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Lady Macbeth of William Shakespeare's Macbeth

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Lady Macbeth of William Shakespeare's Macbeth

Shakespeare shows Lady Macbeth as an ambitious woman. She starts out

as a fiend like queen, who is capable of evil. However, as Macbeth

grows more evil and ruthless, she sees the error of her ways and lacks

the strength and courage to see things through.

We first see this when she receives a letter from her husband. We see

from the letter that Macbeth treats her as an equal, "My dearest

partner of greatness", and that he is pleased to tell her of the

prophecy, from the three witches, that she will become queen. At this

point of Act 1 scene 5, there is no mention of murder.

After reading the letter, Lady Macbeth makes a soliloquy about how

Macbeth is too full of kindness to make his ambition become reality.

We see her ruthless ambition and that she wishes he could be more

ruthless like her. "Yet I do fear thy nature, it is too full o' th'

milk of humane kindness, to catch the nearest way". This is ironic

because he treats her as an equal and yet she thinks that he should be

more like her.

It is Lady Macbeth's ambition that makes her think of murder. After

hearing about the prophecy, she takes it upon herself to make sure

that it comes true, rather than waiting for it. Shakespeare wants the

audience to see the powerful and impatient side of Lady Macbeth in

this part of the scene. She can't wait for him to arrive home so that

she can talk to him about the plan. "Hie thee hither, that I may pour

my spirits in thine ear". Lady Macbeth knows immediately that

murdering Duncan is the only way of achieving her goal quickly. Then

when Macbeth sends further news that Duncan is actually comi...

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Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth as a fiend like queen in the

beginning. She believes that her course of action is the only way to

fulfil the prophecies.

Shakespeare wants the audience to see that the public face of Lady

Macbeth never falters from her purpose. It is only when she is alone

that she doubts her ability to be evil. The gentler side of her

character only shows through when Macbeth becomes more bloodthirsty.

She is upset by the murder of Lady Macduff and begins to realise that

things have gone too far. She was perhaps naive to think that Duncan's

murder would be the only one. So although her ambition is great she

lacks the single-mindedness to see the plan through to the end.

Therefore whilst she appears to be ruthless and free from guilt, she

is not prepared for the consequences of her terrible plan.
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