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Lady Macbeth The Most Interesting And Complex Character In The Play
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Book: Macbeth Character analysis
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Lady Macbeth is the most interesting and complex character in the play. She is, in fact, the point on which the action pivots: without her there is no play. Macbeths most interesting and complex character is most certainly, as the question states, Lady Macbeth. The purpose of this essay is to describe Lady Macbeths role in the play and discuss why this makes her the most fascinating character. Her evil doings are the main reasons why she dominates the plot so greatly.
These include the following: considers Macbeth to be a wimp not wanting to murder; letting Macbeth fulfill her plan; taking control over Macbeths thoughts and actions; turning Macbeth from a loyal man to a greedy, coldhearted human being. Also Lady Macbeths transformation in character and her relationship with Macbeth contribute to her importance. Lady Macbeth satisfies her role among the high society and is well respected like her husband. The King of Scotland, King Duncan, calls her our honoured hostess.
She shows great affection towards Macbeth but at the same time very ambitious, as shown by her reaction to the prophecies given to him. She immediately decides that the fastest way for Macbeth to become king is to murder King Duncan. When Lady Macbeth hears of the prophecies given to her husband her true character is exposed for the audience to see. Lady Macbeth persuades Macbeth to go and make the prophecy true that he will become king. Macbeth? thoughts on the prophecy before his wifes intervention was that If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me without my stir, this meaning Macbeth thought the prophecy would become reality without him doing anything.
Lady Macbeth tells her husband that Is too full of the human kindness which means she considers him to be a wimp and that shell have to do it all herself. Lady Macbeths actions shape the first two acts which proves she is the point on which the action pivots. Lady Macbeth continues to convince and persuade Macbeth into thinking her plan will pay off.
Eventually Macbeth decides against the murder of his king but Lady Macbeth shames him for not being able to murder, threatening to take away her love from him if he does not. This threat shocks Macbeth into saying yes. Lady Macbeth outlines her plan to kill King Duncan while asleep as a guest in their castle. Macbeth had the dagger in his hand ready to kill the King but he just could not do it until the King started waking up, it was then he knew he had no choice.
He regrets his actions afterwards, But where fore could not I pronounce Amen? I had most need of blessing, and Amen / Stuck in my throat which is proof that he never was willing to kill the King but Lady Macbeth assures him a little water will wash away their guilt. Macbeth having killed the King eventually kills several others to cover his tracks. This proves Lady Macbeth transformed her husband by saying things such as Are you a man? She made him feel at fault so things could be done her way. If it werent for Lady Macbeth, Macbeth would have never have killed anyone.
This story of Lady Macbeths manipulation of her husband makes her the most outstanding and complex character in the play. After the murder Lady Macbeth starts to feel paranoid about her blood stained hands. Even though the blood had been washed away the guilt she had on her shoulders made her think people knew what she had done and she became obsessed with keeping her hands clean. Lady Macbeth is eventually driven to madness by this guilt and ends up committing suicide. The transformation Lady Macbeths character undergoes is one of the most intriguing happenings in Macbeth.
At the beginning of the play she is ambitious and very confident in herself. An example of her character is when she said she would have killed Duncan herself had he not resembled (her) father as he slept. This ambition and confidence begins to disappear from her character post murder, and fear and paranoia takes their place. This fear and paranoia are shown when her doctor observes her sleepwalking, madly trying to cleanse her hands of the blood of Duncan and Macduffs family. Still asleep Lady Macbeth asks, what, will these hands nere be clean? foreseeing that she will never have peace of mind.
This change in character is truly remarkable considering her dominant nature in Acts one and two. The transformation of the relationship between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth is another interesting part of Lady Macbeth. In acts one and two their relationship is strong and loving. This strength is shown when Macbeth agreements to conduct his wifes plans because of a threat Lady Macbeth made to take away her love. This meant Macbeth was essentially willing to kill so that his relationship with Lady Macbeth continued.
After the murder and the crowning of Macbeth the once strong relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth rapidly deteriorates, so much so that when Macbeth hears of his wifes death he does not feel any emotion what-so-ever. When Macbeth became king he and his wife rarely saw each other as Macbeth was occupied in running and protecting Scotland and also himself. At this stage (acts three and four) in the play Lady Macbeths role is not as evident but when she did make appearances they were usually important to the plot.
At the beginning Lady Macbeth finds strength to lure Macbeth to murder King Duncan and to commit the murder herself. As the play progresses, her apparent strength diminishes as she fights her guilty conscience. Lady Macbeths attempts to suppress her conscience fail and at the end she chooses death because she can no longer bear the torments of her conscience. In conclusion Lady Macbeth is the most interesting and complex character and without her there is no play.
Author: Brandon Johnson