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Compare the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in Act 2.

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Introduction

Compare the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in Act 2. In act 2 scene 1, Macbeth seems to be having doubts to his actions on the murder of King Duncan. When he is left alone, he imagines a dagger in front of him, which is guiding him towards the goal he seeks of killing Duncan to gain his ambition to ascend to the throne. This proves that he wants to do it, that he's greedy and desperate to do it but having doubts about whether he has the courage. Initially he experiences horror at he reality of which he is contemplating but this gives away to resolution. He determines, however, to proceed forward and kill Duncan. ...read more.

Middle

When Macbeth falters, she is there and has the courage to return the daggers this is a significant difference between the characters. She also has the courage to faint (to distract the attention form her husband) to dismiss the banquet. The cast of her mind is practical, she plans the details of the murder- she has the future worked out and she is pre-eminently cunning., The fact in the last act she proved her evilness influenced our knowledge of her inhumanity. However, like Macbeth, Lady Macbeth shows moments of humanity- she would have killed Duncan herself only he reminded her of her own father. It is these small details that perhaps indicate that she is not as cold and inhuman as we think and more like her Macbeth. ...read more.

Conclusion

This leads us, however, to the view of Macbeth as a hypocrite: in public he behaves one way but in privacy he behaves very differently. It also leads to his moments of weakness before and after murdering Duncan. It is an appeal to Macbeth's manhood, which is Lady Macbeth's strategy in persuading him to murder Duncan. Therefore, we can say that there is in Macbeth's nature a profound need to prove himself. Macbeth is strong; emotionally and spiritually as is Lady Macbeth. He does have some doubts before and guilt is significant after. This is not only a courageous act but also a cowardly one. Finally it is important to note that Shakespeare seems to draw the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth very much as a linked and complementary pair: when Macbeth is weak and indecisive, Lady Macbeth is strong and vibrant; when Macbeth is callous and determined, she is tormented and disintegrating. ...read more.

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