Macbeth Paper

Submitted By SimoneCampbelll1
Words: 1329
Pages: 6

Vil-lain (noun): a character in a play, novel, or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot. Even according to the dictionary, a villain does not solely have to be the person who commits all of the crimes. In Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, while Macbeth does accomplish becoming an immoral villain who destroys his reign and his country, the real villain is his wife, Lady Macbeth, whereas she is the one who influenced her vulnerable husband to become evil in the first place. Lady Macbeth is the real villain for the following reasons: she commands evil upon herself, she plants the evil in Macbeth, and the planting of the evil causes Macbeth’s downfall of going on a rampage to secure his place as king. Lady Macbeth is the root to Macbeth’s evil. It starts from the beginning, where she commands evil upon herself. Her very first villainous move is deciding to kill Duncan to make Macbeth the king. She knows that Macbeth is incapable of conjuring up such a plan. To help her out, she calls upon evil spirits and asks them to “unsex me here” and also to “stop up the access and passage of remorse” because she knows if she obtains any good qualities, her plan will not succeed (33). Her vaulting ambition is to give her husband the throne she believes he deserves. As Wright observes, “she deliberately chooses evil as her course and invokes the Powers of the Darkness to be her aids” (Wright xi). While she did not have to commit such a deed, her pathway of evil is the first step in the downfall of her husband. Once Lady Macbeth resolved her decision, she plants the evil into Macbeth. From the start, King Duncan trusts Macbeth. Not only does Duncan make Macbeth the Thane of Cawdor, but he has “double trust” in Macbeth as a kinsman and a host (39). Duncan knows what Macbeth is capable of and, as demonstrated in the following: “I have begun to plant thee, and will labor to make thee full growing” (27). Macbeth appreciates Duncan’s trust in him, and once he learns of Lady Macbeth’s plan, he does not fully agree with her arrangement. Macbeth believes he should “strong both against the deed” since he is Duncan’s kinsman and subject, and as Duncan’s host he should “against his murder shut the door, not bear the knife [himself]” (39). Snyder agrees with Duncan’s disagreeing mindset by saying: “To kill Duncan … is to compound iniquity” (Snyder 197). Since Macbeth isn’t yet on Lady Macbeth’s side, she begins to taunt him. She doesn’t believe in him fulfilling the murder because of his moral heart, and she notes the following about him: “Yet I do fear thy nature; it is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness” (31). Also, when she and Macbeth are together, she barks that his face “is as a book where men may read strange matters” since he is so afraid of killing Duncan (35). In order to fully get Macbeth on board with the plan, she cruelly insults him and makes him feel like a craven man. Lady Macbeth drills into his mind that she now only looks at him as a coward and “from this time such I account thy love” (41). Lady Macbeth knows that her plan cannot be successful with Macbeth not fully in unison with her mindset to carry out the deed, so she tries to get to him one last time. The taunting concludes when she asks if he will “esteem’st the ornament of life” or “live a coward in thine own esteem” (41). She clearly is in control in this scene. She is not only thirsty for Duncan’s death, but she is more of a man than Macbeth is. To prove her point, she brags to him that she would have “dashed the brains out” of a baby if she had to (41). Finally Macbeth comes around, and when he asks what would happen if they were to fail, she brashly responds with the following: “Screw your courage to the sticking-place / and we’ll not fail” (43). Lady Macbeth uses Macbeth as the weapon to kill Duncan. She is corrupt enough where she would have murdered Duncan herself, however her excuse is explained in the