Analysis of Lady Macbeth in Act One

Essay by drgnfly_0896High School, 12th grade April 2004

download word file, 1 pages 3.0 1 reviews

Downloaded 46 times

In William Shakespeare's play Macbeth, the character of Lady Macbeth is a very decisive, controlling of her husband Macbeth, and ambitious woman during the course of the first act. One reason that Lady Macbeth is decisive is because she has made up her mind for her husband Macbeth to become King of Scotland. It does not matter to her how he attains the title, it only matters that he does. When Lady Macbeth realizes her husband's uncertainty, she wishes for the spirits to "unsex me here,/And fill me from the crown to the tow, top-full/of direst cruelty" (1.5.39-41). In other words, she wishes that she could be released of the tenderness of a woman so that she could be even more heartless and cruel so as to murder King Duncan, the present King of Scotland, in order for Macbeth to reign. A second characteristic of Lady Macbeth is that she is very controlling of her husband Macbeth.

Lady Macbeth realizes that her husband is uncertain of their mutual decision to murder King Duncan. When Macbeth claims that "we will proceed no further in this business" (1.7.31), Lady Macbeth threatens his masculinity in order to manipulate his emotions toward the situation. She tells him that he cannot back out of his promise now, and that she would even kill a baby that she was nurseing if she had sworn to her husband that she would.

I have given suck, and know

How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me:

I would, while it was smiling in my face,

Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums,

And dashed the brains out,

Had I so sworn as you

Have done to this (1.7.54-59)

A third characteristic of Lady Macbeth is that she is very ambitious. She wants nothing...