Essay PreviewMore ↓
Lady Macbeth is a dominant character as soon as she is introduced into the play. A.C. Bradley wrote about her as “…the most commanding and perhaps the most awe-inspiring figure that Shakespeare drew” from his article titled Lecture X. She became a image known for her ambitious nature. Her thirst for power and disregard for life was shocking to the audience, as to her own husband. The moment she learns of the prophecies, she decides to stand behind Macbeth and see him to the throne. She is immediately set on her quest for more power. As it reads “Glamis thou art, and Cowador, and shalt be/ What thou art promised (1.5.13-14) This moment is crucial because it is the turning point where Lady Macbeth decides that she might have to kill to fulfill her quest for royalty. Macbeth is doubtful about their plan to kill King Duncan; however, she bombards him with comments that question his courage. She goes as far as telling him his love his worth nothing if he refuses, which proves her to be dominant and controlling using his own weakness against him. His love for her. The fact that she belittles his confidence, insults his abilities, and questions his manhood is so manipulative, but also wise because it worked in her favor. She said to him “Screw your courage to the sticking place” (1.7.60). She was confident that her ridicule could gain her control over her husband. There is no doubt that she manipulates her close relationship to Macbeth to get them both the power they covet.
How to Cite this Page
"The Manipulative Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare's Macbeth." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Aug 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Diane Mariechild, the author of ‘Mother Wit’ and ‘Inner Dance’ once said, “A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” Shakespeare’s portrayal of Lady Macbeth stands in contrast with the typical imagery of women during Jacobean times. Though Lady Macbeth does not create, nurture, and transform, she is depicted as a duplicitous character as the play progresses. Initially, Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth as manipulative and ambitious, but as the plot progresses, she is also portrayed as a weak lady unable to influence Macbeth.... [tags: manipulative, ambitious, influence]
685 words (2 pages)
- Macbeth's One-of-a-Kind Woman Shakespeare's Macbeth portrays the indomitable, manipulative character of Lady Macbeth through bold, sinister actions. Her character will be the subject of this essay. Lily B. Campbell in her volume of criticism, Shakespeare's Tragic Heroes: Slaves of Passion, examines the effect of sin on the life of the first lady: Act v presents swiftly and relentlessly the results of passion, of the passion which has become mortal sin. First it is Lady Macbeth that we see enduring the fate of the sinful in whom fear and remorse have already begun to effect the punishment for evil.... [tags: Macbeth essays]
3055 words (8.7 pages)
- In the Shakespearean play Macbeth, the lead character of Macbeth is seduced by the thought of gaining power. Nevertheless, it equally concentrates on his ruthless and malevolent wife and her amplified desire for control. Over the course of the play, it is evident that the play’s protagonist, Macbeth, undergoes a substantial transition in his evolution from a fearless and loyal warrior to a tyrant who only seeks revenge and bloodshed. As the play progresses, we later realize that Macbeth’s bravery and ambition are accompanied by Lady Macbeth’s ruthless and manipulative character.... [tags: Shakespeare, Character Development]
1049 words (3 pages)
- Shakespeare's portrayal of women in Hamlet is unlike his portrayal of them in Macbeth; nevertheless, they have similarities that are seen later in each play. Ophelia, who is Laertes's sister, Polonius's daughter, and Hamlet's lover, is seen as submissive and innocent while Macbeth's wife, Lady Macbeth, is displayed as ruthless and corrupting. Ophelia and Lady Macbeth are different in their characters because of Ophelia's weakness, her obedience to Laertes, Polonius, and Hamlet, Lady Macbeth's perseverance for power and her manipulative nature towards her husband.... [tags: Hamlet, Macbeth]
1292 words (3.7 pages)
- In William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, two main characters experience a change that alters their roles and brings out the worst in them. After Macbeth is promised greatness by three witches on a heath, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth try to achieve his prophecy. Because of their over-reaching ambition, they commit numerous murders to obtain their goal of becoming royalty. In order to cope with the guilt, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth undergo a role reversal, where they exchange characters and amount of ambition.... [tags: Shakespeare, Macbeth, roles, ]
553 words (1.6 pages)
- Shakespeare's Characterisation of Lady Macbeth In Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is portrayed as a complex character and is used to fluctuate drama levels according to her choices and her unpredictable way of thinking. As the play progresses, Shakespeare employs Lady Macbeth's character to keep the audience constantly engaged by provoking strong emotional responses to her actions through shocking language and dramatic tension. Macbeth was written by Shakespeare during 1606 to 1611. At this time, James I was on the throne.... [tags: Papers]
1661 words (4.7 pages)
- After analysing Lady Macbeth’s character, I able to conclude that I don’t fully agree with Malcolm’s description of lady Macbeth. Many scenes in this play manage to convince us of her association with the devil. However, some parts lead us to believe that she is not entirely evil and that she is capable of remorse. Lady Macbeth is an ambitious lady, led by her thirst for power. She is capable of unpleasant deeds, some so atrocious, they would have been unheard of by a lady at her time, getting her exactly what she desires.... [tags: Macbeth, characters, evil, guilt, shakespeare, ]
1346 words (3.8 pages)
- ... At the beginning of the play Macbeth is seen by others as honourable, and respected by his peers. When Macbeth has his first encounter with the three weird sisters he demonstrates that guilt is within him. When the weird sisters’ prophesize that Macbeth will take the throne, Macbeth begins to think of murdering King Duncan, when thinking of this evil thought Macbeth is quoted as saying, “Stars hide your fires, Let not light see my black and deep desires.” This line in the play exemplifies guilt is already present in Macbeth and that he doesn’t want his desires to be known.... [tags: tragic play, king duncan]
807 words (2.3 pages)
- 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. The guilt of Duncan's murder can be placed firmly on the... [tags: Macbeth essays]
1002 words (2.9 pages)
- The Changing Relationship Between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth Throughout "Macbeth" there are changes in the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as they both in turn take on the role of the more dominant character. Shakespeare presents the play in such a way that the audience sees how progressively their relationship changes dramatically as a result of how they each handle their emotions following the murder of King Duncan. It is evident at the beginning of the play that Lady Macbeth is the dominant character in the play.... [tags: Papers]
2412 words (6.9 pages)
Macbeth becomes paranoid and nervous after he murders Duncan. Lady Macbeth proved to support her husband by using her strengths to make up for his weakness by consoling him during the decline of his insanity. Lady Macbeth becomes fearful that could perhaps expose their devilish doings through his acts and facial expressions. She tells him, “Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under’t. (1.5.65). It is clear that Macbeth needs support, and without insurance and control from his wife, Macbeth would have fallen apart sooner than later. Although Macbeth committed the murder, it is actually Lady Macbeth who is in control of the assassination. She assures him, “Infirm of purpose! / Give me the daggers The sleeping and the dead/ are but as pictures (2.2.50-51).
