Ana Patricia Sánchez Calvo
Lady Macbeth's Ironical Fate
Evil is a deceiving force. It can help you reach your goals but evil's gains are always bitter and two-faced. In Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth, the character of Lady Macbeth chooses the path of evil to fulfill her unscrupulous ambition; nevertheless, all that evil brings to her is madness and restlessness. Evil is a powerful force throughout the play; it influences the two main characters, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, to commit heinous crimes in order to achieve power. The idea of evil is presented even at the beginning of the play, since the play starts with witches. Witches have always been servants of the Devil, planning their malicious schemes against Macbeth. Nevertheless, while the idea of Macbeth's evilness comes as a slow process of transformation from good to evil, the character of Lady Macbeth presents itself as a malevolent and constant persuading force from beginning to end. Lady Macbeth is aware that going down the path of evil is the only way to get the crown and instead of feeling scared of dealing with demonic forces, she feels anxious and actually invokes evil spirits for help to complete her task. Besides, it is Lady Macbeth who persuades Macbeth to commit the crime and later on constantly reprimands him for feeling remorse and not being man enough to deal with the consequences. The paradox is that Shakespeare, through Lady Macbeth, presents the fatal consequences of achievements obtained due to evil. These consequences are completely deceiving since Lady Macbeth uses evil as a way to achieve happiness and it is evil what finally devours her. Lady Macbeth is a character that travels in a downward spiral in which she suffers a transformation from a masculine, fearless, persuading woman to a frighten queen full of guilt that leads her to madness and a subsequent death.
Shakespeare characterizes Lady Macbeth as a woman full of masculine traits such as courage and ambition. She is the perfect and needed counterpart in order to push Macbeth to murder Duncan and take over the kingdom. The first trait that is shown to the reader is courage. When Lady Macbeth is planning how to convince Macbeth into murder, she describes herself as a courageous woman: "That I may pour my spirits in thine ear, / And chastise with the valor of my tongue/ All that impedes thee from the golden round" (Macbeth I. v. 26-28). In this passage, it is clear how she is full of valor and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. In fact, in Shakespearian times, being courageous was a characteristic reserved only for men since women were thought to be fearful and helpless. Even Macbeth himself recognizes this trait in his wife: "Bring forth men-children only/ For thy undaunted mettle should compose/ Nothing but males." (Macbeth I. vii. 72-74). Macbeth can see how his wife nature is too bold for that of a woman, so he thinks that she should only be the mother of men for her essence is in itself a...