12 May 2014
Macbeth and Lady Macbeth Comparative Essay
In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Macbeth and his wife; Lady Macbeth become greedy for power after being given a prophecy from three witches. In the end, however their greediness just gets them killed. In the play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are different in terms of their reaction to prophecy, gender identity, and sense of guilt. Their opposing views are the reasons that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth both end up dead.
When the Three Witches give Macbeth the prophecy that he will be king, Macbeth is shocked, and frightened. He is aware that he cannot be king because King Duncan has two sons who could replace Duncan. Macbeth is very surprised as to why the Witches would say such a thing. This reaction can be seen by Macbeth's words “Stay you imperfect speakers, tell me more. By Sinel's death I know I am Thane of Glamis, but how of Cawdor? The Thane of Cawdor still lives, a prosperous gentleman, and to be king stands not within the prospect of belief” (Mac. 1.3.72-76). Macbeth says that this prophecy is not even in his range of belief. There is not one part of it that makes sense to him, which is why he is so interested. Since this prophecy is so far fetched he wants to know more, and does not just ignore the Witches.
When Lady Macbeth receives the letter from Macbeth about the prophecy, she is very pleased and cannot wait for the prophecy to come true, however she is not sure if Macbeth can make it happen. “Great Glamis! Worthy Cawdor! Greater than both; by the all-hail hereafter! Thy letters have transported me beyond this ignorant present, and I feel now the future in the instant” (1.5.57-61) says Lady Macbeth to Macbeth. She is grateful to the greater power that has given them this. She thinks the prophecy is true, and somehow it ill come true, and thus she comes oblivious. Lady Macbeth no longer cares about others, all she wants is for the prophecy to come true, and Macbeth to be Thane of Cawdor.
In the play Macbeth's character is portrayed to be more on the feminine side, than the masculine side. He is fearful, powerless, and lacks ambition. He relies on the help of others in order to get something done. His lack of the ability to do anything on his own is his fatal flaw. “Thou wouldst be great, art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it...And that which rather thou dost fear to do than wishest be undone” (1.5.16-18, 23-24) says Lady Macbeth about Macbeth. After she receives the letter about the prophecy she instantly thinks that he could never make this happen. She says his lack of ambition causes him not to do things, and if he does he regrets it. Due to this he is unable to act for himself, and safe himself from dying. Macbeth is positive that no one can hurt him because that is what the prophecy says, so he is relying on this to protect him.If the Witches did not tell him such a thing he would of been scared and...