Lady Macbeth: Guilty or Innocent?

Decent Essays
In William Shakespeare 's play Macbeth; one of the leading roles is Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is the wife of Macbeth, a warrior and cousin of King Duncan. As the play progresses and the plot thickens, Lady Macbeth changes. Her actions change, her words change, her personality changes, and her motivations change. Now the real question is; is Lady Macbeth guilty or innocent?

Upon Lady Macbeth 's first appearance in the play she is very affectionate towards her husband. She reads her letter of endearment from her husband and is the symbol of innocence. The second her husband arrives at their home, however, Lady Macbeth jumps on her and tells him what to do. As the conversation continues Lady Macbeth literally tells her husband that he is
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She has great ambition to be queen; this ambition is so great it overrides her ambition for her husband. Lady Macbeth is also very cunning and manipulative. She is able to convince her own husband to brutally murder his very own cousin. Lady Macbeth is also ruthless. To convince Macbeth to murder the king, she attacks Macbeth 's manhood. She even says to Macbeth:

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 sworn as you

Have done to this (I.vii.55-60).

Lady Macbeth is very guilty and her conscience takes a back seat ride as her ambitions take the steering wheel. Lady Macbeth remains guilty as the play progresses and she begins to realize her feelings. Lady Macbeth 's guilt overwhelms her; the killings all come back to her. One night while sleepwalking Lady Macbeth mutters to herself, "The Thane of Fife had a wife. Where is / she now?" (V.i.41-42). Here Lady Macbeth is completely guilty.

Lady Macbeth 's motivations seem guilty but her first motivations are innocent. At first Lady Macbeth wants her husband to be king and does what she can to help him achieve that status. As Macbeth become king and she is crowned queen, Lady Macbeth 's motivations begin to change. Greed propels Lady Macbeth forward. She kills more people to keep her high status. And yet her motivations change again as more people die. Lady Macbeth
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