This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Role Of Lady Macbeth Essay

2027 words - 8 pages

    The female roles in William Shakespeare's Macbeth are those of the witches, more supernatural than human, Lady Macbeth and Lady Macduff, the latter being presented in a minor, almost insignificant way. This paper will explore the role of Lady Macbeth and only make slight comment on the witches.

Fanny Kemble in "Lady Macbeth" finds that the main female role could have ended in madness due to the evil tendencies of the lady:

Lady Macbeth, even in her sleep, has no qualms of conscience; her remorse takes none of the tenderer forms akin to repentance, nor the weaker ones allied to fear, from the pursuit of which the tortured soul, seeking where to hide itself, not seldom escapes into the boundless wilderness of madness. (116-17)

In "Memoranda: Remarks on the Character of Lady Macbeth," Sarah Siddons comments on how the feminine role of the leading lady is not a typical one as regards attitude:

[Macbeth] announces the King's approach; and she, insensible it should seem to all the perils which he has encountered in battle, and to all the happiness of his safe return to her, -- for not one kind word of greeting or congratulations does she offer, -- is so entirely swallowed up by the horrible design, which has probably been suggested to her by his letters, as to have forgotten both the one and the other. (56)

Clark and Wright in their Introduction to The Complete Works of William Shakespeare contradict the impression that Lady Macbeth is all strength:

[. . .] she cannot strike the sleeping king who resembles her father. Having sustained her weaker husband, her own strength gives way; and in sleep, when her will cannot control her thoughts, she is piteously afflicted by the memory of one stain of blood upon her little hand.  (792)

In "Macbeth as the Imitation of an Action" Francis Fergusson enlightens the reader concerning the fears weakening Lady Macbeth:

If you think over these scenes, you will notice that the Macbeths understand the action which begins here as a competition and a stunt, against reason and against nature. Lady Macbeth fears her husband's human nature, as well as her own female nature, and therefore she fears the light of reason and the common daylight world. (108)

 

The Tragedy of Macbeth opens in a desert place with thunder and lightning and three witches, more supernatural forces than women, who are anticipating their meeting with Macbeth. Macbeth is greeted with "hail to thee, thane of Glamis," "thane of Cawdor," and "thou shalt be king hereafter!" When Ross and Angus arrive with news of Duncan's reward ("He bade me, from him, call thee thane of Cawdor"), it is logical for Macbeth to assume that all of the weird sisters' prophecies will come true.

 

At Inverness in Macbeth's castle, his lady warns: "The raven himself is hoarse / That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan / Under my battlements." She plots murder like a heartless man.

 

Duncan's visit to Inverness, a...

Find Another Essay On The Role of Lady Macbeth

The Dynamicity of Lady MAcbeth Essay

653 words - 3 pages lust for power causes eventual destruction of one’s conscience. This is because her guilt leads to her eventual suicide because she was unable to live with herself after all of the terrible things she had done throughout her life and the deeds she forced her husband into doing as well. As one of Shakespeare’s most evil characters ever, Lady Macbeth plays a tremendous role in how the play turns out. Lady Macbeth’s strive for perfection leads to extreme guilt and self-loathing as well as her personal destruction.

The Guilt of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

845 words - 3 pages murders he has a clear understanding of his motives and their consequences. After hearing the weird sister, his ambition got the best of him .He considered murdering Duncan and the morality of the murder. Guilt plays a large role in how he acts after he commits their crimes. But guilt isn’t so obvious with Macbeth ,before he kill’s Duncan ,Macbeth feels guilt and consider backing out of the murder, but lady Macbeth won’t let him, “But Screw your

The Corruptive Power of Lady Macbeth

815 words - 3 pages own esteem,”(I, vii, 39-44). The “fair lady” uses his pride and manly foolishness of feeling the need to be brave to turn him back on her track toward the riches and the crown. Macbeth’s conscience was outsmarted by this “mere” woman, which has little role in the decision making of most heard stories of the time. She once again changed the course of the play by manipulating Macbeth to do her will. Also, in Act V

The demise of lady macbeth, in

1242 words - 5 pages In the play Macbeth, by WIlliam Shakespeare, Lady Macbeth is a women driven by love and ambition. In the beginning she appears to be vert tough; yet she weakens as Macbeth grows more foul in his deeds. Lady Macbeth is able to spurn her husband on his evil pursuit of becoming king, but she cannot handle the human feelings of guilt are remorse that go along with this act.It is because of Lady Macbeth's sly urgings that Macbeth acts on his evil

