Firstly, I encounter that Lady Macbeth is an awesome woman, a self-made monster of evil and ambition. I will now be talking about the character of Lady Macbeth and how she spurs her husband into fulfilling the witches’ prophecies. Women have control over men and they can easily influence them. Lady Macbeth is shown early in the play as a single purposed woman. She can manipulate Macbeth easily. This is shown in the line “That I may pour my spirits in thine ear”. (I,V, 26)
The play starts when Macbeth sees the witches and gets told that he will become King. They recount to Macbeth three prophecies. That Macbeth will be Thane of Cawdor, Thane of Glamis and King. These prophecies introduce Macbeth to ideas of greatness. As a result, I think the witches foretell the future, they can add temptation, and influence Macbeth, but they do not control his destiny. He immediately writes a letter to his wife and explains what happens, and they decide to kill the King. Lady Macbeth knows that her husband is too nice to go through with the murder so she eventually tries to persuade him that he needs to be strong and manly. In this play Lady Macbeth uses different powers of persuasion to encourage her husband to kill King Duncan. Lady Macbeth is aware that murder is the only way to make the witches’ predictions to come true, but she also believes that Macbeth might be “too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness”. Here she uses several techniques to stiffen his resolve.
I have also noticed that Lady Macbeth seems to be almost opposite compared to that of Macbeth in physical and mental power. Lady Macbeth is the person who is able to persuade Macbeth into killing Duncan, assuring Macbeth that it will succeed, as Lady Macbeth’s ambition is far greater than that of Macbeth. This change in the character of Lady Macbeth is apparent after she reads the letter from Macbeth as she goes and talks to the evil spirits to make herself evil with lines such as “Fill me from the crown to the toe-top full of direst cruelty! Make thick my blood”. She goes to the extent of planning the murder of Duncan and assumes full responsibility of this. She exerts a lot of power over Macbeth in this part of the play and even calls him a “coward” and this shows just how determined she is and how much power she has over her husband. It is this confidence in herself plus the persuasiveness on her words that makes Macbeth act on her words without hesitating.
Lady Macbeth begins by asking him, “was the hope drunk wherein you dressed yourself?” She uses the metaphor of alcohol to imply that his courage and boldness was the result of intoxication and not genuine determination. Macbeth is a great warrior, and the audience has already heard of his brutal fighting skills, so by accusing him of being a drunken, she is offending his manliness. She takes this image further by accusing him of being weak and scared: “green and pale” she also accuses him of being too nervous and shy. This makes Macbeth less manly and he starts thinking that he is weak and powerless.
Lady Macbeth then uses very brutal imagery, juxtaposing herself with her husband. She declares that she would never say she would to something and then not go through it. She also talks about killing her own baby and says, “I know how tender ‘tis to love the babe that milks me”. This shows that even though she is a woman, she would still rather kill her baby than go back on her word. By using image suffused with tenderness and sensitivity, with words such as “milk”, “suck”, “smiling” and then contrasting this with verbs such as “plucked” and “dashed” she creates a terribly violent image, which shows that she is stronger than Macbeth and more persuasive. This makes him ashamed and would also be shocking for the audience.
By the end of the scene Macbeth is obviously feeling better, stronger and more determined. Lady Macbeth manages to convince her husband by accusing him of being a coward, asking lots of rhetorical questions to make think of the consequences using herself as a comparison to question his gender, and explaining how she could do it to make him feel ashamed. Lady Macbeth also stops him worrying about the practical details of the murder, so by the end he has no reason not to go though with their plans.
“Out, damned spot!out,I say!One;Two:why, then ’tis time to do’t. Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie! a soldier and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?” [Act V, S I, L 32-35]
Consequently, here Lady Macbeth is trying to wash out what she sees as being blood on her hands. At the start Lady Macbeth was the one pushing on Macbeth to kill Duncan but as the play goes on she becomes weaker as Macbeth becomes stronger, Macbeth isn’t troubled by what he has done to the extent Lady Macbeth is. Her role in the play slowly becomes smaller and smaller as she ends up being driven mad by the guilt and soon can no longer take, and ends up taking her own life hoping that her torment will end now that she is dead. “The Queen, my Lord is dead” [Act V, S 5, L 18], Lady Macbeth takes her life right before the battle against the English is about to begin. This taking of her own life demonstrates her fear and in the end what that fear can do to a person.
Overall, Macbeth can be summarised into a character although strong physically he is very Mentally weak and it is this weakness that causes the downfall and change of Macbeth. Other factors do however also contribute to this change such as his wife whose ambition is very strong at first and is much more stronger mentally than Macbeth. On the other hand, it is also Macbeth’s ambition and his trust in the witches’ which ultimately change him. Lady Macbeth was the cause of everything that happened. If it weren’t for her greed things would have followed as planned but not in the sequence of events that it happened. She was so determined to be Queen that she destroyed her and her husband’s life and also the life of others. Her power and masculinity was too much for Macbeth to handle, and was easily pressured into doing things he would never have thought of doing. Lady Macbeth had all the control over Macbeth’s life.