Essay Lady Macbeth, Macbeth's Forceful Woman

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Macbeth's Forceful Woman

Shakespeare's Macbeth presents to the audience a woman who is more man than woman. Her masculine virtues (or vices) outweigh her feminine strengths. Let us look at her character in this paper.

A.C. Bradley in Shakespearean Tragedy explains wherein lies the greatness of Lady Macbeth:

The greatness of Lady Macbeth lies almost wholly in courage and force of will. It is an error to regard her as remarkable on the intellectual side. In acting a part she shows immense self-control, but not much skill. Whatever may be thought of the plan of attributing the murder of Duncan to the chamberlains, to lay their bloody daggers on their pillows, as if they were determined to advertise their
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Lady Macbeth is merely detested; and though the courage of Macbeth preserves some esteem, yet every reader rejoices at his fall. (133)

L.C. Knights in the essay "Macbeth" describes the unnaturalness of Lady Macbeth's words and actions:

Thus the sense of the unnaturalness of evil is evoked not only be repeated explicit references ("nature's mischief," "nature seems dead," " 'Tis unnatural, even like the deed that's done," and so on) but by the expression of unnatural sentiments and an unnatural violence of tone in such things as Lady Macbeth's invocation of the "spirits" who will "unsex" her, and her affirmation that she would murder the babe at her breast if she had sworn to do it. (95)

In "Macbeth as the Imitation of an Action" Francis Fergusson specifies the fears within Lady Macbeth:

I do not need to remind you of the great scenes preceding the murder, in which Macbeth and his Lady pull themselves together for their desperate effort. If you think over these scenes, you will notice that the Macbeths understand the action which begins here as a competition and a stunt, against reason and against nature. Lady Macbeth fears her husband's human nature, as well as her own female nature, and therefore she fears the light of reason and the common dayllight world. As for Macbeth, he knows from the first that he is engaged in an irrational stunt: "I have no spur / To prick the sides of my intent, but