Throughout the play "Macbeth", by William Shakespeare, Lady Macbeth's character drastically changes from being sinister to feeble. Lady Macbeth was an evil, manipulative person whose greed and selfishness were eventually the downfall of her character and well being. During the beginning of "Macbeth", she used her twisted mind to convince her husband to murder, making him believe that it was the only way he could get what he wanted. But as the play developed and the murders started to increase, Lady Macbeth started to question whether or not they were necessary. Sadly, though possibly justifiably, she ended up committing suicide after her constant questioning of the murders drove her to insanity. Lady Macbeth was an unemotional person who only cared about what she could gain. She made her disconcern about other people well known when she said, "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." (Act I, Scene VII, Lines 55-60). Lady Macbeth refers that she would have no problem taking the life of her son, if it meant getting what she wanted. The fact that she would even fathom the idea of killing her own child makes her morose and appalling. If only she knew that it would be her who would be taken out of this world so cruelly. Being able to manipulate her husband's mind and the minds of others was another one of Lady Macbeth's baneful traits. After Macbeth killed King Duncan, still reeling from the crime he had committed, he met up with his wife. Once again, she used her manipulative ways to make him think that she felt just as bad as he did. She said, "My hands are of your color, but I shame To wear a heart so white." (Act II, Scene II, Lines 63-64). Lady Macbeth appeared to her husband as if she felt just as guilty about the act of violence as he did, knowing that in reality she didn't care at all. Telling Macbeth that her hands were as bloody as his own was to try to give him comfort that he was not alone in his schemes. But Lady Macbeth had other ideas in mind. She couldn't care less about her husband's thoughts or worries. All she could think about was
Manipulation, greed, narcissism, desire, impulsivity, paranoia, lack of empathy. These are the words often used to describe a sociopath. Sociopaths use these traits to fulfill desires and gain power. They do not retain or possess empathy for anything, and although it may seem like they care, the relationship is superficial and often toxic. In Macbeth, the relationship between Lady Macbeth and her husband is not only damaging but is also toxic to those around them. While Macbeth may exhibit sociopathic tendencies, the true sociopath is Lady Macbeth. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Lady Macbeth shows how her sociopathic behavior shaped the story through her use of manipulation used to coerce Macbeth, the impulsivity of these actions, and the paranoia that follows them.
Lady Macbeth in the beginning of the play is very manipulative, most of the times she manipulates her husband into doing either what she wants or what she thinks should do. Even though, Lady Macbeth is a woman she single-handedly planned Duncan’s murder, from how to execute it and how to pin it on someone else and at some points Macbeth did not want to do it, but she manipulated him into it. For example, when Macbeth does not want to carry one with this plan, Lady Macbeth convinces him by saying “from this time such I account thy love. Art thou afeared to be the same in thine own act and valor as thou art in desire? (I.vii line 38-41), in this this quote lady Macbeths is influencing her husband’s feelings. This is because she is challenging
Lady Macbeth has seen Macbeth's weakness, his lack of manliness. She is too afraid to commit the murder of Duncan, and must assure Macbeth that it is his duty. She accomplished this goal by making fun of him and arousing his jealousy instincts.
The banquet scene also reveals a few astonishing facets about her, as well as reinforcing her apparent cruelty and ambition. The first part of scene 7 shows a lengthy monologue of Macbeth weighing up the pros and cons of carrying out his wife´s wishes to kill the King. Although Macbeth wants to be King, he is unsure of himself, and it is obvious that he is cracking under the pressure already. Lady Macbeth however, when she sees him in such a state, immediately tries to rectify his weakness, using his pride to blackmail him to her will. It is impressive how she can bend him to her will so easily, to whatever she wished. She again uses veiled words to dupe him, stating that the crown is the "ornament of life" and it would be cowardly not to seek it. While Macbeth is in such an insecure frame of mind, these words infuse him with passion, while he lacks surety; his wife fuels him with pride in his cause. She makes it seem to him that murder is a small price for something so valuable as the crown. Although Macbeth said that he didn´t want to kill the King, I believe he was just trying to goad his wife into changing his mind, knowing that she would make everything seem all right, he does not reveal all his doubts to her, just enough to make sure
When Shakespeare first presents Lady Macbeth in the play, we believe that she was an ambitious woman who was driven to get power at all costs. We are irresolute however as to whether she is part of a chain of events in the evilness going around the source. The first words we from her mouth are her husband’s word, which he wrote on his letter, showing us that she was the agent of his thoughts. Women in that period of time, were running a household, producing heirs for their husband and taking care of them, this is not the case for Lady Macbeth as she involves herself in social affairs. Her drive for power is what makes them so successful in their deceitful plans. The play shows us that there is a unique chemistry between two individuals which rare in that period as marriage was usually arranged. She is essentially what keeps the force going as she guides Macbeth and teaches is him how to be manipulative. Even though the crime that they had committed was treason she was simply past the point of caring as she believed she had nothing to lose as she was childless and she had no emotional fulfilment as a woman. She is superfluous and nothing less than reigning alongside Macbeth can feel this hole.
