Lady MacBeth Essay: Nadeau Lyn

Essay by EnnisarlynHigh School, 12th gradeA, May 2004

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In Shakespeare's Macbeth, Macbeth and his wife Lady Macbeth conspire together, plotting to assassinate the King of Scotland, King Duncan. Lady Macbeth spares no sentiment upon the notion of killing Duncan, much to the dispute of her husband. Her uncharacteristic manly ambition to help her husband seize the throne conflicts with the stereotype of the typical noble woman of the time. Lady Macbeth's callous nature, coupled with her unwomanly virtues produces unprecedented misfortunes which causes the downfall for her and her husband. Many times Lady Macbeth completes a transformation, in which she takes on the role of a chameleon, able to fool outsiders as a hospitable hostess but then only to return to her desired manly state. Throughout Macbeth, Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth with altering stereotypes of the medieval man and woman of the time.

After receiving a letter about the prophecy of the Weird Sisters, Lady Macbeth considers murdering the king to hasten their fate of assuming the throne of Scotland.

Lady Macbeth suggests that Macbeth is weak because he is "too full of the milk of human kindness," and she associates him with the nurturing "milk" that is generally a characteristic of women. (I, 5, 17) Lady Macbeth beings to transform and assert her role by suggesting her husband is not man enough to do what she feels needs to be done to fulfill the witches' prophecy. She chooses to act quickly because of her husband's passiveness and his known affinity toward the King. Lady Macbeth knows she must take charge and "pour [her] spirits in thine ear," to urge Macbeth to seize this opportunity. (I, 5, 29) She must intoxicate his judgment with her own brutality to persuade him to kill Duncan. Knowing that she must direct such ruthlessness, Lady Macbeth does not want to...