When the initial idea of killing King Duncan was rejected by Macbeth, Lady Macbeth’s desire for power forced her to resort to manipulating her husband into committing the deed. Macbeth, originally a noble man, was unwilling to continue with his wife’s murderous idea as the King had recently honoured him by crowning him the Thane of Cawdor. However, Lady Macbeth knew that her husband “Art not without ambition, but the illness that should attend it”(Act 1, Scene 5, Line 18/19). Her lust for power forced her into manipulating Macbeth with the valour of her tongue, and she went down the path she knew would lead to success: challenging his manhood and pride. This would establish her as the dominant partner in the relationship, which contests the typical 17th century gender roles. Just as kings ruled countries, husbands were supposed to ‘rule’ their wife, and Lady Macbeth’s plan for Macbeth was another version of the same treason: taking power that does not belong to you. When Macbeth refused the idea she teased him, “When you durst do it, t...
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...e 9-11). After everything that has happened he has lost the capacity to be afraid or disturbed by something that would usually distress a sane person. A shriek at night would have induced goose bumps but he has become desensitised and his thoughts of slaughter is familiar and even comfortable with him now. He has come so far and is oblivious to any danger that it leads to his definitive downfall in the hands of Macduff.
The way in which Shakespeare exaggerates the characters makes them more relatable to society today. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s lust for keeping power and fear of losing it leads to their ultimate downfall and deaths. If all the aesthetic features of the play, like castles and kings, were stripped back the themes of ambition, pride and dehumanisation can be related to anyone, anywhere at any time. “He was not of an age, but for all time” (Ben Jonson).
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