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Lady Macbeth - Gentle Lady or Fiend like Queen?

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Lady Macbeth- Gentle Lady or Fiend like Queen? Shakespeare shows Lady Macbeth as an ambitious woman. She starts out as a fiend like queen, who is capable of evil. However, as Macbeth grows more evil and ruthless, she sees the error of her ways and lacks the strength and courage to see things through. We first see this when she receives a letter from her husband. We see from the letter that Macbeth treats her as an equal, "My dearest partner of greatness", and that he is pleased to tell her of the prophecy, from the three witches, that she will become queen. At this point of Act 1 scene 5, there is no mention of murder. After reading the letter, Lady Macbeth makes a soliloquy about how Macbeth is too full of kindness to make his ambition become reality. We see her ruthless ambition and that she wishes he could be more ruthless like her. "Yet I do fear thy nature, it is too full o' th' milk of humane kindness, to catch the nearest way". This is ironic because he treats her as an equal and yet she thinks that he should be more like her. It is Lady Macbeth's ambition that makes her think of murder. ...read more.


This is a shock tactic as their relationship is so close and intense. "From this time, such I account thy love". She uses terrible violent imagery as she realises that Macbeth's doubt needs to be overcome quickly and it needs extreme measures. The chance is gone if they delay one night. By making the point that she would have rather killed her child than go back on the plan she is showing how capable of evil she is. Although it could also be said that she is just trying to shock Macbeth into realising how determined she is. The morning after the murder Macduff, Lennox and Macbeth are talking about Duncan's death. When they tell Lady Macbeth she's so 'shocked' that she eventually faints. There are a few reasons as to why she might have fainted. One of the reasons is that she is distracting attention. This reason depends on how the scene is read. Her line "Help me hence, ho!" could certainly be read in a theatrical way to distract attention so that the others don't see through Macbeth. Another reason is that she suddenly feels alone and scared by Macbeth's words and actions. They had planned everything together, but now its got out of control with the murder of the two guards. ...read more.


"The Thane of Fife had a wife: where is she now? What will these hands ne'er be clean? No more o' that my Lord, no more o' that: you mar all with this starting." At this point she knows that things are out of her control and she resigns herself to her fate. "What's done cannot be undone." This is the last we see of Lady Macbeth. We never learn how she dies. Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth as a fiend like queen in the beginning. She believes that her course of action is the only way to fulfil the prophecies. Shakespeare wants the audience to see that the public face of Lady Macbeth never falters from her purpose. It is only when she is alone that she doubts her ability to be evil. The gentler side of her character only shows through when Macbeth becomes more bloodthirsty. She is upset by the murder of Lady Macduff and begins to realise that things have gone too far. She was perhaps naive to think that Duncan's murder would be the only one. So although her ambition is great she lacks the single-mindedness to see the plan through to the end. Therefore whilst she appears to be ruthless and free from guilt, she is not prepared for the consequences of her terrible plan. Laura Munro Lady Macbeth- Gentle Lady or English Essay Fiend like Queen? ...read more.

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