By overcoming his personal matters to plot the death of the king, Macbeth only displays that women are manipulative, and often have their way with men. It was Lady Macbeth who initiated and urged Macbeth to go along with the prophecy. In the scene where the murder of Duncan is taking place, he also shows he is a coward when he will not complete the successful murder by taking the daggers back and placing them with the guards. This also showed a sense of insecurity, as Macbeth seemed no longer confidant in the success of the murder. Macbeth, who no longer needed any encouragement from Lady Macbeth, started to leave her to deploy his plans.
Macbeth now convinced that he must prove his manliness by becoming king and he must make this happen by murdering Duncan. Although Lady Macbeth is portrayed as the villain, she has to have someone else to what she want which keeps her from doing the dirty work. After Macbeth kills Duncan, it seems that Lady Macbeth helps by finishing the murder by framing someone other than her husband. Macbeth is a tragic hero who causes suffering by committing murder and distress, exemplifying the negative effects of a bloodthirsty desire for power. Lady Macbeth torments her husband Macbeth in going through with the evil deed of murder which leads her to be the villain.
She calls him a coward. When in reality it is not cowardice that restrains Macbeth, it is his conscience. She also insults his masculinity, and declares that she would have murdered her child while it was feeding at her breast, rather than break such a promise as Macbeth had done. Persuaded by her conviction, he yields to her, and in order to prove himself a man in her eyes, goes against his own nature and agrees to the murder of King Duncan.
Yet he also knows that to be king he has to kill Duncan. After the murders we realize that Macbeth has guilt, and pity for the murder that he just committed because he replies to Lady Macbeth "To know my deed, 'twere best not know myself. "(II.ii.72) Macbeths' tragedy can be paralleled to those tragedies of the present day. Just as Macbeth goes from fear, to guilt, and to finally his conscience destroying him. It also holds true for the murderer Susan Smith.
Just before the soliloquy in act 2 scene 1, Macbeth has doubts about Duncan’s murder. He says to himself that if the deed is to be done then it will have to be done quickly. (“If it were done when ‘tis done, then ‘twere well it were done quickly”.) Lady Macbeth then enters the scene and insists that Macbeth continues with Duncan’s murder for if not he is a coward. Macbeth is aware that it is an evil sin as he states “I dare do all that become a man.” This statement shows that Macbeth believes killing Duncan will make him nothing more than a beast.
Lady Macbeth even sees her husband’s weaknesses and uses his weaknesses to harass him into killing Duncan. This can be observed when, at one stage, Macbeth criticises the idea of killing a good king and believes that the killing should not proceed, his wife forces him to kill by saying offensive words. She questions Macbeth’s love for her, she questions Macbeth’s masculinity and she criticises Macbeth’s desire to be king. These three statements offend Macbeth. Because Macbeth wants to prove his manhood, his love for his wife and his desire to be king, he agrees to murder Duncan.
All tragedies need to begin somewhere, even if said tragedies are self wrought. Lady Macbeth’s calamity begins when she uses mockery to talk Macbeth into killing king Duncan. “When you durst do it, then you were a man, And to be more than what you were, you would, be so much more the man” (I. VII, 54-56). After struggling with the thought of killing Duncan, Macbeth is reprimanded by Lady Macbeth for his lack of courage. She informs him that killing the king will make him a man, insinuating that he isn’t a man if he doesn’t go through with the murder.
The idea of killing Duncan scared Macbeth; however, Macbeth still wanted to kill Duncan. The only thing stopping him from committing this horrible deed was his fear of upsetting the natural order. But when Lady Macbeth, a greedy, dark soul, heard the prophecy that Macbeth would become king and that she would become queen, she decided that Macbeth must kill Duncan. She played an instrumental role in convincing Macbeth to kill Duncan. She was trying to play all of her cards to force Macbeth to kill Duncan.
All throughout the evening that Duncan comes to visit, Macbeth has second thoughts and wonders if he should go through with the murder. Macbeth believes that he should not kill Duncan, but Lady Macbeth convinces him to. This causes Macbeth to worry and even picture a “dagger of the mind, a false creation” (II.i.50). Even after the murder, Macbeth needs the help of Lady Macbeth to cover up the killing since he cannot stand to see Duncan’s bloody body again. After the murder, Macbeth shows signs of madness when he says he hears a voice saying that “Glamis [has] murdered sleep” (II.ii.55).
Upon hearing that Malcom is officially heir to the throne, Macbeth displays shame for his thoughts of murder by explaining “Stars, hide your fires;/Let not light see my black and deep desires” (Document A) At this point, Macbeth reveals his fear of the very idea that has taken hold inside of him, suggesting that he has the capacity to resist the witches’ temptation. Unlike Lady Macbeth, who immediately starts planning to murder King Duncan and eventually convinces Macbeth to join her, Macbeth remains hesitant to commit the murder. Macbeth’s initial hesitance reveals the possibility that he allows the evil thoughts to take over him due to the persuasion of Lady Macbeth or on his own, as opposed to those thoughts forcing their way into reality against his will. If this is the case, the murder of King Duncan was entirely in Macbeth’s control. A short while later, Macbeth explains to his wife that he “ha[s] done the deed” (Document C).