• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What part does Lady Macbeth play in Macbeth's downfall?

Extracts from this document...


What part does Lady Macbeth play in Macbeth's downfall? Macbeth is a very important character in the play. At the beginning of the play he comes across a being a brave warrior who is respected, as he is a commander of king Ducan's army and helps them to win the battle. He is then promoted by the king and made the thane of Cawdor, as the old one turns out to be a traitor and is killed. The king makes it clear that he will richly reward him for the bravery and loyalty he has shown. After the battle Macbeth meets three witches who make predictions for his future. They exploit his weakness, his ambition and they torment him with riddles, telling him that he will be thane of Cawdor before he knows it himself, and that one day he will be king. They also said that Banquo's (Macbeth's friend) soon will be king one day. After Macbeth hears the predictions his ambition begins to show, he writes a letter to his wife to tell her what has happened and to excite her interest in his plans. He then goes back to his castle and him and his wife plan to kill the king. It is mainly Lady Macbeth's idea and she persuades him to go through with it. After the murder thy left the daggers they used with two sleeping guards and they also covered them with Duncan's blood. When the king is found Macbeth kills the guards to avoid them saying it wasn't them. Macbeth then orders Banquo and his son to be killed as he feels that they are a threat to him becoming king. Banquo is killed but his son gets away. Macbeth than starts to go mad and become obsessed with others who threaten him. As a result he orders Macduff family to be killed. Finally Macbeth is overthrown in a battle by the sons of the king and he is killed by Macduff. ...read more.


This is what she says; 'From this time, such I account thy love'. By doing this she is threatening their relationship and she thinks that if Macbeth loves her he will have to do it as he will not risk losing her. She may make him feel stupid by torturing him in this way because he might think that he is weak and pathetic for not being able to this one thing to hold onto his wife. Lady Macbeth calls him a coward for having doubts. She says this; 'live like a coward in thine own esteem.' She also makes another reference to him being a coward by saying this; 'look so green and pale.' Calling him a coward is obviously going to make him feel stupid and small and this is probably exactly how she wants to make him feel. Also being called a coward by a woman and his own wife would probably make him feel even worse. As at that time men were supposed to hold power over their wives, not the other way around. So by saying all of these powerful things to him it would probably make him feel even more stupid for having doubts. He may also feel that he has to prove her wrong and regain the power in their relationship. She also says that he is not a real man and she taunts his masculinity. She says this; 'when you durst do it, then you were a man'. This would make him feel really weak and stupid and in think that's he knows that by telling him he is not a real man will humiliate him and make him feel worthless. Being told this, especially by his own wife would probably make him feel really bad and it would probably push him even further into giving into her and going trough with it. Throughout the time she is trying to persuade him she continuously mocks and teases him. ...read more.


When Lady Macbeth dies he reacts strangely, this is what he says when he find out she is dead; 'she should have died here after: there would have been a time for such a word.' Macbeth pretends not to hear when he is told, probably because he does not want to believe it. He also seems quiet and not to care, maybe he blames Lady Macbeth for everything that has happened because he thinks that it was because of her that he went through with it and maybe he thinks that everything that has happened led on from that and is all her fault. I think that he is feeling a mixture of emotions and he doesn't really know how to react, as it is so sudden to him. All of his power and motivation seems to disappear, and he seams to lose the will to be king and even to live. We sense that he fears the end is near. As he repeats Lady Macbeth's language in her sleepwalking scene it seams to emphasize that he will soon join her in death. From reading Macbeth I thought that it was quite a strange play. As I thought that it was weird how Lady Macbeth was able to turn into such an evil woman and push her husband into committing a murder at a time when woman were supposed to be weak and powerless. I think that Lady Macbeth was only partly responsible though for Macbeth's downfall. I think that it was because of her that he done it in the first place, but I think that Macbeth's ambition then took over and he started to get out of control. I think that the play can be relevant to us today because we can see how Macbeth's ambition led to his downfall and we can learn from the mistakes that he made. Like not letting someone push you into doing something you don't really want to do, not to lose touch from people when working in a team, and not to be over ambitious and let your ambitions take over. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. A classical tragedy tells the story of the downfall of a great man.

    The first thing they talk of is how dark the daytime is not. The following passage refers to how unnatural the light of the earth is. The passage also alludes to life and death a lot. Line three implies that the world has been enveloped ("entombed")

  2. 'Consider the character of Lady Macbeth. How far was she instrumental in Macbeth's downfall? ...

    This shows us that she does have a compassionate, caring side. During act four, Lady Macbeth does not appear in the play. This both allows for the rapid advances in the plot and also helps to symbolise the ruin

  1. The Downfall of Macbeth

    Without her boldness of character, her influence over him, Macbeth would never have overcome the "milk of human kindness" within himself to commit treason. Macbeth was not satisfied with what he had because his mind was opened to a dream - that he would one day be king - by

  2. Lady Macbeth - Is Lady Macbeth Responsible for the evils of Macbeth?

    It is worth noting at this point that her ambitiousness can be seen as not being completely self motivated, as she is doing this for Macbeth as well. This is another question that hangs in the air for a lot of the play: does she really love Macbeth, or is she using him for her own personal gain?

  1. Study of Lady Macbeth - Changes through the play.

    Lady Macbeth's waiting gentlewoman has called in a doctor to view Lady Macbeth's actions in her sleepwalking. She speaks of references concerning Duncan and Lady Macduff's deaths. Lady Macbeth refers to her hands that seem to have specks of blood by saying, "Out damned spot, out I say!".

  2. Explore how Duncans murder affects the relationship of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth

    She does this by calling to the spirits: "Come thick night, Come you spirits" to shield her untrue actions from god. Also, "Fill me from the crown to the toe topfull of direst cruelty"; her desperation to make sure that she wishes to be entirely cruel is clear.

  1. King Duncan's murder marks the beginning of Macbeth's downfall. Who can be held mostly ...

    The witches' presence as the primary scene casts the mood for the entire play. The audiences' beliefs of the supernatural power of witches that threatens their religion and society would provide an excuse for Macbeth's downfall. The audience would interpret that the witches' power overpowered Macbeth and would cause him to act in such an evil way.

  2. After studying the Banquet Scene in Macbeth, what evidence do you find of Shakespeare's ...

    Macbeth but also I think to create a small amount of irony. Since the murderer is, quite obviously, a murderer, one might automatically assume that he has little or no respect for other people. However, this murderer whom Shakespeare has created seems to have quite a lot of respect for Macbeth.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work