The Character of Lady Macbeth by William Shakespeare

The Character of Lady Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Length: 1219 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The Character of Lady Macbeth by William Shakespeare

We are introduced to the character of Lady Macbeth in Act.1 scene 5,
after she reads the letter from Macbeth, and from the start you can
see that she is going to be evil. (Act.1 scene.5), " Yet do I fear thy
nature, It is too full o'th' milk of human kindness". You can see
already she is determined to do something about this problem, of
Macbeth being to kind and innocent to kill another person for him
self. "Hie thee hither….pour my spirits". So she can get him home and
change him into the man that could kill the king, by manipulating him,
"in thine ear". And changing his mind into being more like hers, more
ruthless, "The illness should attend it", more ambitious and
convictions. "Shalt be, What thou art promised". Here this is spoken
with power.

"Thou wouldst be great". At this point she is more determined and
motivated then him.

I can almost see that, if she were a man, that she could kill the king
without any remorse and guilt. "Unsex me here…Stop…remorse". And she
would be able to do it without showing any pity for the king. "That no
compunctions …Th' effect and it". And so no barriers should come
between her and her fulfilment of Macbeth becoming king, which shows
she loves him very much.

Throughout this scene I can see Lady Macbeth psyching herself up.

(Act.1 scene.5), "Come you spirits", so the evil spirits could take
over her.

"Come to my woman's beasts, And take my milk for gall". And so she
could be filled with rage and malice.

"Come thick night". So she can cover up her tracks in the night when
she goes to kill the king. And all this preparation of killing King
Duncan happens before she even meets Macbeth.

Once they do get together, she is still as evil-minded as before and
now becomes even more sinister and manipulative. (Act.1 scene.5), "My
dearest love, Duncan comes here tonight".

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Character of Lady Macbeth by William Shakespeare." 19 Feb 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Character and Role of Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

- The Character and Role of Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth My coursework is about the role of lady Macbeth in the banquet scene and how she is presented throughout Act 1 and 2 At the start of act 1 we learn that Macbeth and lady Macbeth are in a very close relationship as we are told that they stay in touch by letters. It was in a letter that we get are first impression of just how important she is to him as he tells her all about what has happened and how he is to become king of Scotland....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
731 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about William Shakespeare's Macbeth

- Lady Macbeth In William Shakespeare's play, Macbeth, many characters moods change throughout. However, the one character whose mood changes most throughout the play is Lady Macbeth. In the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth is the one that drives Macbeth into the killing of the king Duncan. She seems confident and determined in the beginning of the play until she is overwhelmed by guilt. Along with this, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth’s relationship change after the many murders they have performed....   [tags: Lady Macbeth, character analysis]

Research Papers
731 words (2.1 pages)

Lady Macbeth by William Shakespeare Essay

- While reading through the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, one factor that leaped out of the book is that Lady Macbeth was not a very good wife to Macbeth. She put on an act in front of King Duncan and Macbeth’s friends prior to discussing the murder plan with Macbeth. Additionally, she refers to him with negative insults to try and motivate him to prove her wrong. Then, Lady Macbeth successfully convinced Macbeth into killing Duncan so that they could be crowned as the next King and Queen....   [tags: Character Analysis, Deceit]

Research Papers
552 words (1.6 pages)

Lady Macbeth By William Shakespeare Essay

- There was no other Shakespearean character that embodied the true spirit of evil and ruthless determination as Lady Macbeth. Macbeth by, William Shakespeare is a story shadowed by supernatural events filled with images of selfish violence and innocent blood, all ignited by a character that is like an apparition appearing only to mold the plot and disappear once devastation occurs. William Hazlitt analyzes this character in Macbeth: Critical Essay, “She is only wicked to gain a great end; and is perhaps more distinguished by her commanding presence of mind and inexorable self-will, which do not suffer her to be diverted from a bad purpose, when once formed, by weak and womanly regrets, than b...   [tags: Macbeth, Gender, Femininity, William Shakespeare]

Research Papers
1553 words (4.4 pages)

Lady Macbeth by William Shakespeare Essay

- Shakespeare tragic hero; Macbeth is undoubtedly conveyed as one of literatures greatest fallen heroes. Initially presented as an admirable hero, he self destructs from external and internal forces. The witches ignited Macbeth’s ambition and temptations prove too strong for the one admired war hero, whilst Lady Macbeth prays up on his exceptional being of vaulting ambition. Throughout the essay, the factors influence Macbeth’s downfall will be explored. The witches participate significantly in the ruin of the vulnerable hero, Macbeth....   [tags: Character Analysis, witches, duncan]

Research Papers
1078 words (3.1 pages)

