Lady Macbeth is constantly ridiculing Macbeth because he is too afraid to kill Duncan, and she even tells him that he might as well be a woman. This is ironic because in this quote, Lady Macbeth says “Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?” (5.1.39), which lets the readers know that she feels guilty. This guilt is what would eventually drive her to madness. Mental madness all due to an attempt to gain and maintain power; power both over their own selves and a run for
Macbeth on the other hand cannot sleep and starts to see things. When Macbeth starts acting strange towards people, Lady Macbeth deceives everyone to hind their secret. When Macbeth kills Banquo and Lady Macduff, Macbeth’s guilt starts to go away because the evil and amount of power has taken over him. Lady Macbeth starts to feel guilty and is no longer able to sleep. She fears the dark, meaning she is afraid of evil and what has become of it.
said Lady Macbeth (V, I, Lines 53-55). Lady Macbeth is basically sleepwalking and dreaming of her guilt. She is fearful of the guilt still on her hands in her dreams. So, Lady Macbeth's character changes a whole lot from the beginning of the play to the end of
She is the one who plans the betrayal of Duncan and pressures Macbeth into thinking the only way to fulfill the witches “promise” is to kill the king. She goes so far as to tell Macbeth to stop wearing his emotions on his sleeves, saying “Your face, my thane, is as a book, where men / May read strange matters. To beguile the time, / Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye, / Your hand, your tongue: look like and innocent flower, / but be the serpent under it” (I, v, 69-73). She reinforces her strong character by telling Macbeth, in a time where men dominated their wives, what to do. 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 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.
In Jacobean times women were seen as inferior and even in the Victoria era, thus she required external forces to crush her conscience to allow her to fulfil her ambition. Yet she is afraid her feminine qualities will prevent her from achieving the murder of King Duncan. Which would gradually lead to her mental breakdown. Regicide was considered a mortal sin in Jacobean times, one God couldn't forgive. Whereas Browning’s protagonist in The Laboratory sustains her feminine qualities this is reflected in the line “The colours too grim” in which she is referring to her dislike of the colour of poison and that it needs to be 'brightened' up in order to convince her victim to drink it.
Macbeth was written to please King James VI as the themes in the play ‘witchcraft’ and ‘Scotland’ were James’ interests. It is also a possibility that it was also written in response to events in 17th century England. As “Macbeth” reflects the social anxieties after decades of harsh and unjust female rule such as Queen Elizabeth. Ambition, power and greed are some of the main themes in this play as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth change their characters traits in order to get what they want- which in this case is ‘power’. Ambition is what drives both of them and finally they are corrupted by greed; this is seen through all of Macbeth’s killings as he is never satisfied and wants more.
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.
Especially when she reminisces in the final stanza about the time she was young and beautiful, illustrating her complete lack of confidence. Nevertheless, she is still presented as a foul character who threatens the reader, with the line ‘Be terrified’. The poem also ends with the line ‘Look at me now’ which has a double entendre (double meaning). It could be read as a cry of despair or, as a threat – if you did look at Medusa you would die! This leaves the reader feeling conflicting emotions for the character, probably similar to how Medusa herself feels in the poem.
This is identified in Act Two, Scene Two where Macbeth converses with Lady Macbeth about the death of Duncan. Lady Macbeth is given a reason to condescend and patronize Macbeth because of his self paralysing guilt, which lead him thoughtlessly not leaving the bloody daggers at the murder scene, leaving Lady Macbeth the dangerous task of returning the daggers, due to Macbeth’s plagued worry. ‘I’ll go no more. I am afraid to think what I have done” (P.39). This demonstrates Macbeths’ weakness in character, also juxtaposes with Lady Macbeth as she is a strong character and shows that Macbeth is easily manipulated.