Macbeth And Lady Macbeth Essay

1018 words - 4 pages

The complexity of Shakespeare's characters is incredibly realistic. While seeming to be one thing on the surface, a closer analysis reveals that the characters can be much more intricate and complicated than they seem. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are good examples. At first glance, they seem to be partners, mirror images of the other, flip sides of the same coin. United in their quest for power, they seem very much the same. However, as more time passes a closer analysis reveals that like real people, they are not always what they seem. Although at first the two come off as the same, as the play continues an opportunity for a deeper look reveals that Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are not very much alike at all.

Within the first scenes of Macbeth, the impression given is one that Macbeth and his wife are very similar and one in purpose. The play begins with the courageous Macbeth gaining victory on the battlefield. His bravery is clearly demonstrated, as well as his ambition when thoughts of murder spread throughout his mind. The taste of power he is granted with the title Thane of Cawdor, leaves him greedy for the crown. When Macbeth shares his ideas with Lady Macbeth of murdering king Duncan in turn for the crown of Scotland, she runs with it. She takes Macbeth's plots to the next level. "She will stop at nothing - not even murder - to satisfy her driving ambition" (Ethan 1). The Macbeth's plans of murder shows that they are obviously both very envious, greedy, brave, impatient, and above all, ambitious. It seems that the Macbeths are aboard the same train when the play starts out, journeying towards the rule of Scotland.

As the play continues, the differences between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth grow more apparent. Macbeth has a guilty conscience and Lady Macbeth does not. While Lady Macbeth is extremely adamant about carrying out the murder of Duncan, Macbeth is having second thoughts. Debating about the murder of Duncan, he reasons, First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, Strong both against the deed; then, as his host, Who should against his murderer shut the door, Not bear the knife myself. ( I, vii, 13-16) His conscience haunts him and he is fearful of the consequences of such a grave sin. Approaching his wife with his concerns, she becomes appalled. She replies, What beast was't then, That made you break this enterprise to me? When you durst do it, then you were a man; And, to be more than what you were, you would Be so much more the man. ( I, vii, 52-56) She shows no sign of a guilty conscience, and demonstrates the exact opposite behavior as Macbeth. The plot and murder of Duncan...

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