Lady Macbeth's Deception Essay

- LADY MACBETH’S DECEPTION The play Macbeth by William Shakespeare starts off with a noble warrior Named Macbeth that is titled thane of Glamis by his own uncle, King Duncan. Macbeth is awarded thane of Cawdor due to the switching sides of the original title holder who is hanged for treason. Macbeth who is deceived by his wife kills the king in a plot for power and they put the blame on the guards by laying bloody daggers next to them. Macbeth begins to lose himself as the play goes on....   [tags: William Shakespeare's play, character analysis]

Research Papers
880 words (2.5 pages)

Lady Macbeth´s Dynamic Shift in Macbeth by William Shakespeare Essay

- Macbeth Writing Assignment Macbeth was a play written by a famous play writer, known as William Shakespeare. This play was set in Scotland and contains a variety of characters and themes. Lady Macbeth takes a major role in this play by accomplishing one main task, which is to help her husband become king. However throughout the play, things decide to turn into the wrong direction. Lady Macbeth’s dynamic shift goes from a cold blooded cruel woman to being a nervous, scared, sad and more civilized person which was a result of the crimes that her and her husband had committed....   [tags: guilt, gender, power, character]

Research Papers
795 words (2.3 pages)

Symbolism And Characterization Of Lady Macbeth By William Shakespeare Essay

- Women are considered the more feeble species of humans, however they are not the truly feeble species and we know this from several causes of history. Women have been lessened to men for several decades going back to before women could even vote. We see a shift in the traditional sense of male domination as we look at William Shakespeare 's, Macbeth, through the character of Lady Macbeth. “Women have a much better time than men in this world; there are far more things forbidden to them” (Oscar Wilde)....   [tags: William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Gender, Gender role]

Research Papers
1931 words (5.5 pages)

Macbeth's Lady in William Shakespeare's Tragedy, Macbeth Essay

- Macbeth's Lady      William Shakespeare's classic tragedy Macbeth presents an atypical woman in the character of Lady Macbeth. This essay will explore her character. Fanny Kemble in "Lady Macbeth" depicts the character of Macbeth's wife: Lady Macbeth, even in her sleep, has no qualms of conscience; her remorse takes none of the tenderer forms akin to repentance, nor the weaker ones allied to fear, from the pursuit of which the tortured soul, seeking where to hide itself, not seldom escapes into the boundless wilderness of madness....   [tags: Macbeth essays]

Research Papers
3052 words (8.7 pages)

Lady Macbeth, Macbeth's Lady-Villain Essay

- Macbeth's Lady-Villain   William Shakespeare's moving tragedy Macbeth presents a leading lady who is not the usual sort of woman, but rather a contradiction of the typical woman. Let us consider her character in this essay.   In "Memoranda: Remarks on the Character of Lady Macbeth," Sarah Siddons comments on the Lady's cold manner:   [Macbeth] announces the King's approach; and she, insensible it should seem to all the perils which he has encountered in battle, and to all the happiness of his safe return to her, -- for not one kind word of greeting or congratulations does she offer, -- is so entirely swallowed up by the horrible design, which has probably been suggested to her by h...   [tags: Macbeth essays]

Free Essays
3064 words (8.8 pages)

Macbeth says to Lady Macbeth
in a hesitant way, while savouring each word. And she responds by
saying in a shape way,

"When goes hence". In an ominously way, with a stress on the words
"goes hence". Which I think has a double meaning of

1. When will Duncan leave to go back to his castle?

2. When will he leave to go to his grave?

To which Macbeth replies in a cheeky way. "Tomorrow, as he purpose".
And in a shocking response she says. "O never, Shall sun that morrow
see". So she has already decided to kill the king while the
opportunity's there that night. To which Macbeth feels a little
shocked. "Your face, my Thane is as a book". Where anyone can read
what you are going to or about to do implies Lady Macbeth. So she
tells him to, "Look" and "Bear welcome in your eyes, Your hand, your

And so do and say all the right things to make him feel welcomed, "He
that's coming must be provided for". But, "Look like th' innocent
flower, But be the serpent under't". So that Macbeth could deceive
everyone at the party and then kill Duncan.

And through the whole of Act.1 scene 7 Macbeth is divided weather he
should kill the king or not but then finally decides not to. To which
Lady Macbeth is not happy, (Act.1 scene.7), "We will proceed no
further in this business". Macbeth says to her and to which she has to
think fast of how to change his mind back to killing Duncan. So at
first she insults his love for her, "Such I account thy love". What
she means by saying this was if you (Macbeth) could change your mind
so quick about the killing of the king then you can change you
feelings about me (Lady Macbeth) just as quick. And when that never
worked she, then she insulted his bravery.

