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Macbeth "Behind every successful man is a strong woman" During this period of history the role of a woman was supposed to be a passive one. They were to create a gentle and supportive role for their husband. It was expected of them to have a calm and tranquil home. Lady Macbeth is completely different to woman of this time. She was assertive and took control. She was also a very manipulative woman who appeared to be a very lovely woman to everyone around. She became very ambitious, almost too ambitious for herself. There was also the idea of "Divine Right of Kings". This idea evolved in Europe during the Middle Ages. The theory claimed that Kings were answerable only to God and it was therefore sinful for their subjects to resist them. By planning to kill the king, Lady Macbeth was committing and act of murder and treason, as well a crime against God's appointed leader In Act 1 Scene 5 it is our very first meeting with Lady Macbeth who enters reading a letter, regarding the three witches' prophecies. Shakespeare establishes her character through a soliloquy (dramatic method where the actor speaks as if to himself or herself. It is introspective and reveals the inner motives to the audience.) Our first impressions are that she is very ambitious and a good judge of character (she knows Macbeth is ambitious but he is too noble to kill the King) ...read more.


"that their fitness now Does unmake you" She tries to convince Macbeth into killing the King by asking him if he actually loves her. If he doesn't kill the King then he doesn't love her. She also tries to make Macbeth feel guilty by saying she would kill her own child if she had promised (although he only considered it, a technique of deception used by Lady Macbeth used) to kill the King and then changed her mind. This is a very brutal and descriptive method used by Lady Macbeth; it shows again that she lacks compassion. "And dashed the brains out, had I sworn as you Have done to this" Lady Macbeth's final insult is to ask her husband if "the hope was drunk" (image of Macbeth waking up the next morning). She wants to know if he woke up hung-over, sick and green in colour. She wants to know if he regretted it in the morning. She taunts and mocks him. Macbeth then begins to quaver "if we should fail". Lady Macbeth then explains her plan in full detail of how they are going to "drug the guards" and then blame them the next morning. Macbeth is both impressed by his wife's plan and also by her attitude. His admiration is quite clear; the murder is going to go ahead. He wants to only "bring forth men-children only". In Act 2 Scene 2 Lady Macbeth is alone on stage. ...read more.


She knew she had lots of influence over Macbeth and she knew she would be able to force him into killing the King. Although Lady Macbeth did not strike the final, fatal blow, she had planned everything up to it. Shakespeare believed that a woman, being not as masculine as a man, cannot kill directly. The women of the play manipulate Macbeth into doing their bidding. Lady Macbeth drives Macbeth to kill King Duncan. On the surface it would appear that Macbeth was responsible for the murder since he committed the crime, but when more is read into it, it becomes clear that Lady Macbeth was more responsible. The price she has to pay for her crime is insomnia. Lady Macbeth eventually becomes racked mentally with guilt from the crimes she has committed. In a famous scene, she sleepwalks and tries to wash imaginary bloodstains off her hands. This shows the constant disease of guilt. It is brought on by the way in which Duncan is killed, in his sleep. Lady Macbeth is unable to go to sleep, and if she does, she experiences terrifying dreams. She tries to cope with the pressures by denying reality and to rely on her strength of will, but in the end the awful truth forces itself out through her unconscious, and even her will to live fails. Later Lady Macbeth's condition worsens eventually leading to her sleepwalking. Just before the battle outside of Dunsinane, Lady Macbeth commits suicide. ...read more.

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