Lady Macbeth's Character and Its Change Throughout the Play
Lady Macbeth's character throughout the play changes very
dramatically. At the start of the play she is portrayed as a powerful,
manipulative woman who doesn't have second thoughts about plotting to
kill the King of Scotland. However after the "dirty deed" is done Lady
Macbeth's character seems to disintegrate. She suffers a nervous
breakdown and apparently commits suicide. Why does this happen to Lady
Macbeth? Is she really the cruel manipulative person that she is
portrayed to be or does she have hidden depths to her character?
Many different versions of Lady Macbeth have been made and released,
and in every version, Lady Macbeth's character has been portrayed
differently. She has been portrayed as devious, wicked, manipulative,
and purely evil, with no conscience. Lady Macbeth has also been
portrayed as a woman with a "white heart" and very complex feelings.
The initial impression of the Macbeths is that they have a very strong
relationship, this relationship is very equally based. The Macbeths
also seems to have a lot of love and respect for each other. In the
letter Lady Macbeth receives, Macbeth refers to his Lady as "My
dearest partner in greatness," We can infer from this that the
Macbeths are very close and discuss everything together. At the start
of the play when Lady Macbeth receives the letter, Macbeth writes
saying that is soon he will be king, Lady Macbeth is really ambitious
for him, "Thou wouldst be great" and this shows the love and ambition
for the other between the couple.
This type of relationship was very untypical of the time, because in
this period of history, women had no say or power in the relationship.
Wives were just the property of their husbands. It would not be
expected for Lady Macbeth to have any role in the vital
decision-making. Clearly Lady Macbeth is a strong and clever woman for
Macbeth to confide in her this much.
Certainly in the first 2 acts, the audience are presented with an
evil, calculating, devious woman. In Lady Macbeth first soliloquy; as
she reads Macbeth's letter saying that he will be king, she
immediately shows that she feels the same way as Macbeth as she is
glad and supportive and would love for Macbeth to be king. " He shalt
be what thou art promised" this just shows that Land Macbeth is very
passionate about her husband and that she wants him to succeed.
Towards the end of Lady Macbeth's 1st soliloquy, she is so ambitious
for her husband she even thinks of murdering the present king Duncan,
just to secure that the throne goes to Macbeth.
It is from this point in the play that Lady Macbeth's character
changes from being strong, clever and loving to being strong, evil,
and corrupt. She is so determined for Macbeth to kill the king she