Macbeth Essay ‘Lady Macbeth is the true villain of the story’ - Discuss Despite Shakespeare’s play Macbeth being primarily about the titular character, Lady Macbeth plays a vital role as the true villain of the story. With the stereotype of ‘good vs. evil’, Lady Macbeth is the main ‘evil’ influence. Being in the position of Lord Macbeth’s wife is something Lady Macbeth uses to the fullest extent, suggesting the murder of Duncan for their own benefit and ensuring that it is followed through; it is here where Lady Macbeth’s character is used as a catalyst. The character that is Lady Macbeth herself is quite a peculiar one; with her theatrical personality and eccentric way of thinking, Lady Macbeth is the true villain of the story. To begin with, Lady Macbeth fulfils the basis for all narrative writing: the complication.
Thus she turns an honest man to a tyrant and proves herself as villain. It depends on how you define villain. Does a villain have to actually do some crime, or is plotting simply enough? I think Lady Macbeth is more of a villain, as she doesn’t murder anyone in the play but plots the murder. Well, throughout the play you see Lady Macbeth who is the catalyst and pushing Macbeth to commit many treacherous acts so in that way she seems like the villain as she commits villainous deeds.
The points that will be argued are, that Lady Macbeth played a large role in the murder of King Duncan, The three witches planted the idea in Macbeth’s head, and that the murder of King Duncan was all Macbeths doing. In many ways, Lady Macbeth drives Macbeth to the murder and acts as more of a physical spur, as opposed to the witches who use a mental approach. She bullies him, uses emotional blackmail and knows he is morally sensitive so he must be pushed. She mocks his bravery and knows he is a warrior and will be insulted. When Macbeth is thinking about not going ahead with the plan she says, “When you durst do it, then you were a man; and, to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man”.
Besides Macbeth, Lady Macbeth also shows her character is deceiving by planning how Duncan will be killed. At the end of the play she dies because the guilt from helping to kill Duncan was too much of a burden on her conscience. Lastly, the witches are deceiving characters because they give confusing prophecies. Macbeth misinterprets the confusing prophecies which later lead to his tragic death. There are many appearances that show characters in the play Macbeth are deceiving, ultimately leading to tragedy.
When the second of the witches prophecies becomes true, Macbeth immediately thinks of murdering King Duncan. “I am of Cawdor: / If good, why do I yield to that suggestion / Whose image doth unfix my hair” (I, iii, 143-145). For the first time in the story excluding his initial meeting with the witches which was by coincidence, we see the true, dark side to the “brave Macbeth“. Macbeth then sees himself kill his ruler Duncan in a dream state, Macbeth is at this point horrified by the idea. However, his thoughts of seeking out his destiny of becoming King still remain.
The third witch says, ‘There to meet Macbeth’, this intertwining of Macbeth reflects the relationship which will be made between him and the witches, and the evil which is going to be involved in Macbeth’s life. The arrangement of meeting place shows their target for the forces of evil, and their thorough planning of making an appointment to lure Macbeth to destruction. This scene symbolises the witches as a representation for temptation, therefore foreshadowing Macbeth’s potential human weakness to be susceptible to temptation, before we are even introduced to Macbeth himself. Shakespeare presents Macbeths character as brave and fearless in Scene 2; without Macbeth being present. “Till he unseamed him from the nave to th’chaps and fixed his head upon our battlements”, this quotation is said by the captain, who is commending Macbeth for defeating the leader of the rebel army.
The witches gave him the idea that he would become king “Third Witch: All hail, Macbeth! That shalt be king hereafter.” (Shakespeare, 23) which made him think about it. After he was announced Thane of Cawder, he realized maybe the witched were right, that maybe someday he will become king. After Macbeth wrote a letter to his wife, Lady Macbeth and told her about what the witches had told him, she started thinking of a plan and putting it into action. “The Witches are the most evil in the entire play.
Like all tragic heroes Macbeth demonstrates he is doomed to make errors in judgment when he allows Lady Macbeth to convince him to commit murder in order to gain the crown. In addition we know that at the beginning Macbeth is good. He was rewarded the respected title Thane of Cawdor after the execution of the previous Thane. It is easy to identify with Macbeth as he is pushed by Lady Macbeth to commit the murders and faces the external and internal conflicts typical of a tragic hero. Another aspect of the tragic hero is that they are responsible for their own fate.
To what extent is Macbeth responsible for his downfall. Macbeth, despite the influences of the witches and Lady Macbeth is ultimately responsible for his downfall. In Williams Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, our protagonist Macbeth is a hero who destroys himself by his own evil and selfish ambitions. At the beginning of the play, our protagonist is pictured as an honourable, noble hero who has bravely led victory in battle. As the play continues, with the foreseeing witches and the deceptive lady Macbeth, he quickly turns from a courageous strong hearted man, to a tyrant king who is willing to commit the unthinkable to withhold his royal status.
Another prophecy made by the witches was that Banquo's son will be king. Fuelled by paranoia, lack of sleep andvisions, Macbeth was thrown into a state of confusion and a belief that the prophecies were inevitable. Lady Macbeth urged her husband to commit murder and it was this action that sparked Macbeth's downfall. When Lady Macbeth heard about the prophecies made by the witches, and how one of them had already come true, she called upon evil spirits to guide her through her task - killing the king. ."..