The Importance of Lady Macbeth's Influence on Her Husband Lady Macbeth possesses the power to influence her husband‘s decisions in a negative manner. She is stronger, more ruthless and more ambitious than Macbeth. Throughout Shakespeare’s tragic play, the theme of ambition is
Macbeth needed Lady Macbeth to do this, for without her, he would have continued to see the horrible act as something he shouldn’t do. In this regard, Lady Macbeth does this very well, she makes Macbeth see things in a different light, tells him how he is erroneous in his thinking and gets him to think how she wants him to. The following quote shows these domineering and manipulating qualities of hers quite well: “Art thou afeard/To be the same in thine own act and valor/As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that…/And live a coward in thine own esteem,/Letting ‘I dare not’ wait upon ‘I would’/Like the poor cat I’ the adage?” (1.7.43-49) This passage of Lady Macbeth also sums up her thoughts quite nicely: “What beast was’t it then/… made you break this enterprise…/when you durst do it, then you were a man,/…to be more than what you were, you would/Be so much more the man.” (1.7.53-57) Both of these quotations display Lady Macbeth’s thoughts about Macbeth: he is weak, and he must be a man, while she is strong and would do the murder without a thought. These thoughts clearly show how ambitious she is, and how determined she wants to influence Macbeth’s actions.
Some actresses see Lady Macbeth as sympathetic to her husband like Sarah Siddons and Kate Fleetwood, feeling sympathy for Macbeth is a decision both actresses made for Lady Macbeth to be relatable and more human, Siddons who portrayed her in the mid-1800s said that she approached her as, “keen to present the character in as attractive a light as possible, so sexually appealing – fair feminine, nay perhaps even fragile” (Sarah Siddons qtd. In Robert Miola, 94). Siddons saw the character of Macbeth as honorable and to have him as a husband only proves Lady Macbeth is very taken with him, having put all of her efforts into seducing such an honorable man. Kate Fleetwood’s own interpretation of Lady Macbeth was very domestic, the societal hostess. In an interview in 2011, Fleetwood who was directed by her husband Rupert Goold in the 2007 version of the play said that, “When Rupert suggested to me about the domestic side of her, that started to ring really big bells for me” (Fleetwood qtd. In Miola, 135). The argument about how Lady Macbeth truly loves her husband and tried to summons the spirits is because she knows that Macbeth is very ambitious, and she needs all the strength she can have to convince him to act out the three witches’ prophecy. This arguement and its solution is very valid, Lady Macbeth only acting out for the benefit of her husband, she wants her husband to be the king of Scotland but it does not mean she wants to queen herself. In an interview, Fleetwood also
She is power hungry and uses a range of techniques to persuade Macbeth to kill King Duncan, the strongest technique is when she says “Are you a man” by her saying this she is calling Macbeth weak and useless which in the Jacobean time is a big deal since men where meant to be strong, brave and fearless, by Lady Macbeth saying, this she is questioning her husband’s authority as a man.
In the beginning of the play Lady Macbeth’s mindset is all for money and power. Once she hears the prophecies shared by the witches she goes into full tyrant mode. She has these thoughts of her being queen, and her being on top, that brings great pleasure to herself. These thoughts then become commands and actions. She starts to try and
Macbeth, written by william shakespeare displays a diverse range of themes and topics throughout the play. These themes are represented through a wide range of characters throughout the dramatic text. One that is strongly underlined throughout the whole play is the theme of the connection between ambition and manipulation and one of the main characters; Lady Macbeth. Throughout the sequences of the play, lady macbeth is depicted as a head-strong ambitious woman who challenges her husband's masculinity in order for him to commit actions in order to gain power.
It seems that she can convince him to do anything as long as she pushes the right buttons. On the other hand, as the play goes one, and Duncan is killed, their is a reversal of natural order, and Macbeth becomes the dominating one. Lady Macbeth becomes very obedient. She becomes pathetic and only a shadow of her former self. Where she used to be manipulative and stong willed she is now weak and is unable to control Macbeth.
In perhaps the most pivotal scene in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Lady Macbeth’s motives are truly revealed in her manipulation of Macbeth to show how humans have a desire for power and once they get a taste of it, they will go through any lengths to have it, no matter the effect on others. Her lust for power is showcased through how she persuades Macbeth by insulting his masculinity and using emotive language to counter his logical reasoning. This section of the play illustrates the tipping point of each character’s morality with Macbeth having second thoughts about the planned murder and Lady Macbeth diving straight in.