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Compare and Contrast: Macbeth & Lady Macbeth

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Compare and Contrast: Macbeth & Lady Macbeth In the play Macbeth, ambition, strength, and insanity play major roles in how the characters Macbeth and Lady Macbeth behave and react. Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth present all 3 of these behaviors at one time or another during the play. However, there behaviors progress in very different ways. While Macbeth gets stronger and more ambitious, Lady Macbeth does the opposite. She starts out strong and ambitious, but becomes weaker and more reserved. In the beginning of the play Macbeth is cautious and somewhat suspicious of the witches. He only starts to really think of the idea that they might be telling him the truth when they hail him as the thane of Cawdor, which shortly after, he receives word he has been named. When the witches tell him he will be king he is surprised but doesn't seriously consider killing Duncan until Lady Macbeth talks to him about it. ...read more.


He dreads the deed so much that he actually has hallucinations and sees a floating dagger in front of him. Insanity starts to show up around this part of the play in the form of Macbeth's hallucination and paranoia. It takes a lot of time, and coaxing from Lady Macbeth, in order for Macbeth to be able to gather up enough courage to kill Duncan which shows that he is still weak and lacking ambition. Although Lady Macbeth is still stronger and more ambitious than Macbeth the killing of Duncan is the point where the gap starts to narrow. She calls Macbeth a coward when he tries to back out of the plan and is the driving force that causes Macbeth to kill Duncan. She also shows strength when Macbeth returns from the murder and she tells him 'These deeds must not be thought after these ways. So, it will make us mad'. But when she has to go kill the guards she starts to lose some of her composure. ...read more.


Lady Macbeth's ambition and strength are lower at the end of the play than any other time. However, her insanity is at its high point. She keeps to herself most of the time and not only does she not control Macbeth anymore, she barely speaks to him. When they do talk Macbeth barely listens and calls her 'My dearest chuck,' a big change from when he previously referred to her as his 'dearest partner of greatness'. She is so disturbed by the murders that she talks about them in her sleep. She also sleep walks around her room trying to wash the blood off of her hands. She eventually gets so guilty and insane that she kills herself. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth both present ambition, strength, and insanity at one time or another during the play. The difference between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is that Macbeth gets stronger and more ambitious as the story progresses but Lady Macbeth becomes weaker and less ambitious. All there behaviors progress opposite of each other except insanity. They both become increasingly insane towards the end of the play and it eventually leads to both of their deaths. ...read more.

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