The Contradictory Characteristics Of Lady Macbeth’s In Macbeth

1158 words - 5 pages

In the Shakespearean play Macbeth, the lead character of Macbeth is seduced by the thought of gaining power. Nevertheless, it equally concentrates on his ruthless and malevolent wife and her amplified desire for control. Over the course of the play, it is evident that the play’s protagonist, Macbeth, undergoes a substantial transition in his evolution from a fearless and loyal warrior to a tyrant who only seeks revenge and bloodshed. As the play progresses, we later realize that Macbeth’s bravery and ambition are accompanied by Lady Macbeth’s ruthless and manipulative character. Despite qualities women were expected to have in Shakespeare’s time, Lady Macbeth disregarded the manner in which most women of her time acted. During the Renaissance period, women had no status and relied on male figures for guidance and support (“Elizabethan Women”). Lady Macbeth challenges the role of women during Shakespeare’s time, as she is stronger, more vicious, and more ambitious than her husband. Shakespeare illustrates a contradictory characterization of Lady Macbeth in contrast to the subservient women of the Renaissance era, creating an intriguing relationship between her and Macbeth in their quest for power.
Upon the introduction of the Macbeths in the play, it is apparent that they do not exemplify the conventional men and women of Shakespeare’s day (“Elizabethan Women”). In public, Lady Macbeth interprets the role of the typical housewife and hostess, while Macbeth is acknowledged as a brutal and loyal warrior; however, the Macbeths behave in contrary in only each other’s company. Lady Macbeth blatantly classifies herself as the dominant partner in the relationship on numerous occasions. For instance, we can clearly realize that when Macbeth is uncertain of how to maneuver king Duncan’s visit to Inverness, Lady Macbeth instantaneously grasps control of the situation, commanding that Macbeth “put/This night’s great business into my dispatch” (Macbeth 1. 5. 67-68). This type of bold conduct from a woman was unheard of in Shakespeare’s time. An average woman during the Renaissance period had very little say in their families, let alone in society, as it was known that everything was very male-dominated (“Elizabethan Women”). In Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” we perceive a plot very different to this, where the woman, Lady Macbeth, portrays herself “like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t” (Macbeth 1. 5. 65-66). This declaration, stated by Lady Macbeth, is the technique she uses to deceive those around her; resulting in her impressive manipulation over her husband. It is clearly validated from the commencement of the play, that we can classify the personalities of both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to reflect the opposite of the social principles of that time period.
Over the progression of the play, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth change significantly in terms of their characters and their personalities. Although both characters desire power, it is Lady...

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