How and Why Shakespeare Presents Lady Macbeth as Disturbed

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In her first scene, Lady Macbeth is considered disturbed because she does not fit into the typical image of women at the time. This is suggested by such sayings as ‘that I may pour my spirits in thine ear’ and ‘leave all the rest to me,’ which could suggest disturbance of the natural order as she appears to be more powerful than Macbeth. Women were supposed to be inferior to men at the time Shakespeare wrote the play, so this would have surprised his audience and would have made a more memorable character. Perhaps Shakespeare did this to attract a larger audience, as more people would enjoy a unique play that created some emotion, even if it is hatred towards a character. Lots of writers also use inspiration from people they know in reality when they create characters, so perhaps Shakespeare knew a woman who seemed ‘out of place’ or independent. It could even reflect Shakespeare’s own relationship with his wife, since very little is known about their marriage. The quotes suggest that Lady Macbeth is very much the leader of the couple, and when she says ‘that my keen knife see not the wound it makes,’ it appears that she initially meant to commit the murder herself. So why did she need to involve Macbeth? Perhaps she only needed him in case she was found out; after all, no-one would have believed that a weak, caring woman could have murdered the king. If they had been discovered, they would have surely blamed Macbeth. Perhaps she is not wholly disturbed after all, and retains a good deal of wit and intelligence for a time. Though an intelligent woman at the time would probably have been considered disturbed. After Macbeth has returned, she reinforces her control over him; accusing him of cowardice and being dishonourable by saying ‘I have given suck, and know/How tender ‘tis to love the babe that milks me. I would… Have… dashed the brains out , had I so sworn as
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