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Lady Macbeth Coursework

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Introduction

Lady Macbeth Coursework Q: 'Lady Macbeth is the real driving force behind the murder of Duncan'. Discuss this statement and decide whether or not you agree. 'Macbeth' is a play about different shortcomings of human nature. It is a play of crime, guilt, remorse and retribution. It is one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies. Macbeth may not be one of William Shakespeare's most complex works, but is certainly one of his most powerful and emotionally intense. Lady Macbeth in general is very controversial - one of Shakespeare's most famous and frightening female characters. She is a profoundly ambitious woman who lusts for power and position. She is a woman of strong will, smart enough to recognise her husband's strengths and weaknesses and ruthless enough to exploit them. She is stronger and more ambitious than her husband. In my opinion she has a two-sided character, as she acts differently when she is with her husband than she does when she is alone or with other people. An example of this would be in Act 1 Scene v, when she reads the letter written to her from Macbeth. Shortly after reading it, she makes the comment that she feels Macbeth is too kind to kill Duncan and that he would need her help, strength and will power to commit it. ...read more.

Middle

In part, the mischief they cause sterns from their supernatural powers, but mainly it is the result of their understanding of the weaknesses of their specific victim's- they play upon Macbeth's ambition like puppeteers. Throughout the play, we can gather that Lady Macbeth is a dominant force behind the killing of Duncan because of her relentless powers towards Macbeth. There is only one point where Lady Macbeth's had become discomforted. This was when she took the daggers from Macbeth, and at that point both she and Macbeth were shocked, nervous, and unsteady. This was because Macbeth had forgotten about the plot to frame the guards so that he could literally get away with murder. This was ironic because his wife was usually in control; Macbeth is like the pawn to her, as she always tells him what to do. In this tragic drama, Macbeth, supposedly the hero, constantly declines in his level of morality until his death at the end of the play. Because of his change of character from good to evil, Macbeth's attitude towards other characters, specifically Duncan, Banquo, Lady Macbeth, and the witches, is significantly affected. In particular, Macbeth's attitude towards Lady Macbeth is very complex. ...read more.

Conclusion

The three witches represent the supernatural forces. Lady Macbeth acts as Macbeth's external force, pushing him towards the bloody deeds. Macbeth's own ambition and inner desires are the internal forces he battles and they act as the deciding power in bringing him to his downfall. Either way, Lady Macbeth did play a crucial part behind Duncan's death, maybe not the full blame, but definitely, the statement is not completely false. Her lust for power (" Come you spirits/ That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here/ And fill me, from crown to the toe, top-full/ Of direst cruelty..." Act 1, Scene v, 39-40) is exercised by indirection, through her husband and the prospect of being queen. She steadily loses that power after Duncan's death, fading into a lonely, guilt ridden, and finally suicidal melancholy. After all, this is what the play is all about- the different aspects and conspiracies in which certain tragedies occur. In conclusion I believe it is quite evident she had a large part to play in the murder, but she is not fully to blame as it was not she who committed the act. The tragedy of the story is that a man could be driven this far to commit such a murder by his own wife. 1 KEVIN DRISCOLL 9/5/05 ...read more.

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