Essay about Lady Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Essay about Lady Macbeth by William Shakespeare

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“It will have blood: they say blood will have blood” (Mac. 3.4.149). These ominous words spoken by Macbeth are the first signs of his guilt and despair. The imagery that William Shakespeare used in his play, Macbeth, shows readers the dramatic contrast between altruism and narcissism. Though Macbeth begins as a loyal thane and general, he quickly has a change of heart, evolving into a ruthless murderer, and finally into a corrupt tyrant. From the beginning, Macbeth never realizes the long-term effects of his choices, and that, along with his lust for power, is what ultimately leads to his downfall. Macbeth never would have predicted that his life would turn out the way it did, saying “If good, why do I yield to that suggestion/Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair/And make my seated heart knock at my ribs...?” (Mac.1.3.145-147) when the thought of killing the king infiltrated his mind. Through Shakespeare's use of blood and animal imagery, Macbeth's metamorphoses between a humble thane, a brutal killer, and his ascent to a murderous, eccentric king impelled by his pride and lust for power is vibrantly illustrated to readers.
Macbeth, described as an eagle and lion in Scene I, is praised and canonized by his fellow soldiers on the battlefield. He is a noble, honest general and is good friends with his peer, Banquo. Never was Macbeth expected to become as capricious as the imagery later made him out to be. His mind was quickly twisted by the Weird Sisters' prophecy, and his once moral ways went awry. In the same act, Lady Macbeth remarks, “The raven himself is hoarse/That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan/Under my battlements” (Mac.1.5.39-41). The raven, symbolizing Macbeth, displays the weak miscreant that he metamorphosed into...


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...er does Macbeth resemble the lion or eagle, with Macduff shouting, “Turn, hell hound, turn!” (Mac. 5.8.4). There is no better person to dispatch Macbeth than Macduff because of the annihilation of his family by means of Macbeth.
Through the evolution of Macbeth, readers can see many parts of the same person including a brilliant general, a sinful murderer, and an insane dictator because of the blood and animal imagery used by Shakespeare. As Macbeth progresses between these stages, the parts of him that were once honorable became anomalous, immoral, and deplorable; he becomes a true tragic hero. Because of the imagery employed by Shakespeare, the play Macbeth evokes reflection on Macbeth's true morals and how a person could go to such extreme measures to fulfill their ambitions.


Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Clayton, Delaware: Prestwick, 2005. Print.

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