Lady Macbeth Character Analysis Through the Play

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Imagine a character in a story that starts off as a normal woman. Yet, as the story progresses, readers see that she represents a twisted and power-hungry woman who ends up letting her guilt get the best of her. This fully describes Lady Macbeth; at first, she comes off as a woman that loves her husband, Macbeth: a valiant warrior seeking higher status. In actuality, Lady Macbeth mirrors an evil woman who wants her husband to do bad things to get what he desires. With all of the actions she committed, she ends up going crazy at the end of the story. I believe that even though Lady Macbeth wants the best for her husband, she remained manipulative and power-hungry at the same time. She also remained cunning and sneaky when she carried out her tasks. I want to prove that she embodied all three of these traits throughout her lifetime. The evidence easily supports this.

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First, Lady Macbeth depicts an extremely power-hungry person, and it remains evident from the onset. In the beginning, she seems happy about the Weird Sisters’ prediction that her husband would be crowned king; but all the while, she secretly thinks that he seems too nice to solidify himself as the king. Interestingly, she wants to be unsexed so she has full control of the situation. In the story, she states, “Come you spirits/ That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here/ And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty”. As illustrated, she wants to fully remove her feminine traits and kindness to increase her hold over the situation.

Other examples that show her hunger for power are found later in Act 1 and early in Act 2. As stated in the previous paragraph, she wants Macbeth to let her handle his situation. Displaying this, she states, “And you shall put this night’s great business into my dispatch”. She also shows this as she called Macbeth a coward after they set out a plan to kill Duncan in Act 2. Revealing this, she states, “Infirm of purpose!/ Give me the daggers”. Her hunger for power later exhibits a next trait.

Lady Macbeth remained manipulative, in matters related to her husband (Macbeth) and the in-place king (Duncan). She shows this trait late in the first Act, primarily in the seventh scene of this Act. Exhibiting this trait, she states, “All our service/ In every point twice done and then done double/ Were poor and single business to contend/ Against those honors deep and broad wherewith”. As shown here, Lady Macbeth manipulates Duncan, the in-place king, into thinking that he remains important and irreplaceable. This also shows irony as Lady Macbeth twists Duncan’s mind into thinking that she would never kill him, when she planned to do exactly that.

Further samples in the story that illustrate Lady Macbeth’s manipulative traits are shown in the seventh scene of the first Act. On top of that, these samples involve manipulation of her husband MacBeth. Displaying manipulative nature, she states, “They have made themselves, and that their fitness now/ Does unmake you”. Here, she manipulates Macbeth by telling him the time and place is perfect to kill Duncan, but it is too good for him to execute. In this same scene, she states, “We fail?/ But screw your courage to sticking-place/ And we’ll no fail”. In the quote above, she reminds Macbeth that if he gains courage, then it will be impossible for him to lose. This manipulation drastically affected Macbeth’s state of mind for the rest of the story. Furthermore, the last trait she displays leads to Macbeth lashing at Duncan and killing him in the second Act.

Lady Macbeth remained very cunning and clever in how she carried out her actions. This guileful nature aided her in getting what she desired. She explains how she plans to murder Duncan by giving wine and wassail to the chamberlains (Duncan’s servants) to get them drunk. To illustrate this, she states, “Soundly invite him- his two chamberlains/ will I with wine and wassail”. After they’ve intoxicated the chamberlains, she wants Macbeth to go into Duncan’s room when he’s asleep to murder him.

Different illustrations of her cunning trait are found a few lines down in the same scene. In these lines, Lady Macbeth tells her husband how they will follow up with the plan, and then what they will do after the plan has been executed. To demonstrate this, she states, “What not put upon/ His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt/ of our great quell”. She tells MacBeth to claim the Chamberlains for the death and how they shall bear the guilt afterward. To voice their future plans, she states, “Who dares receive it other/ As we shall make our griefs and clamor roar/ Upon his death”. This crafty plan assisted Macbeth with Duncan’s death, as they mourned and grieved over his death afterward.

Even though Lady Macbeth wants greatness for her husband, she remained power-hungry and manipulative in her actions at the same time. She also remained sneaky and cunning in how she manipulated other people and changed their state of mind. Multiple quotes in the story represent how she embodied all three of these traits very well. As a result, Lady Macbeth character analysis shows that the behavior she displayed in these scenes led to her ultimately drowning in her own guilt later in her life as a result. 

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