Book Reports / Macbeth By Shakespeare - Lady Macbeth And Themes

Macbeth By Shakespeare - Lady Macbeth And Themes

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Autor:  anton  09 December 2010
Tags:  Macbeth,  Shakespeare,  Macbeth,  Themes
Words: 735   |   Pages: 3
Views: 608

The literary work of Macbeth wouldn’t be a well-written story if Macbeth did not exist, but it also wouldn’t be universal if the secondary character of Lady Macbeth, Macbeth’s wife, did not exist. Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, is set in Scotland during the 11th century, mostly in Macbeth's castle and the king's palace at Forres. This play is about a brave Scottish general, Macbeth, who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become king of Scotland. Filled with ambitious thoughts and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and seizes the throne for himself. He begins his reign inflicted with guilt and fear and soon becomes a tyrannical ruler, as he is forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from suspicion. The bloodbath swiftly propels Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to madness and death of the two. Throughout this novel, Lady Macbeth plays an important role in the development of the story and reveals ambition, one of the novel’s central thematic messages.

Lady Macbeth, a deeply ambitious woman who lusts for power and position. Early on she is the stronger and more ruthless of the two, as she urges her husband to kill King Duncan, and seize the thrown. Having second thoughts about his decision, Lady Macbeth convinces him that being king is what he really wants, and that it is the best for both of them. After Macbeth talks of his uncertainty, Lady Macbeth manipulates him by questioning his love for her and his manhood, which is shown in the following quote. “When you durst do it, then you were a man; / And to be more than what you were, you would / Be so much more the man.” (Macbeth, I.vii.54). She is successful because regardless of his own conscience Macbeth carries out their plan of murder. This is only one example of how Lady Macbeth plays an important role in the development of the story. She humiliates Macbeth and belittles him by calling him less of a man because he wouldn’t kill Duncan. She does this in order to fulfill her ambitious need in order to become queen. Lady Macbeth also shows ambition when she talks with Macbeth and tries to persuade him against his will. She tells things just how she sees them fit and tells it like it is. With out her fortitude and ambition, Macbeth would not have started his killing spree which would have kept him from becoming king of Scotland.

Ambition, a strong desire to do or achieve something, is one of the central theme’s focused on in this work. While the male characters are just as violent and prone to evil as the women, the aggression of Lady Macbeth is more striking because it goes against prevailing expectations of how women ought to behave. Lady Macbeth's behavior certainly shows that women can be as ambitious and cruel as men. “Come, you spirits / That tend on mortal thoughts! unsex me here, / And fill me from the crown to the toe full / Of direst cruelty: make thick my blood, / Stop up the access and passage to remorse....”(Macbeth, I.v.41-45). Lady Macbeth expresses her desire to become unsexed and turn into a man to give her the guts to kill the king. Because she is a woman, she believes that she is incapable of committing such evil deeds. Therefore, Lady Macbeth relies on manipulation rather than violence to achieve her ends.

Although Lady Macbeth is a secondary character in this literary work, she sometimes acts as if she is more important. Throughout this novel, Lady Macbeth has some very important parts, and at times she is as essential as Macbeth. Taking stance and encouraging Macbeth to kill King Duncan is a significant point in the book where Lady Macbeth becomes more important than Macbeth and is basically the main character. Lady Macbeth was most likely the dominant of the two characters; she could have persuaded Macbeth to do anything if she so wished. And though she does not openly exercise her power over him in public, in private she often uses humiliation and emotional bribery to manipulate Macbeth to execute her will. Having this power only goes to show that Lady Macbeth and all other secondary character’s can, at some point in a story, be as important as the main character.

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