Contrasting the Macbeths Essay

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Contrasting the Macbeths

Macbeth is a heroic warrior that faces many challenges, his biggest being Lady Macbeth. From the beginning of William Shakespeare’s play, Lady Macbeth is viewed as very controlling and strong willed. The unharnessed power of manipulation, ambition and Macbeth’s loss of emotion that eventually leads him to the downfall from King of Scotland. Shakespeare utilizes connotation and imagery to suggest that Lady Macbeth is the main reason that Macbeth turns on his own morals.
Imagery is graphically used to help Lady Macbeth prove to Macbeth that he is acting cowardly. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is on the other end of the scale. Once he gathers up the courage to tell her he does not want to continue with the murder, she rallies, calling him a “A coward in thine own esteem’’ (Shakespeare 59), saying that if he could murder Duncan ‘’he were a man’’ (Shakespeare 59). This to Macbeth, a proud warrior is a deep insult, and he soon is convinced that he will carry out the murder. Lady Macbeth’s emotionless side again shows, saying she would have “dash’d the brains out” of her own child because she is so sure Macbeth should kill Duncan. The word ‘dash’d’ is of violent and graphic terms. This helps the reader to establish a picture of gruesome terms, the imagery plays on the emotions of the reader. People can relate to the horror of murdering one’s own child. It helps to persuade Macbeth because he realizes if he can’t be the man to do the job then she will do it herself. She uses the graphic images painted in his mind to manipulate him into committing the act of murder. We see in act 1 we see how Lady Macbeth has a power over Macbeth, she is cunning and precise, and despite the fact that Macbeth is the seasoned warrior, she is the one who laughs at murder and Macbeth who declines, however we see her exert her power over Macbeth to make him want to murder Duncan, showing Lady Macbeth’s manipulation in their relationship.

Ambition is a struggle for all characters to have to utilize. Lady Macbeth is consumed with the prophecies given to Macbeth and her motivation towards fulfilling them. She is ordering Macbeth to become what the witches have foreseen, not questioning whether he will achieve it, or even not try. We see how powerful Lady Macbeth was by making him murder the king of Scotland. Her power is also shown in the way she taunts Macbeth, saying he is ‘’too full of the milk of human kindness’’ (Shakespeare 39). This shows how cold Lady Macbeth is, as milk is the food of new born children, she is implying Macbeth is too much like a kind child to murder anyone, which is another method used to convince Macbeth on into killing Duncan. Her coldness and control is influenced upon his multiple times and causes him to break. Thus making him uncontrollable and quick to end his own fate. She again shows governance when she begins to plot Duncan’s murder with Macbeth, she says he should ‘’look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under it’ (Shakespeare 43). Again her manipulation is exposed however this time she is offering help. ‘’I may pour my spirits in thine ear’’ (Shakespeare 41), which although seemingly providing a contrast to her cold hearted plotting earlier, is in fact another way in which she is convincing Macbeth to kill Duncan, her words are sweet to Macbeth’s ear, but are in fact rooted in evil, and this perhaps shows an ‘innocent flower’ side to Lady Macbeth. Her ambition takes many forms and we see that she is both harsh and tranquil in order to cross her point to Macbeth.
Eventually Macbeth loses emotion and Lady Macbeth’s persuasion has affected him. He becomes ruthless and cold hearted. He engineers multiple murders after…