The Audience's View of Lady Macbeth

2086 words - 8 pages The Audience's View of Lady Macbeth Macbeth focuses strongly around its two main characters, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Throughout, we see character development, as the changes in the plot have a direct impact on the characters. Macbeth is only a semi fictitious play. Shakespeare used a piece of Scottish history to base his play on, although many details were changed and developed. The character of Banquo was an

The Rise and Fall of Lady MacBeth

742 words - 3 pages THE RISE AND FALL OF LADY MACBETHLady Macbeth's character is one of complexity; slowly, but continuously changing throughout the play. What begins as a struggle for power and a longing to shred her femininity turns Lady Macbeth into what she fears most - a guilt ridden weakling.In the beginning ( I, v, 43-54) , we see Lady Macbeth reacting to the news of her husbands success and King Duncan's visit. This ignites her lust for power. In the quote

Explores the Character of Lady Macbeth

764 words - 3 pages Lady Macbeth's character is first formed in Act I scene v, the scene opens with her reading a letter from her husband, its content is full of thoughts and tellings of the meeting with the witches earlier that day. Lady Macbeth begins by talking about how her husband now has a goal and addresses his personality. Understandably she would like this prophecy to transpire and there is no question that she would be willing to help him gain the

The Breakdown of Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1664 words - 7 pages spirits in thine ear '…the plan was inspired by Lady Macbeth, who saw herself responsible over Macbeth. Lady Macbeth plays a key role in motivating him, as she has a great influence over him. He expresses her as his…'Dearest love'…which indicates that he confides in her and their relationship is very close. On the night of Duncan's murder, she had full control over the situation, and showed great composure in dealing

The Downfall of Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1791 words - 7 pages The Downfall of Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth William Shakespeare's Macbeth has been a theatrical favorite since Elizabethan times. Its timeless themes of ambition, fate, violence, and insanity collaborate to produce a captivating plot. The audience traces the disintegration of a tragic hero and his willful wife. Lady Macbeth, one of Shakespeare's most forcefully drawn female characters, plays an important role in the play

Androgyny in the Characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

2329 words - 9 pages the one controlled and, since in a paradigm of marriage in a patriarchal society the one controlled is the wife, it is this role Macbeth most closely identifies with. In Lady Macbeth, the presence of traits considered masculine are what mark her as a transgressor of the patriarchal society in which she lives. Callaghan notes that "the most blatant example of female transgression is probably that of the un-motherly Lady Macbeth (Callaghan 62

Essay on the Dynamic Relationship of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

1990 words - 8 pages Dynamic Relationship of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth   An important factor in Shakespeare’s tragic play, Macbeth is the changing relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth throughout the play. At the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth is the dominant character in the relationship. As the play progresses the roles seem to reverse and Macbeth becomes the more dominant of the two. We can gain insight into the changing relationship by looking

Similar Essays

The Role Of Lady Macbeth In Shakespeare's Macbeth

914 words - 4 pages With close reference to and comparison of act 1 scene 5 and act 5 scene 1, explain what you learn about Lady Macbeth’s role and character in the play The play Macbeth is a tragedy set in 1605 in the 17th century written by William Shakespeare. It is about a regicide (killing of the king) which was even worst back then than it is now because it was thought that who the king was, was picked by God, therefore not only has the guilty persons

Role Switching Between Lady Macbeth And Macbeth

1566 words - 6 pages In the play Macbeth by Shakespeare, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s way of thinking get switched. The main reasons for this are the three witches. They told Macbeth and his trustworthy friend, Banquo, that he would be Thane of Glamis, which he already is, Thane of Cawdor, and the king of Scotland. Banquo was told he would father kings. They were both sceptic of these prophecies, but once Macbeth soon became Thane of Cawdor he started believing in

Macbeth: Who's To Blame? Cause, Effect, And Culpability. Was Macbeth Really Responsible For The Murders Committed? What Is Lady Macbeth's Role In The Murders?

966 words - 4 pages , Lady Macbeth, and Macbeth himself.At the beginning of the play, Macbeth meets the witches. The three witches have a very important role in what Macbeth does. The witches hail Macbeth, and tell Macbeth that they have the power to tell him the future. The witches tell Macbeth that he will soon become king. “First Witch: All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Glamis! Second Witch: All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor! Third Witch

Lady Macbeth Is A Feminist Role Model And A Despicable Human Being

904 words - 4 pages , Shakespeare crafted a character that shared many of the same traits as Katniss while simultaneous pleasing an audience with traditional views on femininity. As a result, Lady Macbeth is a feminist role model before the rise of feminist ideology in the mainstream and a truly evil person as well. Lady Macbeth is shown to be a leader as it is her ambition that is the driving force behind the murder plot and her husbands actions. She had the strength