The Influence of Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare's Macbeth
In Shakespeare's tragedy, Macbeth, is seen as a courageous
soldier who is loyal to the King but is corrupted by the witches
prophecies and by Lady Macbeth's and his own ambition. This is because of
the weakness of Macbeth's character and the strong power of Lady
Macbeth as she is easily able to influence him. Her strength
motivates him at the start but after he realizes what he has done it
is himself that continues in his murderous, bloody path. At the
beginning of the play Lady Macbeth appears as a kind wife
but underneath lies a scheming and treacherous woman. Both Macbeth and his wife go through many changes throughout the course of this play. They go from being honored, noble people to being reduced to nothing. They both have tragic flaws such as ambition and greed which bring them to their down fall.
In the beginning of the play, Macbeth is a strong soldier who
fights for the King without mercy but his strive for ambition and his
curious nature leads him to the witches who greet him with a prophecy.
Banquo realizes that there must be a trick hidden in the witches
prophecies somewhere but Macbeth refuses to accept that, and when Lady
Macbeth finds out about the witches her strong desire for ambition and
her cold nature leads Macbeth astray. Lady Macbeth's ambition far exceeds Macbeths and so she is able to get Macbeth to agree with her to kill King Duncan. Macbeth still has a conscience at this stage because he is very hesitant about killing the King but his weak nature over comes him. He has a conscience throughout the entire play as this is seen by the hallucinations of
the dagger and the ghost of Banquo. His vivid imagination and his
constant worry also provokes him. This is also evident in his
terrible dreams which gives the solid theme that he has indeed "murdered sleep".
Throughout the play we see the character of Macbeth change not
from just the way he thinks and what we hear from the play, but from
the actions he takes in the play. Killing Banquo, then having
Lady Macduff and her children murdered, shows the insecurity that was
present in Macbeth. After the murder of Duncan, Macbeth becomes
paranoid and his first step of killing the guards is one of many that
he takes to secure himself. Macbeth is also very superstitious
and this is shown when he believes the prophecy the witches told him
about Banquo's offspring becoming Kings.
Towards the end of the play when Macbeth's wife has died and
the battle is drawing closer Macbeth shows some potential good. He wishes for a normal life in which he would have lived to an honorable age but he recognizes that he has ruined any chance of that. Even when Macbeth hears that the prophecy has come true of Birnam Wood coming to Dunsinane, he rejects this idea and fights on until he realizes that Macduff wasn't born in a natural birth but instead...