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In the sleepwalking scene Lady Macbeth seems to be a very 'different person' to the one who persuaded Macbeth to kill Duncan. Examine how the incidents in the play have affected her by the end of the play.

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Introduction

In the sleepwalking scene Lady Macbeth seems to be a very 'different person' to the one who persuaded Macbeth to kill Duncan. By making close reference to the language used in the relevant scenes. Examine how the incidents in the play have affected her by the end of the play. Lady Macbeth is Macbeth's loving, caring and yet confident wife, or so she appears to be at the beginning of the play but the truth is that like Macbeth, her ambition got in the way of logical thinking. She went, by the end of the play, from being a supportive and loving wife to a devious and wicked woman to a final guilty and sick woman. We first meet Lady Macbeths' evil and wicked side when she receives a message that tells her of the king coming to visit to stay at the castle. Here her ambition takes a sudden turn and her wickedness grows. She decides that Duncan shall not leave her castle alive, 'The Raven himself is hoarse That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan Under my battlements.' Shakespeare uses bird imagery here to show us Lady Macbeths; view of the situation, she sees Duncan as a victim of raven or crow and she takes him under her battlement like she will be doing when he comes to stay at the castle and she will not let him out alive. ...read more.

Middle

Lady Macbeth seems to be getting more evil and wicked by the minute. Lady Macbeth eventually manages to get Macbeth to divert his feelings of right and wrong and then proceeds to tell him the plan that she has most evilly devised. Now in Act two scene two we almost immediately see the flaws in Lady Macbeths' iron will and strength as we learn that she has had to drink to keep up her spirits, 'That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold;' We learn that for all Lady Macbeths' malice she could not murder Duncan as he reminded her of her father, which does raise the question has Lady Macbeth managed to completely get rid of her conscience or is there still a trace of it in her? And is she completely and utterly evil or is she just fooling herself into thinking that she is? Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth that he has completed the murder and as he finished telling her he realizes the significance of what he has done. Macbeth had brought the daggers back with him from the murder scene and Lady Macbeth insults him and takes the daggers from him to return them to the bedroom. Lady Macbeth seems to have recovered from her earlier fears and is back to her 'normal' self. Macbeth then was starting to worry about the blood on their hands and to this Lady Macbeth replies, 'A little water clears us of this deed.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Evil has pervaded all of Lady Macbeth's senses and she desperately wants something feminine back. Lady Macbeth starts to repent and prays for forgiveness so that she may go to heaven. Almost at the close of the play we hear as if it were of no great importance at all that Lady Macbeth is dead, which was probably suicide. Lady Macbeth's suffering drove her to despair which led to her death. Lady Macbeth's character followed the pattern of decline, despair and death. Lady Macbeth believed that she could make herself as evil as she wanted to be. She did not think that if someone makes themselves this evil could they stay evil without some disastrous consequences? She had to find out and learn for herself and this is what we are shown. Her inability to murder Duncan gives us some idea that she would have a scrape of human kindness left in her. As Lady Macbeth leaves the true reality of evil we see that the strain of keeping up appearances has become intolerable and she has to support her husband, cover up for him and think about his own insecurities. All the strain proved too much for Lady Macbeth to cope with and it finally breaks her, and even in her madness she is tortured. There was no escape for Lady Macbeth from the guilt except possibly when she died. What made her character so fascinating was the changes that she went through and the fact that Shakespeare manages to make us pity her as evil as she was. ...read more.

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