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Macbeth - Who is the more evil, Macbeth or Lady Macbeth? Discuss

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Daniel Ranga "Macbeth" Task: 'Who is the more evil, Macbeth or Lady Macbeth? Discuss' Shakespeare's play, Macbeth is the tragic story of a once loyal soldier's quest for the throne of Scotland. He is fuelled by his 'vaulting ambition' and spurred on by his determined wife. Macbeth eventually gets his wish, but at the cost of assassinating the country's leader, and spreading also suspicion and hatred throughout the kingdom. He is eventually overthrown and killed when he is discovered. Lady Macbeth is the one who encourages him to commit the murders, and she was the one who gave him the idea of assassination. She even blackmailed him to commit the crime when his conscience got the better of him. Lady Macbeth is thought to have committed suicide after going mad from the guilt and horrors that have taken place. Macbeth at the beginning of the play was a heroic and valiant soldier in King Duncan's army. Accounts are given of his bravery and courage in battle against the rebel Macdonwald. "For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name), Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel, Which smoked with bloody execution," Because of Macbeth's great valour and gallantry, Duncan declares that Macbeth should be the new Thane of Cawdor. ...read more.


Here the play shows how evil Lady Macbeth really is, before she has even consulted with her husband, she has chosen for him that he will murder the king. Macbeth enters and she presses him to agree to the plan even though he is doubtful. In scene seven he contemplates the deed and decides against it. "We will proceed no further in this business" Lady Macbeth presses him further, questioning his conviction and using emotional blackmail, forcing him to agree to the deed, even though he still fears failure and retribution. "Pr'ythee, peace. I dare do all that may become a man; Who dares do more is none." This scene maybe emphasises Lady Macbeth's evil the most, after he husband refuses to murder the king, she blackmails him, forcing him to accept her plan. During the first scene of the second act, Macbeth is left alone after conversing with Banquo, he has a vision of a bloodstained dagger and once again considers going against his wife's wishes for the murder. However, in the end, he resolves to go through with the murder, and in his soliloquy he allies himself with witchcraft and secrecy. "...Now o'er the one half world Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse The curtained sleep: witchcraft celebrates Pale Hecate's offerings; and ...read more.


This is the first stage of her madness, which is caused by the immense guilt she possesses. It is believed she commits suicide later in the play, unable to keep her feelings to herself any more. As Macbeth's enemies close on his castle, he decides to give one final stand. This could be perceived as madness or just valiant fury, but Macbeth believes there is no other way out of his predicament then death. He resolves not to "play the Roman fool, and die on mine own sword" He would rather die in a fight than commit suicide like his late wife. Macduff meets Macbeth and Macbeth is slain in the ensuing fight. To conclude, both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were evil to some degree. Macbeth was not born evil but turned that way by the witches influence, but when the net started tightening on him he ordered his rivals murdered, although he felt guilt. Lady Macbeth forced her husband to murder the king even though he was against it, this was the major evil in her life, and she too felt guilt though she went mad from it. I believe that Lady Macbeth was the more evil character in the play, this is mainly because if she hadn't forced Macbeth to murder the king the ordeal that they went through would never have started. ...read more.

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