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In this essay, I will be exploring how Lady Macbeth is the true villain of the play. I will focus on how Shakespeare presents her at the start of the play, how she reacts to Duncan’s murder, and how she appears towards the end of the play.
Lady Macbeth is a threatening, horrible, and evil character at the start of the play. Lady Macbeth desperately pushes Macbeth to get rid of King Duncan and to take the throne. Lady Macbeth portrays Macbeth as being “full o’ the milk of human kindness,” which she is more evil and manipulative than Macbeth which then she helps him and persuades him to do what she says.
Before this, Shakespeare had started off with the witches presenting them with thunder and lightning. Which shows that the witches are evil too. ‘Fair is foul and foul is fair’. When Macbeth first appears on stage he says, “so foul and fair a day…” Here Shakespeare seems to be suggesting that the witches are evil and take control of Macbeth, and just as evil as Lady Macbeth.
Later, in Act 1:7 Shakespeare makes it clear that Lady Macbeth is an evil character by ‘ how tender ‘tis to love the babe that milks me: I would, while it was smiling in my face, Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums and dash’s the brains, had I sworn as you have done this.’ The verb @dashed’ implies she is really violent, the audience will think that she Is almost psychotic.
Here, a JACOBEAN audience would be concerned because a woman is threatening to kill her own baby, and the same woman is forcing her husband to kill the king which would upset the great chain of being.
The fact that Lady Macbeth would have ‘dashed the brains out of her child’ if she would be able to become queen proves that she is evil, only thinks about herself, and would do anything to become queen. Lady Macbeth is heartless, and is mainly concentrated on becoming queen. “unsex me here” lady Macbeth is trying to portray that she wants her feminine nature to be taken away so that she will have no feelings or regret to helping and persuading Macbeth to kill King Duncan.
Lady Macbeth and Macbeth, show deceptive traits which they are showing the good and pretending to be nice but really hiding the fact that they are both planning on killing King Duncan so the throne could be taken by them. ‘look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under it’ which lady Macbeth is telling Macbeth to look innocent but under the fake appearance he is putting across and also the fake appearance of lady Macbeth is really shown at the dinner table when they were having a feast when Macbeth is shocked to realize that Fleance has escaped and is still alive. The effort of Lady Macbeth getting rid of her guilt is the reason why she went mad and turned physio and nearly driven her to death.
Macbeth is most responsible for the amount of evilness and horribleness in the play, even though Lady Macbeth forced and persuaded him to kill King Duncan, she is not responsible for the evilness in the play. Lady Macbeth is a devious, scheming character when she hears about the witches, which was telling her that Macbeth is the next to take the throne after King Duncan. Which led to lady Macbeth planning and persuading Macbeth to get rid of and kill King Duncan. She immediately starts to think about herself and Macbeth and just wants and wants. Lady Macbeth achieves that Macbeth will king Duncan by questioning Macbeth’s masculinity which persuaded him to carry out her evil plan.
Lady Macbeth told Macbeth that if he does not go along and does what she says then he will be a coward. Lady Macbeth virtually takes control over Macbeth. After not a lot of persuading Macbeth commits the murder he was told to do, which would make him next on the throne. This portrays that Macbeth had no backbone and was too weak to say no to the evil plan that lady Macbeth came up with. Macbeth was ambitious and greedy for power, which led him to make tragedies, and with Lady Macbeth right behind him, pushing him that bit further, Lady Macbeth actually evilly got into his mind and controlled him. The witches did not do anything good apart from cause trouble for Macbeth, Macbeth believed in the witches too far it led him to become insecure and weak-minded.
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