Courage In Macbeth

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Courage is a term that has been thrown around pretty profusely throughout history, but in reality, a select few have truly encompassed this praiseworthy attribute. According to the Reader’s Digest Great Encyclopedic Dictionary, courage is defined as: “Heart; spirit; disposition – The courage to act in accordance with what one feels to be right." To apply this term to the characters of the Shakespearean play Macbeth, it is hard to interpret whether courage is the characteristic at hand or if it is misinterpreted from something else. To be more specific, Lady Macbeth (our residential nut case) comes up with devious tactics to get what she wants, what she believes is right and just. Macbeth, on the other hand, starts out as a respectable and dutiful…show more content…
She is presented to the audience as a woman who has been hardened by her desires. “Yet do I fear thy nature; / it is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness…” (Lady Macbeth, I, v, 16-17). Pretty much saying, “you are too nice for your own good.” As we go on, we learn more about her and her strong will to get what she wants. “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 this” (Lady Macbeth, I, vii, 63-67). Now we see here that Mrs. Macbeth has a little bit of power over her husband, and when she wants to make a point, she does it, and she does it well. Now does this demonstrate courage? By this point in the play, she has come up with a plan to obtain what she thinks is right for her and her husband, and has convinced him to go through with the ultimate sin: killing the king. I believe that Lady Macbeth is full of courage. Her intentions may not be pure, but it definitely takes a lot of courage to go against the chain of existence. To virtually go unswervingly against God and his plan for the country is a mortal sin, and definitely a ticket straight to hell. As the play progresses, we see the softer, fanatical side of Lady Macbeth, “The Thane of Fife had a wife. Where is / she now? What, will these hands ne’er be clean? No / more o’ that my lord, no more o’ that…” (Lady Macbeth, V, I, 44-46). As you can see from these lines, she has completely lost it, but I do not believe that that means she did not have any courage. In fact I believe the exact opposite. I trust that she was so full of courage and drive to succeed, that she went

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