Lady Macbeth as a Friend-Like Queen in William Shakespeare's Play

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Lady Macbeth as a Friend-Like Queen in William Shakespeare's Play

To answer this question I am going to study and analyse the text

thoroughly to determine whether I agree or disagree with Malcolm's

statement. I will do this by looking at both sides of the argument and

by concluding with my own opinion based on the evidence I will


Another word for fiend is monster. A monster is generally considered

to be inhuman and Lady Macbeth does show inhuman qualities throughout

the play but towards the end of the play she changes.

When she first enters the play in act one scene five, where she reads

a letter from Macbeth, he refers to her as his- "Dearest partner of

greatness". For women in medieval, eleventh century Scotland this

would have been very uncharacteristic: a women's place would have been

in the home and generally they wouldn't have had political opinions or

ambitions and would not have been equal to men. Even when the play was

written in the eighteen hundreds, women were viewed as inferior to

men. The role of a woman is epitomised in Lady Macduff. She is soft,

domestic, child bearing and feminine. She doesn't have any political

opinions or ambitions, unlike Lady Macbeth. The comparison between the

two wives shows us how and why Lady Macbeth sacrifices her femininity

and why she did so. She doesn't just want her husband to become king

but she wants to become Queen. Shakespeare was quite sexist and had a

hatred for woman which shows in some of his plays, so maybe he is

saying that Lady Macduff is what a woman should be and Lady Macbeth is


Lady Macbeth is very ruthless and "fiend-like" in the way she goes


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...o sympathise with her. The brilliant phrase "look like the

innocent flower, be the serpent under it" shows us her fiend-like

tendencies and slyness. In Roman Polanski's film of the play Macbeth,

he takes the text literally and has Lady Macbeth played by an innocent

flower (soft and beautiful), which is an interesting way to perceive

the play as most productions have a dark evil actress playing the

character of Lady Macbeth. Although towards the end of the play when

her possible schizophrenia emerges, we discover she is living two

lives, that she isn't completely ruthless and she does show some guilt

just in strange ways. However overall I do agree with Malcolm's

statement that Lady Macbeth is a "fiend-like Queen", in the way she

went about becoming Queen and in the way she ruled, even if it was

only for a brief period.
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