"Art thou afeard….as thou art in desire", taunting him and calling him
a coward. "And live a coward in thine own esteem". And when that never
worked, then she insulted his man hood. "When you durst do it, then
you were a man". And then she goes on to say that when they had just
ideas he was willing to kill Duncan but now that they have got time
and place he has changed his mind. "Nor time nor place, Did then
adhere, and yet you would make both". And then finally she turns him
by saying if she had sworn to kill the king to him then, she would
have gone though with it "How tender 'tis to love the babe………had I so
sworn you". But the way she said it to Macbeth made him think that she
was really loyal to him and so he changed his mind back to killing the
king. "If we should fail?" said Macbeth. And she replyies with a
passionate remark, "we fail!".

But then she encourages and motivates him. "But screw your courage to
the sticking-place, And we'll not fail". And then she comes with all
the plans of how and when they should kill the king. (Act.1 scene.7),
"Whereto the rather shall his day……Th' unguarded Duncan". And she
plans then to palm the whole murder on the drunken guards. "His spongy
officers, who shall bear the guilt, Of our great quell?". And Macbeth
enthusiastic says, "Bring forth men-children only", for she can only
have boys with her kind of heart. And after they have killed Duncan
they will act as in deep remorse. "As we shall make our griefs and
clamour roar, Upon his death". And Macbeth can only reply by saying,
"False face must hide…. false heart doth know".

Even when it comes to the murder scene she is not as strong as she
made out to be. (Act.2 scene.2), "That which hath made them drunk hath
made me bold".

This implies that she has to have some drink to make her go through
with it.

"What hath quenched them hath given me fire". And that she is a little
nervous so that's why she had to have some drink. And she even says
that, "Had he not resembled, My father as he slept, I had done't".
Which shows that she had some guilt and loyalty to her father and that
she is not as evil as she made out to be at the start and would not
have been able to kill him.

And after she finds out that Macbeth has killed him, there is a lot of
tensions in the language between her and Macbeth. And as Macbeth
starts to think about what he has done, he starts to feel guilty and
sorry for doing it, but she quickly gets rid of those feelings. "A
foolish thought, to say a sorry sight". And she tells him not to think
so much, and so hard about it too. "Consider it not so deeply". And
that he will go mad if he lets this take over him. "These deeds must
not be thought……it will makes us mad". And when Macbeth is telling her
that, he could never get rid of the blood on his hands, "Go get some
water", is her responds to him, as if all his sins and thoughts will
be washed away with the blood. "A little water clears us of this
deed", is what she tells him when she gets some blood on her hands, so
we know she will not be having the same trouble of getting over it
like Macbeth does.

She is also very calm for someone who has just help to commit a
murder. "They must lie there…grooms with blood". Is what she tells
Macbeth after he comes back with the daggers. And after she comes back
from putting the daggers back in the chamber of the guards, she almost
accepts the fact that she is now a murder herself. "But I shame to
wear a heart so white". And even when they hear somebody knocking at
their door she still has time to stay calm and think of what to do
next. "Retire we to our chambers" and "get on your nightgown", she
tells Macbeth, and then she almost pleads and urges Macbeth not to be
so lost in his thoughts of the murdered. "Be not lost, So poorly in
your thoughts". So that they can go back to their rooms and hide until
they hear about the murder of the King

My conclusion is that Lady Macbeth is diffidently the main driving
force be hide the murder of King Duncan. Because from the start she
was the determined one, who planed and thought ahead about Macbeth
being King. (Act.1 scene.5) "And shalt be, What thou art promised".
"Thou wouldst be great". She is absolutely convinced that he has to
become King.

And she is the one who thought of how and when to kill King Duncan.

(Act.1 scene.7), "When Duncan is asleep…What cannot you and I perform
on the unguarded Duncan". So she very evil minded but gets the job

And she was the one who took control of most of the situation.

(Act.1 scene.5), "To beguile the time……And you shall put, this nights
business into my dispatch". And "Leave all the rest to me". Here she
takes full control of the problems of when Duncan is coming over.

(Act.1 scene.7), "As we shall make our griefs and clamour roar, Upon
his death". Here she tells him how to act sad and troubled after
killing Duncan.

(Act.2 scene.2), "They must lie there". "Give me the daggers". And
here she takes the daggers back to the chambers where the drunken
guards were.

And she is also the one who comforts and helps Macbeth when he is
really upset and sad. (Act.2 scene.2), "A foolish thought". She says
to help him, to get over killing Duncan. "Consider it not so deeply".
She says to make him stop thinking about it. "Give me the daggers".
She asks him because he can't bear going back into the room with the
dead Duncan.

And so I think that if Lady Macbeth weren't the person she is then
Macbeth would have never become King.
Return to