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Is Lady Macbeth responsible for the downfall of Macbeth?

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Q: Is Lady Macbeth responsible for the downfall of Macbeth? In the play "Macbeth" by William Shakespeare Lady Macbeth plays a very large role in the downfall of Macbeth, both morally and mentally however it is hard to judge that she is responsible. Unlike the usual woman of the Elizabethan times she plays a very large role in the household; she acts like the man of the house making many of the chief decisions including to kill King Duncan however she only does this for the benefit of her husband and to make him king. Lady Macbeth acts as the way a man should act in her own ideas; cruel, reckless and numb to fear and pity, however this was all to protect Macbeth from suspicions and ultimately death. Lastly Macbeth protects Lady Macbeth by doing all the murders on his own after the murder of King Duncan so Macbeth is responsible for the blood not Lady Macbeth. In Act 1 Scene 5 Lady Macbeth reads Macbeth's letter and the first thing she considers to make her husband king is "to catch the nearest way"; to act without pity. ...read more.


Also although he decides not to go on with the murder and Lady Macbeth forces him to he also says "I have bought / Golden opinions from all sorts of people, / which would be worn now in their newest gloss, / not cast aside so soon." "So soon" gives the feeling that he does actual will to do it, not just now. In Act 2 Scene 1 there is a very important soliloquy by Macbeth where he loses his mind as he sees a dagger which he can not feel with his hand but only see with his eyes. In this scene a lot of Macbeth's character and his thoughts are revealed to the audience. From a person "too full o'th'milk of human milk of kindness" to someone ensnared in witchcraft. He refers to Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft, and also he compares himself to Tarquin, the rapist of Lucrece, maybe showing his excitement and thrill for blood and its similarity to sexual lust. At the start of the soliloquy he is frightened but by the end he, himself without Lady Macbeth, makes up his mind to kill Duncan; "I go, and it is done." ...read more.


"You must leave this." But Macbeth is so polluted by evil he says he cannot stand the idea that Banquo, his close friend, and his son lives. "O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife! Thou know'st that Banquo and his Fleance lives." After Macbeth kills Banquo he sees his ghost at the banquet. He begins to shout at the ghost and Lady Macbeth rebukes him again testing his manhood however this time it was not to get him to kill but to protect him from suspicion so again it is evident she is acting as a caring wife trying to keep her husband safe and on the throne. In conclusion Lady Macbeth cannot be said to be responsible for Macbeth's ruin since although she, using sometimes ruthless and cruel ways, has placed her husband as king, she has only murdered once to get him to the throne and the rest is the decision made by Macbeth and Macbeth alone. Furthermore she has succeed in her goal and she tries her best as a loving caring husband to protect Macbeth from his own stupid actions. 1125 words ...read more.

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