One of Lady Macbeth’s commonly overlooked traits is her goodness, especially towards her husband, Macbeth. This goodness is first apparent at her introduction; as she reads the letter written to her by Macbeth. The letter tells of the three witches, whom Macbeth refers to as the weird sisters, and a prophecy regarding Macbeth’s future kingship. Immediately, Lady Macbeth desires the throne for her husband. Not only desire is felt, but also determination. Worried that Macbeth would not be capable of walking the quickest path to the throne, killing the current King Duncan, Lady Macbeth calls forth evil spirits to strip her of her weaker, feminine qualities. She says:
[U]nsex 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,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect and it! (I...
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...ay sees a complete transformation in her disposition. Her inescapable femininity, coupled with unbearable remorse for Duncan’s murder as well as several other indirect killings, torments her. She cannot rest peacefully, reliving her crimes even while asleep, and is profoundly unhappy. Indeed, Lady Macbeth is unable to maintain both her sanity and inherent tenderness; her torment driving her first to insanity and then to suicide.
To conclude, Lady Macbeth is a multifaceted character, her persona having many sides; notably: genuine goodness towards her husband, coy manipulation, and femininity. It is therefore inaccurate to define her as purely evil; despite the means by which she desires to accomplish her fantastical end. For all Lady Macbeth’s drive and determination, she eventually loses her dominant role, captive until her demise to her inescapable femininity.
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