Lady Macbeth and her husbands downward spiral towards dark destruction is one the most famous of all time. We watch with pleasure as their horrible actions lead to their ultimate destruction. Lady Macbeth makes the choice to, as one source put it, lose her womanly virtues and become what she thinks is a man. It is this choice that leads to her unknowingly helping the witches in their desire to destroy Macbeth and ultimately her as well. She changes from a woman sure of these decisions to woman riddled with fear, corrupted in all possible manner – mind body and soul. Her ambition and power lead to her destruction. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Lady Macbeth was “choked with ambition”. Her infatuation to be queen is the single feature that Shakespeare developed far beyond that of her counterpart in the historical story he used as his source. Lady Macbeth persistently taunts her husband for his lack of courage, even though we know of his bloody deeds on the battlefield. At this point in time, with all her will converging towards seizing the throne, she has shown no signs of remorse or hesitance in her actions and hence preventing the events in the narrative from digressing away from imperative themes and climaxes of the play.
As Oscar Wilde quotes, “Women have a much better time than men in this world: there are far more things forbidden to them.” This reference to the female stereotype contradicts to Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, as some female characters strive for power and some go beyond of their expectations. In fact, they step out of society’s gender expectations, this disrupts the natural order of hierarchy. As well, it affects certain of female characters mentally to the point where they lose their lives and/or vilified. As a result, Shakespeare shows that the natural order of hierarchy needs to be established. This essay will therefore examine the female characters by comparing the representation of unstereotypical women-Lady Macbeth and the witches and how Lady Macbeth demonstrates a typical woman while acting as a foil.
Lady Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most popular and daunting female characters. As Macbeth’s wife, her role is very important in Macbeth’s rise and fall from royalty. In Shakespearean times, females were considered as feeble and unimportant beings whose only use was to give birth, and for their looks. They were not by any means equal to men, nor intelligent. Though in this play, Lady Macbeth is portrayed as the biggest impact in her husband’s life. In her role, she uses her status in Dunsinane to gain power, stay sane enough to support Macbeth, and fails while their relationship falls apart. Everything about Lady Macbeth makes her the perfect villain for the play, mostly because of her capability to manipulate anyone that is around her.
Analyzing the Feminine Macbeth is a play where female characters have a big influence in terms of the direction of where the male characters will end up. Male Characters such as Macbeth build desperate ambition that leads him into a path full of consequences based on prophecies, and influences enforced by women. This desperate ambition makes a big influence on the path of the play. Female characters such as the three witches and Lady Macbeth play around with characters such as Macbeth who is probably the most important character in the play. By encountering, telling him seductive prophecies and manipulating him, to make sure that Macbeth overcome his obstacles; While Macbeth not knowing that later on in his life these prophecies will become true but with full of consequences.
In the play of Macbeth, Shakespeare introduces the main character, through the eyes of the one who knows him best, his wife. Lady Macbeth displays to the audience all of Macbeth’s weaknesses; her ambition to have power becomes her husband’s and this will bring out Macbeth’s ambition to be king. She also proves that the strong may become the weak and the weak may become the strong. Lady Macbeth is a main character in this play because she introduces Macbeth and helps the reader to understand his character. At the start of the play she seems to be the more ruthless of the two. When the reader is first introduced to Lady Macbeth she is already planning the death of King Duncan. In order for her to have the courage to do the deed and ask that all woman emotions be removed from her, “Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, And fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full Of direst cruelty! (p 257)” She is a key factor in this play because she links the male soul to the female body, showing that ambition can lead to violence.
As Macbeth becomes less dependent on his wife, she loses more control. She loses control of her husband, but mostly, of herself, proving her vacillating truth. Lady Macbeth’s character gradually disintegrates through a false portrayal of unyielding strength, an unsteady control of her husband and shifting involvement with supernatural powers.Throughout the duration of play Lady Macbeth’s truly decrepit and vulnerable nature is revealed. Lady Macbeth has been the iron fist and authority icon for Macbeth, yet deep down, she never carried such traits to begin with. This duality in Lady Macbeth’s character plays a huge role in planting the seed for Macbeth’s downfall and eventual demise.
Under Lady Macbeth's power, Macbeth kills Duncan while a guest at his home. The hesitation of the whole plan to murder the king sticks with Macbeth throughout the rest of the play haunting him. Lady Macbeth's power comes from her control and harshness towards her husband. She figuratively and literally would have little societal standing if not married to the great warrior Macbeth. Macbeth is a passive person when it comes to his wife and follows her orders as if she were ruling him. Once dead, Macbeth feels immediate guilt which is strange for such a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield. This guilt though is just a product of his quest for immediate power over the land and thinks that it is worth the riches and power of the position. Macbeth killing Duncan helped to assure that he would soon
...key component to the plan. The gender roles of Macbeth and his wife seem to go hand in hand, the operation would not succeed with only one of the individuals. This shows that a woman’s psychological actions are just as powerful as a man’s manual work.
Throughout Macbeth, Shakespeare dramatically shows what can happen when our common gender roles are broken. He shows the power that people can have over others when they aren’t acting the way they’re expected to.