To what extent is lady macbeth an ideal wife

Essay by melzzyyHigh School, 11th grade August 2005

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To what extent is Lady Macbeth an ideal wife? Discuss with close reference to the text.

Throughout Shakespeare's play of Macbeth we are exposed to the society of thirteenth century Scotland and the different roles and status of this time. Accordingly, we are revealed to Macbeth's climb to the throne, and are consequently revealed to the different qualities of his wife, Lady Macbeth. Various attributes of her character enable us to perceive her as a bad wife, perhaps being the very reason for her own tragic downfall. Surrounding the major events of the play, we see some of the many different sides to Lady Macbeth. She is firstly portrayed as ruthless and ambitious, and in spite of this we also see her vulnerable side. Therefore, these given aspects of the play and Lady Macbeth's qualities make her a difficult character to understand and subsequently a bad wife.

Lady Macbeth's ruthlessness is somewhat evident throughout the entire play; however more so when her chance to become queen arrives. When receiving Macbeth's letter and finding out the truth about him in regard to the witches prophecies, Lady Macbeth is filled with much delight. She sees these prophecies as the perfect opportunity to seek a higher position in her society, to become queen. The fact that Duncan would be joining them for dinner, also tied significantly well into her murderous plans. "He brings great news. The raven himself is hoarse." Nevertheless, in spite of all this, she fears that Macbeth is "too full of the human kindness to catch the nearest way." and that his genuine goodness will encourage a more difficult journey to this higher status. Consequently she conjures to evil spirits "come you spirits, that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here...of direst cruelty." to make things...