Comparing Macbeth and Lady Macbeth Essay

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A Comparison of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

To understand Shakespeare’s tragic play, Macbeth it is necessary to fully comprehend the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The differences between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are profound. Over the course of the play, Shakespeare skillfully changes the role of the two characters. Macbeth is frightened at the beginning then confident at the end while Lady Macbeth confident at the beginning and frightened at the end.

At the beginning of the play King Duncan hears of Macbeth, the bloody hero. The battle was horrific, but Macbeth was fearless, fighting his way through the enemy and literally cutting the rebel leader in half. King Duncan is suitably impressed by Macbeth's braveness.
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Lady Macbeth at this point has a stronger inner conviction and uses very powerful antilife phrases in an effort to persuade the evil spirits to make Macbeth kill Duncan.

“Come to my woman’s breasts
And take my milk for gall.”

One would assume here that if one of the two were to have the strength of mind to live through this evil tragedy it would be Lady Macbeth. Shakespeare is entering into the very interior of Macbeth's mind allowing the audience to realise further differences between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Macbeth at this stage is going deeper and deeper into the world of evil.

“Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse
The curtained sleep.”

Macbeth realizes that in obtaining the crown by foul play he is devaluing it as the king is meant to be appointed by God. By now, Macbeth is able to have the courage to look into the heart of fear; Lady Macbeth on the other hand is unable to do this.

Following Macbeth's murder of Duncan, Macbeth becomes frightened and unsure of himself. He begins to regret his actions and realises that this will remain on his conscience until his own death.

“Macbeth shall sleep no more”

Conversely Lady Macbeth pushes her knowledge of this sacrilegious act deep inside her, trying to ignore it.

“Consider it not so deeply”
She believes that she will be able to do this with relative ease.

“A little water clears us of this
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