How does Shakespeare present Lady Macbeth as evil and cunning

December 9, 2020 by Essay Writer

Is Lady Macbeth more responsible for King Duncan’s death? Is Lady Macbeth a more evil character than her husband and if so, why?

I think Lady Macbeth should take some blame for Duncan’s death i don’t think she’s evil, but she is tricky and cunning when she influences Macbeth to kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth’s ability to influence her husband leads us the audience to believe that she is the primary cause for the destruction of Macbeth. I believe she is responsible because she makes up the details of the plan to kill Duncan, while Macbeth was considering not even going through with the murder. Although Macbeth had the thought of killing Duncan, he would not have acted on that unless Lady Macbeth persuaded him.

Lady Macbeth is a sly person, able to manipulate her husband, and this ability to manipulate Macbeth makes her partially responsible for the destruction of Macbeth. Lady Macbeth knows that her husband is too kind to kill Duncan without her help she fears. She is very much aware of the fact that she needs to push Macbeth to kill Duncan or else he won’t do it. We see Macbeth’s hesitance to kill the king when he lists reasons not to kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth insults her husband by undermining his manliness. Lady Macbeth tells her husband “when durst do it then you were a man and to be much more than what you were, you would be so much more than a man.” This is the primary way in which lady Macbeth is responsible for the murder of Duncan. Lady Macbeth is the blame for the destruction of her husband because she orchestrated Duncan’s murder and did just about everything except actually kill Duncan. She plans the murder and she sets things in motion by giving the wine to the king’s servants. She also is the one who makes the signal that all is ready. Lady Macbeth solely set up Duncan’s murder making it as easy as possible for Macbeth to commit the assassination of the king. The audience doesn’t know that lady Macbeth feels that she is responsible for the destruction of Macbeth until the end when she sleepwalks.

Lady Macbeth fooled Duncan with her great hospitality and thoughtfulness. She also is good at remaining cool in tense situations and is good at getting out of tense situations. For example when Macbeth was hallucinating at the dinner party, and was seeing Banquo’s ghost, Lady Macbeth remained cool and made up a plausible explanation for her husband’s actions. Although she seems to have no conscience, we see at the end when she’s sleepwalking, that she is deeply troubled. She knows that it is partially her fault for all the murders especially Duncan’s. Her fear of darkness shows the audience that she regrets what she has done and that she knows what she did was wrong. The thought of killing Duncan entered Macbeth’s mind before he spoke to his wife. He first reveals his thoughts when he says, “ if good, why do i yield to that suggestion.” Macbeth expresses his desire to be able to kill Duncan even though he knows he will regret it when he says, “the eye wink at the hand, yet let that be / which the eye fears, when its done, to see.” Lady Macbeth gave Macbeth that extra push that he needed to become a ruthless killer. However not all the blame can go on Lady Macbeth her husband didn’t have to listen to her and he didn’t have to kill Duncan. Macbeth chooses to kill Duncan, it was his own free will. Lady Macbeth did influence his thinking but Macbeth could not be totally blameless. He must atleast take half of the blame for his destruction, Lady Macbeth however is also responsible and she could not be getting off the hook, she deserves what she gets in the end because she was the main factor in Macbeth’s decision to kill Duncan. This decision led to Macbeth becoming a ruthless killer. And that leads Lady Macbeth to be more evil than her husband Macbeth.

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