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To Be King Or Not To Be?

708 words - 3 pages

In Macbeth, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are very similar and very different in several ways. They are both driven by the fact that Macbeth might become king, they handle guilt in different ways, and Lady Macbeth is more devious than Macbeth before they kill King Duncan, while Macbeth is a little uncertain if they should make such rational decisions.
Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are alike in several ways, one of those is the way they are driven by the thought of Macbeth becoming king or coming into power. After the witches tell Macbeth that he will become Thane of Cawdor and that he will become king, Macbeth says, "If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me, without my stir." (Act 1, Scene 3). In this quote he is saying that he may need to help make himself become king. Lady Macbeth is also driven by the thought of coming into power, before they kill King Duncan, Lady Macbeth says, "Only look up clear, To alter favor ever is to fear. ...view middle of the document...

He expresses his guilt when he says, "Still it cried "Sleep no more!" to all the house: "Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor shall sleep no more."(Act 2, Scene 1). Macbeth realizes what he has done, but his thirst for power eventually makes him overlook that guilt. Unlike Macbeth, Lady Macbeth tries to hide her guilt. She doesn't let anyone see that anything is bothering her until later on in the story. Eventually a doctor and a gentlewoman are talking about Lady Macbeth's health when they see her sleep walking and saying, "Out damned spot! Out, I say! One: two: why, then 'tis time to do 't."(Act 5, Scene 1). Lady Macbeth is talking about how she is trying to wash away the guilt of these murders they have committed but she can't overlook them and it is starting to make her go a little crazy.
Before Macbeth and Lady Macbeth kill Duncan, we are unsure of how Lady Macbeth is going to react to what the witches told Macbeth of his future. When Lady Macbeth reads the letter of what the witches told Macbeth, she starts formulating a plan almost immediately of how she is going to help Macbeth become king. “Great Glamis! Worthy Cawdor! Greater than both, by all-hail hereafter! Thy letters have transported me beyond This ignorant present, and I feel now The future in the instant.”(Act 1, Scene 5), when she says this, she is thinking of the future and what she might do to aid Macbeth and herself acquire power. Macbeth, on the other hand, was hesitant when he heard her plan of attack, “If we should fail?”(Act 1, Scene 7). Macbeth is worried that they will get caught by the guards or Banquo might hear him sneaking up to Duncan’s room in the night.
In conclusion, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are comparable and diverse in numerous behaviors. They both struggle with the drive for more power, they both handle their guilt very differently, and Lady Macbeth is more scheming, while Macbeth is more cautious. As husband and wife they want the best for each other at the beginning of the story, but by the end of the story when Lady Macbeth dies, Macbeth says that he has no time to handle matters with her death. This shows that he has lost all care for anyone besides himself.

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