Lady Macbeth, Man or Woman?

Essay by Aranh2318High School, 12th grade July 2005

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The play Macbeth is well known for its abundant use of imagery. Imagery is used for numerous reasons such as to convey certain visions to the audience and to give life to the play. One major use of imagery can be seen with the character of Lady Macbeth. Her characterization is strongly dependent on imagery and progresses dramatically with the advancement of the play.

At the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth is introduced as a dominant, controlling, heartless wife with an obsessive ambition to achieve kingship for her husband. After she learns of her husband's plan to murder Duncan, she realizes that her husband is not man enough to commit the murder. She believes he " too full o' th' milk of human kindness..."(I.v.13), and he would be great except he is "...not without ambition, but without/ The illness should attend it..."(I.v.15-16). Lady Macbeth believes that her husband can defeat Duncan and become king.

However, she also has some doubts that Macbeth will not be able to go through with the plan of killing Duncan in order to become king. This is just one of Lady Macbeth's weakness, because of the sole fact that she doubts her own husband. Her doubts lead one to believe that she will give in to pressure very easily. Lady Macbeth is clearly presented as the dominant person in the relationship; which, is a reversal of the stereotypical roles of their time.

A side of Lady Macbeth that begins to come out as the play goes on is the greedy side of her. She worries more about herself than any other person. After Lady Macbeth's doubts about her husband's murdering Duncan, she begins to say that when Macbeth receives the crown she will tell him what to do and how to...