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Lady Macbeth

Essay by   •  June 11, 2011  •  Essay  •  531 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,618 Views

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Macbeth is generally the one to have the final say in the many killings that take place in the play, but Lady Macbeth plays the role of the devil inside him. Although at the beginning of the play, she acts as if she is unstoppable. When Macbeth has his doubts and fears about murdering the loyal Duncan, she mocks him when he frets over something she has instructed him to do, saying he would be less of a man if he does not follow through on their plan. She even offers to do it herself, possibly to make Macbeth feel that he's even more cowardly because a woman is offering to do his job. This pushes Macbeth to kill, though these are the actions that lead to their end of life later in the play. Macbeth tries to convince Lady Macbeth, as well as himself, that she is wrong, "Prithee, peace. I dare do all that may become a man. Who dares more is none." Although Macbeth was still having doubts, she was ready to do anything to gain power.

Not only does Lady Macbeth push her husband to do things he does not want to, but she also informs him that his face is too easy to read. She does not want her husband or herself to get caught, so she gives him advice in the area of deceiving. When she tells him to "look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under't," not only is she doing this so that Macbeth will not give himself away, but so that he will not give her away at the same time. Even before this early part in the play, Lady Macbeth has already demonstrated that she is two-faced. When Duncan first arrives at the castle, Lady Macbeth acts as a welcome hostess, when in reality she has different plans for Duncan than she lets on. Lady Macbeth does get what she wants, and ultimately what she deserves, as the play progresses. "Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done't." Yet she still had her husband commit the murder.


Despite her eagerness earlier in the play, Lady Macbeth becomes afraid that she might get caught later in the play. When she sleepwalks and talks in her sleep, she demonstrates a fear that represents that she is scared of being caught. She talks of going to bed and washing her hands saying, "Out, damned spot, out, I say!" When she yells about ridding herself of Duncan's blood, she does not truly want to be rid of Duncan's blood itself, but rather the fear and guilt that his murder has forced upon her. The constant nightmares she has and the fear and guilt she must live becomes too much and commits suicide, proving once again that she is a villain because she cannot deal with the aftermath of her actions. 
If she had not pushed Macbeth so hard to do something that he did not originally want to do, then Duncan would have lived and Lady Macbeth would not have gone through such distress. She was too eager to kill and seemed only interested in her own personal gain.

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