Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

Powerful Essays
Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

Throughout Macbeth, we are introduced to several interesting

characters that influence events for good or bad. Perhaps the most

complete character of all could be argued to be Lady Macbeth. Lady

Macbeth often takes centre stage and reveals her emotions to the

audience through several soliloquies. Because she is such a complex

character, the audience has to make their own conclusions about her

personality and drive behind her actions. To me, she appears at first

to be loving but ambitious. By the end of the play, Lady Macbeth is

revealed to be cruel but loyal, aggressive, ruthless and neurotic. The

fact that she kills herself shows how mentally unstable she becomes.

Lady Macbeth plays a crucial part in the key events surrounding

Macbeth. Throughout the play we see her determination build to a point

where she pushes Macbeth and herself over the edge. We see that as

soon as Lady Macbeth reads her husband's letter telling her of the

witches' predictions she instantly starts to plan the murder of King

Duncan. As soon as Macbeth returns home, she quickly plants seeds of

ruthless ambition into his mind and we watch her guide him along the

treacherous path of murder and deceit. When Macbeth starts to have

doubts, she rapidly persuades him to go ahead with the King's murder.

We see that at the time when Macbeth starts to crack under the

pressure, Lady Macbeth is the one who covers up his mistakes and

soothes his erratic nerves. An example of this is when Macbeth sees

the ghost of Banquo. He starts to incoherently mutter and Lady Macbeth

has to throw the guests out just so that he won't reveal t...

... middle of paper ...

... stuck in a castle

all the time. By this I mean it would be hard not to have as much

freedom as she would have done before she was married. Married women

often felt constricted by their husbands and so she put all of her

energy into herself and ambitions. This in itself wasn't wrong but she

did it in such a way that she ended up taking the wrong path and

pursuing the wrong kind of ambitions. She allowed herself to follow

the route that led to murder and self-destruction whilst also leading

Macbeth too. It is often down to the actor to interpret their

character's actions and so Lady Macbeth is often portrayed in many

different ways when performed. I believe Shakespeare intended Lady

Macbeth to be a strong resolute woman eventually brought down by the

pressure of experiencing ultimate power and then being eaten up by it.
Get Access