evilmac womenmac Evil In Women and Its Effect on Macbeth

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Evil In Women and Its Effect on Macbeth

"...My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, Shakes so my single

state of man that function Is smother'd in surmise, and nothing is But what is

not." (1.3.140-143). Throughout Shakespeare's play, we see that Macbeth is the

victim of evil seduction by women. In the above quote the evil is perpetrated

by the witches. Lady Macbeth also plays a strong role in his moral corruption.

"... the influence of Lady Macbeth (though she too has an inarticulate angel

struggling against her own evil), and the instigation of a supernatural power

all combine to crush his better nature." (Boyce 391). Macbeth would not have

even thought of killing Duncan, if it were not for the influence of the witches

and his wife.

Historically, man has been corrupted by woman. Going back to the story

of Adam and Eve, we see such an example. ".. she took of the fruit thereof, and

she did eat it; and she gave it unto her husband..." (Genesis 3.6). Eve, out of

fear, beguiled Adam. In Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and the witches, succumbing to

greed, corrupted Macbeth.

Lady Macbeth's actions parallel those of the witches. The witches

planted the idea that Macbeth should become king. Lady Macbeth followed through

with this idea by pushing Macbeth to kill Duncan. "... a very definition of the

weird sisters - calling on them to unsex her to cram her with cruelty from top

to toe..." (Bloom 29). This quote illustrates the connection between Lady

Macbeth and the witches, showing us that they both participated in Macbeth's

moral decline. Shakespeare, it seems, utilizes the symbol of the witches to

portray the basic evil inherent in Lady Macbeth. One could not have worked

without the other. If it were only the witches' prophecies, then Macbeth would

surely not have murdered Duncan. It was because Lady Macbeth constantly harassed

her husband, that he was driven to commit all this evil. "... her blood

thickened, her milk changed to gaul - into the inhuman, the distortion of

nature..." (Ludwyk 233). This illustrates the complete metamorphosis of Lady

Macbeth from a loving, beautiful, caring, kind wife to a ruthless, nasty, shrew

of a woman. The women in this play distort Macbeth's intuition so much that he

thinks he is doing the right thing. "... his liberty of free choice is

determined more and more by evil inclination and that he can not choose the

better course..." (Bloom 55). Even after the deed is done, Lady Macbeth greets

her husband and "... her greeting recalls the weird sisters.
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