Throughout the tragedy of Macbeth we observe two people on their attempt to gain power and glory through various foul actions. It can be argued that Lady Macbeth is the one responsible for triggering a slippage into this inevitable situation that led to their descent. From the moment Macbeth became aware of his “fate” Lady Macbeth started forming her own imaginary world in which her evil plans seemed likely to be effective. The thought of she and her husband being royalty makes her dismiss rationality and while being immersed in her corrupt intentions, she bares a great influence on Macbeth himself. During the play her personality is being subjected to a gradual and deteriorating transformation which leads to her demise. This essay will be examining Lady Macbeth’s character and how the use of imagery contributes to the portrayal of it through the play.
First of all, at the beginning of the play we are given the impression that Lady Macbeth bares a stronger character compared to husband. She is manipulative, strongly persuasive and without doubt the dominant one in the couple. If it was not for her Macbeth would have never summoned the courage to commit the murders. It is only after a certain point in the play where she shows her true colours revealing the fact that her previous qualities were taken up by her in order to get through her evil plans. In other words Lady Macbeth was never the person she appeared to be although the transition between these two, completely different states of character, is quite striking. Despite this, signs of her weak character can be traced earlier in the play. In fact, Macbeth, as the person closest to her, is aware her weakness “Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck” (III. II. 45). Moreover, when Lady Macbeth reaches her lowest point, she herself shows her weakness. She is afraid of blood in spite of the fact that she planed the murders. She is also referring to her as “this little hand (V. I. 43-44). Given this, we can help but to wonder how she comes up with such evil plans and how all these dark thoughts like the following go through her head.
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).
The appearance of blood during the play signifies the existence of guilt embraced by Lady Macbeth’s vulnerable nature. Her first encounter with blood was while she was sleepwalking when she noticed a spot of blood on her hands “Out, damned spot out, I say”. (V. I. 33). This spot of blood proves to her that she would have to live with the guilt forever and is a proof of her action towards which she, before committing, kept an indifferent position. “Here’s the smell of blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little...