Lady Macbeth Essay, Research Paper
Throughout the play “Macbeth”, by William Shakespeare, Lady Macbeth’s character drastically changes from being sinister to feeble. Lady Macbeth was an evil, manipulative person whose greed and selfishness were eventually the downfall of her character and well being. During the beginning of “Macbeth”, she used her twisted mind to convince her husband to murder, making him believe that it was the only way he could get what he wanted. But as the play developed and the murders started to increase, Lady Macbeth started to question whether or not they were necessary. Sadly, though possibly justifiably, she ended up committing suicide after her constant questioning of the murders drove her to insanity.
Lady Macbeth was an unemotional person who only cared about what she could gain. She made her disconcern about other people well known when she said, “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.” (Act I, Scene VII, Lines 55-60). Lady Macbeth refers that she would have no problem taking the life of her son, if it meant getting what she wanted. The fact that she would even fathom the idea of killing her own child makes her morose and appalling. If only she knew that it would be her who would be taken out of this world so cruelly.
Being able to manipulate her husband’s mind and the minds of others was another one of Lady Macbeth’s baneful traits. After Macbeth killed King Duncan, still reeling from the crime he had committed, he met up with his wife. Once again, she used her manipulative ways to make him think that she felt just as bad as he did. She said, “My hands are of your color, but I shame / To wear a heart so white.” (Act II, Scene II, Lines 63-64). Lady Macbeth appeared to her husband as if she felt just as guilty about the act of violence as he did, knowing that in reality she didn’t care at all. Telling Macbeth that her hands were as bloody as his own was to try to give him comfort that he was not alone in his schemes. But Lady Macbeth had other ideas in mind. She couldn’t care less about her husband’s thoughts or worries. All she could think about was covering up her own tracks.
As the play progresses forward, Lady Macbeth’s character suddenly takes a drastic turn, as she soon became aberrant and demented. Act V is the main portion of “Macbeth” that showed the destruction of Lady Macbeth’s identity. After the murders were committed, her frame of mind started to resemble that of a mad woman. She would converse with herself, walk around disoriented, and talk incoherently. Lady Macbeth became so peculiar to her chamber maids that they called in a doctor to see if she could be diagnosed.
She said many statements that brought together her feelings about the deaths Macbeth and herself were involved in. “Out, damned spot! Out I say! One: two: / why, then ’tis time to do ‘t. Hell is murky…Yet who would have thought the old man / to have so much blood in him?” (Act V, Scene I, Lines 36-41). Lady Macbeth imagined that the blood of King Duncan was on her hands, and she couldn’t wash it from them. Her guilty conscience finally surfaced, making her feel ashamed and remorseful. “Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the / perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.” (Act V, Scene I, Lines 51-52). Lady Macbeth realized that even though she didn’t kill King Duncan herself, her hands still carried the spilled blood from him.
It seemed as if she, at last, realized what Macbeth felt like in the beginning of the play. And as one of her final quotes, Lady Macbeth said, “Wash your hands; put on your nightgown / look not so pale! I tell you yet again, Banquo’s / buried. He cannot come out on ’s grave.” (Act V, Scene I, Lines 63-65). She was talking to herself about the death of Banquo. Lady Macbeth had to reassure herself that he would not come back to life. She was afraid that Banquo would come after her due to her involvement in all of those hideous crimes, especially his own. Shortly after she spoke those crazy but truthful words, Lady Macbeth threw herself off of her balcony, killing herself instantly.
Lady Macbeth’s character went through many stages throughout the play, starting off sadistic and ending up crazed. She ended up turning into the same person she was trying to change: her husband. Unfortunately, she was not able to foreshadow the events that came to pass. If she had, “Macbeth” may not have been the tragedy it turned out to be.