In Shakespeare's play "Macbeth", analyze the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth from when Lady Macbeth recieves her husband's letter, until the murder of Duncan.

Essay by daniiHigh School, 12th gradeA+, May 2004

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Critics have often referred to the character of Macbeth in the play Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, as a "tragic hero" and "a man who is, except for his ambition, noble in nature." This noble nature is brought out in his moral sense of duties and loyalty to the king. The audience/reader learns of his "brave" and "valiant" position as a soldier, particularly valuable on the battlefield from the beginning, and his nobility enables him to resist his murderous thoughts and leave what will be to fate. On the other hand, Lady Macbeth scorns this aspect of her husband's nature for she sees his "human kindness" as a weakness (which makes him less manly) and even fears this characteristic of his, because she is concerned that he will not be "man" enough to perform the deed of killing a good, kind and respected King. Therefore, with this section of the play, what constitutes a "man" and "woman" differs from Lady Macbeth and Macbeth.

Also, the reader must take into consideration that the Elizabethans believed that to kill a king, especially a greatly praised one, was the most evil crime that could ever be committed, for the king was said to be God's representative on Earth, hence this "horrid deed" would be seen as a crime against general "good" and heaven.

Lady Macbeth does not seem to be associated with this theory for she has a willingness to commit evil. This aspect of her character is particularly evident after she has read her husband's letter, when she cries "unsex me here…" declares that she wants to loose all her femininity and calls upon the evil spirits to "make thick my blood" with "direst cruelty". This deals with the theme in the beginning of the play of the roles of both sexes,