Macbeth: Dark, Evil, and Tragic

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“Macbeth”- A revered play written in the 16th century by the famous playwright: William Shakespeare. The theme of “Macbeth” is centred on how power and the thirst for it can corrupt a person and lead to their insanity. Power-hungry and manipulating Lady Macbeth, with the help of the prophecies of the three malevolent witches, persuades the eponymous Macbeth to kill his king, so that she can be the queen. But unfortunately, for her, her plans do not ultimately run smoothly. Both Macbeth’s guilty conscience and his wife’s insanity give them away and eventually lead to their down fall. The purpose of this essay is to discuss to what extent Shakespeare portrays Lady Macbeth as a truly evil character throughout the play.

From her very opening scene Shakespeare depicts Lady Macbeth as being cold and full of evilness. In act 1 scene 5, Lady Macbeth is introduced reading a letter from Macbeth. Already the audience can see she has evil plans. “Hie thee hither,

That I may pour my spirits in thine ear

And chastise with the valour of my tongue.” (Act 1 scene 5)

This exhibits that she wants Macbeth to come back home so she can persuade him to do the evil deed. Later in the scene, Lady Macbeth is afraid that Macbeth is too weak and too compassionate to be a murderer, therefore she asks the gods to replace all her goodness and femininity with cold haunted evilness. This is clear when she calls the evil spirits;

“...Unsex me here,

Make thick my blood,

Stop up th’access and passage to remorse...

Come to my woman’s breasts,

And take my milk for gall...” (Act 1 scene 5)

So that she can poison her husband’s mind. The audience’s first impression of her is as a remorseless, cold evil wife. This prepares the audience for the evilness sh...

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...5 scene 5). Power has watered down all his love and kindness. Shakespeare portrayed Lady Macbeth as evil and in the end was driven to death by her own guilt because ultimately she was a human and not a complete monster.

Lady Macbeth is thought of being a truly evil character because of the way Shakespeare portrays her character. Her malevolent influence on Macbeth, her trying to hide her humanity to help her have more power over her husband, then her trying very hard to hide her guilt are all examples of the evil she had done. Her dark and sinister nature gradually gave way to insanity and a suicide. Lady Macbeth’s character is a proof that power and thirst for it can lead to insanity and a person’s ultimate down fall.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Macbeth. Boston: D.C. Heath and Company, 1915. Google Books. Web. 3 Sept. 2015.
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