Macbeth’s guilt develops further and his sense of judgment becomes an issue for him. At a banquet, Macbeth is certain he sees the ghost of his murdered former companion, Banquo. Macbeth’s mental state is declining and Lady Macbeth takes strength where her husband lacks. Lady Macbeth says to their guests, “my lord is often thus/ And hath been from his youth/ pray you, keep seat/ The fit is momentary (3.4.52-54). If Macbeth spoke any further, he could be exposed of his secrets of murder, but Lady Macbeth conceals for his burst of indecorous behavior. A.C. Bradley wrote about this moment as, “In presence of overwhelming horror and dagger, in the murder scene and the banquet scene, her self control is perfect. She leans on nothing but herself. However appalling she may be, she is sublime.” Lady Macbeth is then proven to be the strong and supportive wife. Thus, without her constant support, they could have been uncovered in their wrongdoings.
Lady Macbeth’s skill throughout the play was to compensate for her husband’s shortcomings as well. While being questioned for the killing of the servants for the brutal murder of Duncan, Lady Macbeth pretends to faint as an attempt to draw attention away from her husband. Shakespeare’s day was one of continued chivalry, and men felt obliged to help women in distress. Lady Macbeth’s calculating trick succeeded by drawing chaos towards herself, ironically it was Macbeth who was actually in distress.
As they rise to royalty, they face a downfall in their relationship. Macbeth gains knowledge of the witches’ prophecies and writes to Lady Macbeth to tell her of what he has learned. This is an important scene that proves his dedication and love for her. This scene can prove that they were at once happy, trusting, and devoted to one another. She tries her best to persuade Macbeth to change his mind when he experiences fear. This becomes a pivotal point in their relationship. They are still close, but it is the conspiracy that holds them together now. They are kept close because of their secret. Their relationship is then focused on their obsession for power, and less for their love for one another. The imaginary blood in Act 2 Scene 2 held them together. A.C. Bradley records her transformation as, “When we first see her, Queen of Scotland, the glory of her dream has faded. She enters, disillusioned, and weary with want of sleep: she has thrown away everything and gained nothing”. Lady Macbeth goes on to say:
The relationship declines further in Act 3 Scenes 1-3. As time prevailed, she has lost much of the power she once had over Macbeth. He fails to inform her of other murders, simply because she is no longer needed and he has become stronger than she.
The murder of Duncan has had everlasting effects on Lady Macbeth, which destroyed her relationship with her husband. Her toughness had since faded as the guilt eats away at her conscience. She sleep-walks and attempts to remove imaginary blood stains off her hands. The insanity shows evidence of her feminine weakness. Although, she requested for the spirits to unsex her in the beginning, she cannot escape the guilt from these horrendous acts. She comes to realize that the crown has not brought her happiness. Lady Macbeth becomes weak and looses control over Macbeth. She is no longer able to tell him what to do. They no longer bond or confide in one another; she becomes shut out on the man she molded. She was strong-willed and confident when she said, “What’s done is done” (3.2.12). Which will only bring significance to her last words spoken, “What’s don’t cannot be undone” (5.1.46-47).
Lady Macbeth was a chief character who played a strategic role. Her character plays a major role in operating Macbeth for his own downfall. Her passion for position and power led Macbeth to push forward when he was hesitant. Although she wished to be unwomanly - she actually used her femininity to her advantage to manipulate everyone around her. Lady Macbeth was a strong supportive partner and was able to stay loyal to her lord, until she becomes unstable. Their on going quest for power within the kingdom caused them to eventually loose power within their own lives and relationship. They become victims from their crimes visibly suffering from the damage it has left on their heart. Nonetheless, Lady Macbeth’s role in Macbeth was crucial to the development of the plot, and is proved to be one of the most important characters in the play. and She finally realizes that the crown has not brought her happiness.
Shakespeare, Willaim, and Aaron Durband. Macbeth. Shakespeare Made Easy . Hauppagem, NY: Barron, 2004. Print.
Bradley, A.C., and John Russell Brown. Shakespearean Tragedy. Introduction to the Forth Edition. New York, NY: Palgrave Publishers Ltd (formerly Macmillian Press Ltd), 2002. 294-321. Print.
Bradley, A.C. Lecture X Macbeth. Shakespearean Tragedy Introduction to the Forth Edition. New York, NY: Palgrave Publishers Ltd (formerly Macmillian Press Ltd), 2002. 322-330. Print.