The Downfall of Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

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The Downfall of Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth William Shakespeare's Macbeth has been a theatrical favorite since Elizabethan times. Its timeless themes of ambition, fate, violence, and insanity collaborate to produce a captivating plot. The audience traces the disintegration of a tragic hero and his willful wife. Lady Macbeth, one of Shakespeare's most forcefully drawn female characters, plays an important role in the play Macbeth. She has a profound influence over the action of the play, and her character accentuates many of the themes. It seems evident that Lady Macbeth is motivated by repressed emotional complexes which lead to her insanity. Lady Macbeth is introduced as she reads a letter from her husband…show more content…
She callously asks for her womanliness to be sacrificed so that she will be able to carry out her murderous intentions: Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, ................................................................... Come to my woman's breasts, And take my milk for gall, you murd'ring ministers. (I. v. 39-40, 46-7) In the harsh words of Lady Macbeth's soliloquy, she substitutes ambition for her repressed sexual complex. Her strong-willed speech makes her appear to be very courageous when, in actuality, she is suppressing her genuine underlying cowardice (Coriat 219). Consciously, she believes in her volition; however, her unconscious complexes are the factors that determine her behavior (Coriat 222). As the time of the murder approaches, Macbeth begins to waver about implementing the plan. The domineering Lady Macbeth goads him on to his damnation as she calls him a coward and shows that she is fearless (Jameson 191). Her horrific words convince Macbeth that he must be a man and keep his word: 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. (I. vii. 54-59) Here Lady Macbeth's repressed sexual complex for a child is

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