Lady Macbeth Character Report

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Lady Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most famous and frightening female characters. In Act 5, it is evident that Lady Macbeth is experiencing somnambulistic attacks, or sleepwalking. She wants to be relieved of her guilt because several suppressed ideas of an emotional nature enter into this scene and are responsible for making her act this way. Lady Macbeth is desperately trying to wash away invisible bloodstains on her hands as it is a reminiscence of her experience with the murder of Duncan. She also refers to the murder of Banquo and Lady Macduff while in her somnambulistic state. Lady Macbeth’s motivation for going insane is ultimately to be free of guilt. Once the sense of guilt becomes to overwhelming, Lady Macbeth’s sensitivity becomes a weakness, and she is unable to cope. Lady Macbeth faces mental obstacles as she tries to overcome her guilt because her conscious mind is telling her to keep her secrets suppressed but her unconscious mind reveals her secrets to the Gentlewomen and the Doctor because it is doing herself no good keeping the secrets to herself. Once Lady Macbeth confronts these obstacles, she apparently kills herself, signaling her inability to deal with the legacy and the power of the crown. In this Act, Lady Macbeth’s speech has become fragmented and broken by an enormous emotional pressure. The women who once was a domineering wife has been reduced to a babbling creature whose speech almost signifies nothing. Lady Macbeth lacks the ability to make logical connections between her memories or her sentences. Lady Macbeth does not react to the other characters in this scene, neither the Gentlewomen nor the Doctor. All that is occupying her mind are the unlawful crimes she has
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