When Lady Macbeth says “Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be /What thou art promis'd: yet do I fear thy nature / Is too full o' the milk of human kindness” (I, v, 14-16), we see how she considers Macbeth too kind, to prone to letting his conscience take over that she asks the evil spirits to enter her, so that she will be able to achieve what she fears he husband will not. Lady Macbeth thinks that gentleness is weakness. When she says Macbeth is "too full o' the milk of human kindness” (I, v, 16), she means that he will back out of murdering Duncan for reasons of loyalty and common human decency. On the other hand, Lady Macbeth is calm and rational with the idea of committing treason. Her character is shown in Act I, Scene 5, just after she receives Macbeth's letter, and before Duncan and Banquo arrive at the castle.
Shakespeare uses Lady Macbeth’s persuasion and the witches’ charm, both in act 1 to show the influence of others. Lady Macbeth uses different techniques to persuade Macbeth to kill the king. She accuses Macbeth of being “green and pale” like a coward. He is also accused of being “afeard to be the same in …act…as thou…desire”, telling us he might be weak or fearful. The witches are possibly linked as the “charms” seem to influence Macbeth and he begins to echo “foul and fair”.
Lady Macbeth is a victim of her uncontrolled ambition.This ambition causes her to push herself and Macbeth to the very edge. She convinced Macbeth to kill Duncan by questioning his manliness. Lady Macbeth shows her negative ambition and ruthlessness while speaking to Macbeth in this quote: "Was the hope drunk?...Like the poor cat I' th' adage." (Act I, Scene vii, Lines 35-45) In this quote Lady Macbeth is asking Macbeth if he is afraid to kill Duncan, and if he has enough courage to say so. She is asking him if he wants to be king or not, and if he is to be king he must commit regicide.
They are very mischievous and play upon the weaknesses and ambitions of Macbeth. The witches prophecies spark Macbeth’s ambitions, just as the witches knew they would. They make Macbeth question Banquo when they prophesies that Banquo’s offspring will be king. “Lesser than Macbeth, and greater./ Not so happy, yet much happier./Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none:/So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!.” This leads Macbeth into ordering the murders of Banquo and Fleance. The witches then manipulate him to believe he is immortal by telling him “laugh to scorn the power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth.” (Act 4, scene 1 lines 86-88).
Once I gave him the title of Cawdor, he so thoughtlessly believed in the witches' power and fell willingly under their spell. What an ignorant fool! Also responsible would have to be Lady Macbeth. Once she learns of the prophecy, she is all too ready for Macbeth to become king, no matter what evil deeds had to be done to ensure he would attain the throne, including the quickest route to the crown, my crown! Even when Macbeth does have second thoughts, Lady Macbeth is there, insulting his manhood and shaming him into action.
The remark made by Banquo and the title of Hecate states that Shakespeare intends to use repulsive-looking women, mistakenly having beards, to render that women are predominately evil. Instead of using evil wizards with even longer beards, Shakespeare omits the fact that men are generally the cause of hostility because of their aggression. The witches’ supernatural powers give them a higher, more dangerous rank than men because they control the fate of the characters and their prophecies come true. They meet up with Macbeth hailing him, “Thane of Glamis” then “Thane of Cawdor” and “… shalt be king hereafter” (I. iii. 46-48).
Consequently the influence of the witches’ prophecy on Lady Macbeth gets her to overlooks Macbeth’s newly acquired title of “Thane of Cawdor”, as Lady Macbeth’s ambitions demand more for her husband. Ambition and greed are two striking characteristics of Lady Macbeth. These characteristics are evident when Lady Macbeth is caught
Thou wouldst be great, art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it." said Lady Macbeth (I, V, Lines 15-20). Lady Macbeth is showing her ambition, she wants Macbeth to seize the throne and become a king. She is trying to convince her husband to start rising to power, even when such atrocious acts are involved. Lady Macbeth becomes fearful after the murder of Banquo (although she is not involved) from her guilt.
Shakespeare shows through Duncan, who carries a legitimate power, that only direct threats to the kingdom are punished accordingly. Illegitimate power is also shown to result in manipulated relationships. Macbeth’s relationship with Lady Macbeth is evidence of this. They were both madly in love with each other in the beginning, Macbeth greeting his mistress tenderly and saying that she is his “dearest love” (1-6-57). However as the events unfold, they become allies more than lovers in their quest to claim the throne, and Macbeth is manipulated and encouraged to do wrong.
He had a feel for the complexity of human tragedy and Macbeth was not an exception. Shakespeare used his subtle talents to create a world with round characters with tragic flaws and most of all, excessive tragedy. A round character is defined as “a character whose personality is many-faceted and whose behavior is dynamic and often unpredictable” (Clugston 2010). This means that the main characters in this play, Macbeth for example, have many layers to it. These layers are often defined as strengths and weaknesses, range of emotions, and/or likes or dislikes.