The Downfall of Lady Macbeth

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In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Lady Macbeth’s desire and ambition leads to her eventual downfall. When Lady Macbeth hears of Macbeth’s prophecy she dreams of the glory and high-standing that awaits being queen. She cannot withhold her ambitions and she is willing to manipulate fate to bring about Macbeth’s prophecy. She invokes evil spirits to be filled from head to toe with cruelty to do the evil actions necessary to make Macbeth king and to remove all remorse and pity for her action from her heart. She is initially able to be involved in the treacherous deeds that are needed to bring about the prophecy quickly, but as the play progresses the weight of the merciless deeds fill her with remorse. The remorse and pain she feels for her wicked ways cause Lady Macbeth to lose control of her life and wither away until the weight of her deeds causes her to die. Lady Macbeth’s wish is partially granted, her mind becomes evil and enables her to do horrific things, but her soul remains pure and unsure of her actions and her remorse for her wicked ways leads to her destruction. Lady Macbeth invokes evil spirits asking them to grant her extreme cruelty and to feel no remorse or pity for her victims. She asks the evil spirits to grant her these ills so she can take over Macbeth’s prophecy to prevent him from backing out, “Yet do I fear thy nature;/ It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness/ To catch the nearest way.” (1.5 16-18). Lady Macbeth uses the word milk to personify Macbeth’s weak nurturing nature. She believes that Macbeth is full of ambition and desire, but she also believes he is too reserved to attack when given a golden opportunity. She does not want to wait and let the prophecy unfold rather she wants to take control of it. Whe... ... middle of paper ... ...eafter. / There would have been a time for such a word.” (5.5 20-21). Lady Macbeth dies before she can see the ultimate failure of Macbeth losing his kingship. Lady Macbeth is given the extreme cruelty she desires from the evil spirits, but the evil spirits do not remove Lady Macbeth’s soul. Therefore, her wish is partially granted. She is able to do the terrible things necessary to make Macbeth king, but afterward she becomes restless. She questions her actions and her internal struggle culminates in her death. Her wish was made with the intention of making Macbeth king, and for a short period of time he is king. However, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth lose the crown and their lives making Lady Macbeth’s wish useless and regrettable. 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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