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A study of Lady Macbeth showing how her character changes throughout the play.

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Introduction

A study of Lady Macbeth showing how her character changes throughout the play. Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's most widely performed tragedies; the play is full of betrayal, ambition and punishment. It is a play with the concept of a "good man destroyed by forces he could not control". Perhaps one of the most powerful and complex characters in the play is Lady Macbeth. This essay is on how Lady Macbeth perseveres to help Macbeth to achieve his ambitions and how this leads to her complicated character changing through the play. We first see Lady Macbeth reading a letter from her husband Macbeth in which he calls her my dearest partner in greatness" this hints to the reader that Lady Macbeth is a very powerful and influential person in Macbeths life. Lady Macbeth displays great knowledge of her husband and his shortcomings. From the start of the play you can see Lady Macbeth is determined to fulfil Macbeths ambitions. She gives up her womanly virtues "Come you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here" She is prepared for what is to come and she will do whatever it takes. Lady Macbeth hopes Macbeth arrives quickly, so that "I may pour my spirits in thine ear" she knows she is capable of persuading Macbeth, to do what she thinks is right. ...read more.

Middle

smiling in my face have plucked the nipple from its boneless gums, and dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you have to do this". She is using images referring to womanliness to suggest that Macbeth is manly, because he cannot complete this one task. Lady Macbeth's perseverance persuades Macbeth to stick with the plan she has made, when he suggests they may fail, Lady Macbeth is determined they wont "screw your courage to the sticking place, and we'll not fail". She is saying that they will be fine if Macbeth sticks to the plan and stays brave and emotionless. However cracks begin to show in Lady Macbeth's character, when she tries to kill King Duncan. "Had he not resembled My father as he slept, I had done't". This shows a more sensitive side of Lady Macbeth. However she is quick to regain her confidence, as Macbeth is frozen with fear after killing King Duncan. Lady Macbeth steps in, and becomes the driving force again, replacing the guard's daggers that Macbeth took with him. Lady Macbeth says that they are equal as a result of the blood on their hands " my hands are of your colour". ...read more.

Conclusion

Near the end of the play she is weaker and haunted by what she has done " Here's the smell of the blood still, all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand". She's lost her dignity and her confidence, and is no longer the proud character she once was. She is now overcome with guilt, she speaks in prose showing the lack of control over her life. We do not know how Lady Macbeth dies, however when Macbeth is informed he simply replies "she should have died hereafter; There would have been time for such a word" he is very subdued he feels it's a waste of life. At the end of the play it is reported that Lady Macbeth the "fiend like queen" committed suicide. This shows how desperate and weak Lady Macbeth had become. I think that Lady Macbeth, begins the play as a strong, dominant woman, who disintegrates into a guilt ridden weak woman. The demise of Lady Macbeth and the ascent of Macbeth are interconnected. As Macbeth' s actions become more and more cruel, he isolates Lady Macbeth setting off her emotional decline. Lady Macbeth pushes herself and eventually becomes the cause of her own destruction. ...read more.

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