In William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, Lady Macbeth is responsible for the death of King Duncan. Although other characters did contribute to the downfall of the king, such as the three witches and Macbeth himself, Lady Macbeth’s role in his murder is the most prominent and influential. Upon first reading her husband’s letter, Lady Macbeth instantly believes that the way to achieve the crown is to kill King Duncan. The three witches in the play, who play an important role in the King’s downfall, are not as responsible as Lady Macbeth, as they never claim outright that any foul play must occur in order for their prophecies to come true. Furthermore, Macbeth himself, although clearly playing a pivotal role in the fatal act, is not entirely convinced that he should murder in order to become king and is therefore not nearly as responsible as his wife.
Macbeth: Lady Macbeth and Evil In a play that is abundant in evil occurrences, Lady Macbeth is the overriding source of evil in the first act. Lady Macbeth persuades Macbeth to kill Duncan, despite Macbeth listing eight reasons against the murder. When Macbeth is alone, we discover that he is a loyal thane to Duncan, not a murdering savage. When Duncan is in his house at Inverness, Macbeth comes to a decision not to kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth, who decided strongly against murdering Duncan, to go ahead with their plan to murder Duncan.
In Macbeth no one is to blame and he is truly the one at fault. Lady Macbeth seems like the right person who the most at fault. It is true that Lady Macbeth is the one who tells Macbeth to murder Duncan, and with her words in her aside, “unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty,” (I.v. 391-392) along with many other horrible scenes Lady Macbeth gives. It gives the audience a purpose to accuse her for all the murders.
However, she is also aware that she cannot commit the murder herself because as a woman, she is too kind, too weak, and too womanly. In order for her husband to become the King of Scotland, she becomes the initiator. To cast aside her kindness in an attempt to make her worthy of murder, she calls upon the spirits: “Come, you spirits/ That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,/ And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full/ Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood;/ Stop up the access and passage to remorse,” (Shakespeare I.v.38-42). Lady Macbeth asks spirits to unsex her, implying that she cannot be powerful because she is a female.
Indeed, Duncan’s murder reveals the relationship between Macbeth and his Lady, and suggests that even women are capable of cruelty. The act 2 scene II as mentioned before, concerns the murder of King Duncan. The setting for this scene remains implicit as the spectator and reader cannot witness the deed. The focus is made on Lady Macbeth and this character’s stream of consciousness as she describes her thoughts, actions and the “stern” (l.3) atmosphere aloud. She describes the plan that consisted in “drugg[ing] their possets”, talking about the two chamberlains supposed to guard Duncan’s bedroom.
The Guilt of Lady Macbeth Shakespeare's "Macbeth" holds many hidden themes within its already exuberant plot. The first of these surrounds the murder of Duncan and the role that both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth himself played. However, the true guilt of the murder can fall on either character. Although Macbeth physically committed the crime, it was Lady Macbeth that pushed him to his limits of rational thought and essentially made fun of him to lower his esteem. With Macbeth's defenses down, it was an easy task for Lady Macbeth to influence Duncan's murder and make up an excuse as to why she could not do it herself.
She never really tries to gain much for herself and never mentions that she wants to be queen. She wants Macbeth ... ... middle of paper ... ...has doubts, but he wants to believe that he is fated to be king. He wants to get support and advice for murdering Duncan from both witches and Lady Macbeth and gets them. Macbeth needs this push from the external forces to suppress his conscience and begin committing bloody crimes. After the evil side of Macbeth's character receives help from the witches and Lady Macbeth it completely takes over his good side and can now act by itself with no help from the outside.
She seems completely unaffected by the murder they two have conspired to commit. This apathy does not last for long however. A little later in the play, Lady Macbeth also sees the blood, and thus their moral wrong doings. She is completely consumed by guilt and slowly slips away into madness. In the planning stages of the murder Lady Macbeth felt much more strongly than Macbeth about the necessity to kill Duncan, and now in the aftermath she feels the guilt much more strongly than Macbeth.
Lady Macbeth employs a range of different methods, which successfully reverse her husbands intentions through manipulation. It is clear that Lady Macbeth’s affections are conditional and, unless he meets her expectations, she will continue to deny his role as a protector and husband. Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth live in a society where status is defined by strength. Macbeth shows his strength in war, but cannot do so in killing Duncan until he is manipulated by Lady Macbeth. She