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"Macbeth": Lady Macbeth's Character Essay

881 words - 4 pages

Lady Macbeth is a controversial figure. She is seen by some as a woman of strong will who is ambitious for herself and who is astute enough to recognise her husband's strengths and weaknesses, and ruthless enough to exploit them. They see her in her commitment to evil and in her realisation that the acquisition of the Crown has not brought her the happiness she had expected, and finally, as one who breaks down under the strain. Others see her as a woman ambitious for her husband whom she loves. She recognises the essential good in him, and feels that, without her, he will never win the Crown. She allies herself with the powers of darkness for his sake, but here inherent (congenital) femininity breaks down under the strain of the unnatural murder of Duncan and the alienation of her husband. She is seen as simple and realistic where Macbeth is complicated and imaginative. She can see what must be done; he visualises the consequence. There is a vast difference between Macduff's "O gentle Lady 'Tis not for you to hear what I can speak the repetition in a woman's ear would murder as it fell." ACT II, Sc.ii and Malcolm's assessment of her as a "fiend-like queen" (Act IV, Sc.vii). So we must examine the text. To Macbeth, in his letter to her, she is his "dearest partner of greatness", an indication of love and trust. We see her as she analyses his virtues and weaknesses and decides to overcome his scruples, "hie thee hither That I may pour my spirits at thine ear" Is there any evidence here as to why she wishes him to be king?Overcome By Ambition - When she calls on the powers of evil to unsex her and make her cruel, does this imply that she fears her own womanliness and realises the unnaturalness of the murder of Duncan? Is she, like Macbeth just an ordinary human being overcome with ambition? Does she really lose her womanliness? Do the words(Act I, Sc. ii) "Had he not resembled My father as he slept, I had done't" imply that she is still a woman with a woman's tendernesss? Does she show herself strong willed and more determined than Macbeth, Act I, Sc.vii, as she argues and demands his agreement to the murder? Is she alloy by exploiting his love for her when she makes his consent to murder a test of his love? Is she being cynical when she inverts logic and reality in asking him if he is afraid to be what he wants to be and in...

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