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‘Lady Macbeth is entirely responsible for Macbeth’s downfall’How far do you agree with this statement?

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Claire Weller 10E 3rd May Mrs Taylor Candidate no. Centre no. Assignment: 'Lady Macbeth is entirely responsible for Macbeth's downfall' How far do you agree with this statement? Macbeth is a play about the fight between good and evil, courage and cowardice, and about temptation and power. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are so different to each other at the start of the play. Macbeth begins as a nobleman and Scottish general in King Duncan's army, and later becomes Thane of Glamis and Thane of Cawdor. He is a man who is easily persuaded, brave, good hearted, and overly-ambitious, and begins the play with a good heart and good intentions, but is too easily persuaded by his wife into killing Duncan. This corrupts him and in the end, it's his ambition and bravery which gets him killed. Lady Macbeth at the beginning, is unbridled by morals. She even requests the heavens to 'unsex' her of any feelings which might prevent her ability to become queen. Lady Macbeth starts by taking advantage of Macbeth's love and devotion to her to goad him into killing Duncan, to make him go down the dishonest path of choices and decisions which eventually lead to her suicide and Macbeth's death. ...read more.


Lady Macbeth shows no response to Macbeth's story of courage and bravery. She instead concentrates on the chance for Macbeth to fulfil the prediction and finds that he may be 'too full of the milk of human kindness' to carry out the killing of Duncan. She then summons the spirits to give her enough self-belief and courage for her to help Macbeth kill Duncan, and to not feel guilt when the deed is done 'Hie thee hither that I may pour my spirits in thine ear, and chastise with the valour of my tongue all that impedes thee from the golden round which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem, to have the crowned withal'. Her aims are indifferent to those of the weird sisters, but Lady Macbeth's prayer is far more imposing and moving in its language than the jumbled, but cunning, statements of the witches. Lady Macbeth fails to consider however, that 'compunctious visitings of nature' might occur after the crime has been committed, and that her voluntary de-sexing changes her natural bond with Macbeth. ...read more.


Later, this impression is re-enforced, as she easily convinces Macbeth into killing king Duncan in Act 1 scene 7. Later in the play, we find evidence that Lady Macbeth loses her grip on 'owning' Macbeth. He hires 3 murderers to kill Banquo, who he suspects knows about the regicide, which shows that, after following Lady Macbeth, he is taking his own path. At the banquet in Act 3 scene 2. Lady Macbeth is unable to restrict her husband's guilty horror at seeing Banquo's ghost, and her handling of the guests is hopeless, showing that she is losing the grip on her own sanity as well as Macbeth's. After this episode, Macbeth completely blocks out Lady Macbeth, so she is no longer a part of their couple. Its almost as if she has been taken up by his conscience, and she is only a little voice which he disregards. When she commits suicide, she is definitely not responsible for Macbeth's behaviour. After looking at all this evidence, I believe that Lady Macbeth may have triggered the start of Macbeth's downfall, but she was not entirely responsible. I think that the weird sisters were the most responsible, as they told Macbeth and Lady Macbeth (though not in person), what their fate was. ...read more.

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