Characterization Of Lady Macbeth Essays About Power

Essay on Lady Macbeth Character Analysis

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Lady Macbeth: Unsexed and Uncovered

     Lady Macbeth progresses throughout the play from a seemingly savage and heartless creature to a very delicate and fragile woman. In the beginning of the play, she is very ambitious and hungry for power. She pushes Macbeth to kill Duncan in order to fulfill the witches’ prophecy. In Act I, Scene 6, she asks the gods to make her emotionally strong like a man in order to help her husband go through with the murder plot. She says, “Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, And fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full Of direst cruelty!” Also, she does everything in her power to convince Macbeth that he would be wrong not to kill Duncan. In Act I,…show more content…

The first sign of weakness comes in Act II, Scene 2 when she says that she could not kill Duncan because he resembled her father. She explains, “Had he not resembled My father as he slept, I had done’t.” The other example of some weakness in Lady Macbeth’s character is in Act III, Scene 2 when she tries to comfort Macbeth by telling him not to worry about what he has done to Duncan and is about to do to Banquo. She tells him, “How now, my lord! Why do you keep alone, Of sorriest fancies your companions making, Using those thoughts which should indeed have died With them they think on? Things without all remedy Should be without regard: what’s done is done. Perhaps the most ironic change in Lady Macbeth’s character comes at the very end of the play. Throughout most of the first four acts of the play, she has been the strongest character, always leading Macbeth and pushing him to carry out their plot, but in Act V we begin to see that she wasn’t as strong as she had appeared. First, in Act V, Scene 1 we see a troubled Lady Macbeth who is sleepwalking. She seems to be very troubled by blood, presumably that of King Duncan. Some of the comments she makes are, “Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?”, “What, will these hands ne’er be clean?”, and “Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.” Later, we learn

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The Power Struggle in Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

1229 Words5 Pages

The Power Struggle in Macbeth

In Shakespeare's Macbeth, the focus that is placed on the character of Lady Macbeth helps to convey the play's theme of the strife created by the struggle for power and control that is present throughout the entire work. Shakespeare presents her character in great detail and shows her to be a dominating, authoritative woman who thrives on the power she holds over her husband. He then shows the principle character, Macbeth, rise up and join his wife in a struggle for power of his own. It is the actions that Macbeth takes in attempt to achieve ultimate authority that lead to his downfall, and it is Lady Macbeth's loss of control over her husband as he gains this independence which causes her own…show more content…

For example, when he is indecisive about the plans to kill King Duncan, Lady Macbeth labels him a coward. When Macbeth defends himself by explaining that he is doing all that can be expected of a man, she replies, "When you durst do it, then you were a man"(1.7.49). She claims that no real man would back down and refuse to follow through with an act he had agreed to, and that, if he does so, she, herself, would be considered more of a man than he. As Max Huhner points out in one of his essays, Lady Macbeth, like many of Shakespeare's other female characters, is presented as being "more vindictive, revengeful, spiteful, and mean. . .than any man would be"(87). She boasts of her own aggression as she states:

. . . I have given suck, and know

How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me:

I would, while it was smiling in my face,

Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums,

And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you

Have done to this.(1.7.54-9)

Later in the play, when Macbeth is troubled by the presence of the ghost of Banquo at his palace, Lady Macbeth again uses insults to try to control his actions in front of the guests with the harsh words, "Are you a man?"(3.4.59). "What! quite unmanned in folly?"(3.7.74). Lady Macbeth seems to feed off the power she obtains over her husband by attacking his character, and she uses this to build up her own confidence.

Once Macbeth follows through with his wife's plan to murder the

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