Lady Macbeth Essay

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Macbeth Essay Lady Macbeth is a cunning and ruthless character who initially exhibits minor conscience towards her actions; however, as the immensity of her ambitious actions to be queen begin to sink in, she is overwhelmed by guilt. Lady Macbeth’s cruel and calculating nature is first observed when she finds of the witches’ prophecy and she cunningly endeavours to convince Macbeth to murder the king. Once persuaded, Macbeth carries out the deed of killing King Duncan. Without remorse, Lady Macbeth frames the King’s grooms by smearing them and their daggers with Duncan’s blood. In Act 5 Scene 1 Lady Macbeth begins sleepwalking and having nightmarish visions as thoughts of the murders consume her and this taxes her mental and physical strength. Finally, Lady Macbeth takes her own life as the visions get too much. Throughout the play the audience witnesses Lady Macbeth’s change from a cruel, pitiless countess to a timid, weak queen. The manipulative ways of Lady Macbeth are apparent when it is prophesised that Macbeth will become king and he sends a letter to Lady Macbeth about how he plans to kill the king. She harbours an overwhelming desire to be Queen of Scotland. When Macbeth hesitates, Lady Macbeth brutally declares him a coward in an attempt to influence him to kill Duncan, “Wouldst thou have that / which thou esteem’st the ornament of life, / and live a coward in thine own esteem” (1.7.41-43). She calls upon evil spirits to “stop up th’ access and passage to remorse” (1.5.42) and gains strength in her conviction that Macbeth must become king. The quote “When you durst do it, then you were a man” (1.7.19) confirms the extent to which Lady Macbeth uses words to demean Macbeth in a ploy to have him achieve her ambitions. Further it demonstrates how Shakespeare uses Iambic Pentameter to keep the rhythm of the play flowing and continuous. Lady Macbeth’s actions are indicative of her merciless and calculating disposition. Lady Macbeth’s sinister action when she smears Duncan’s blood over his grooms and their daggers shows how little conscience Lady Macbeth has towards her actions. Lady Macbeth weaves together a plot that only evil spirits would dare think of, murdering a King and covering it up by framing his drunk guards. These steps taken by Lady Macbeth are nefarious and menacing and although they eventually affect her conscience she outwardly maintains control. Lady Macbeth upholds her sanity and reason and urges Macbeth to do the same. Shakespeare uses similes and metaphors when Lady Macbeth declares “The sleeping and the dead / are but as pictures; ’tis the eye of childhood / that fears a painted devil” (2.2.56-58). This quote creates a strong image in the audience’s mind to show how merciless Lady Macbeth is. As Queen of Scotland Lady Macbeth feels immense guilt which bars the access to happiness she thought she would have. Once remorseless and cold-blooded Lady Macbeth questions the value of the murder, “nought’s had, all’s spent / Where our desire is got without content”(3.2.4-5). She begins to sleepwalk and has