful woman, who is central to the plot of William Shakespeare's Macbeth. So far, in the play, Lady Macbeth has been shown to be a very powerful and ambitious character. After reading Macbeth's letter, she says, "Thou wouldst be great, / Art not without ambition, but without / The illness that should attend it"(I.v 17-19), here, she is saying that he needs more evil or "illness" in him to become King, and therefore implies that she will "poison" him and give him the illness he needs to increase his ambition. Here she is also undermining her husband's authority (which is very unusual for a woman in the Elizabethan era) by saying he is unable to become a King, and is undermining his masculinity as she is thinking about things that a man would usually take charge of. To try to persuade Macbeth to kill Duncan when the audience first see them meet on stage, she is very bold, "Your hand, you tongue, look like th'innocent flower, / But be the serpent under't" (I.v 65-66), she shows her strong female identity, whose ambitions speak for her obsession with power. When Macbeth tries to ?back out? of murdering Duncan, Lady Macbeth uses many techniques to persuade him to carry out the deed. Firstly, she repeats the metaphor of clothes he uses, ?Which would be worn now in their newest gloss, / Not cast aside so soon? (I.vii 34-35) but changes the meaning, ?Was the hope drunk / wherein you dressed yourself?? (I.vii 35-36) showing she can be manipulating and that she has a thorough understanding of words, which is unusual for an Elizabethan woman. She also tries to manipulate him by saying, ?From this time / Such I account thy love? (I.vii 38-39) which could be perceiv... ... middle of paper ... ...n, she becomes something completely different ? a supernatural being such as a witch or evil spirit. Although Lady Macbeth never repeats the words of the witches, her ambitions and their prophecies are very similar, ?All hail Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter? (I.iii 50), however, if the witches had not revealed this prophecy then Lady Macbeth?s ambition would not have been ?fed? and it is probable that neither of them would have murdered Duncan. This shows how easily she is influenced by the supernatural. I believe that Shakespeare depicted Lady Macbeth as a very ambitious character who has a lot of power over her husband. However, it is only after she calls upon the supernatural that she becomes utterly ruthless and cruel. Works Cited Shakespeare, William. Tragedy of Macbeth . Ed. Barbara Mowat and Paul Warstine. New York: Washington Press, 2009.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how lady macbeth uses many techniques to persuade duncan to carry out the deed.
  • Analyzes how lady macbeth is a catalyst for the murder of duncan.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare portrays lady macbeth as domineering, showing that she has the mental ability to take control.
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