Portrayal Of Characters With Animal Imagery In Macbeth

June 7, 2022 by Essay Writer

The play Macbeth was written in 1606 by famous playwright William Shakespeare. It is the story of murder and usurper. The storyline went from crime to crime to finally reach the security of the throne. The historical context is about King James the 1st. He was a king that was almost assassinated, perhaps Shakesphere was pandering to his situation and created a play depicting the downfall of a man who wanted to become king. There are two main characters in the play. Macbeth and his wife Lady Macbeth. Macbeth is a noble and gifted man, but goes in the lane of treachery and crime. Lady Macbeth is the dominant character and, in my opinion, is responsible for the murder of King Duncan, who tried helping her husband by granting him the Thane of Cawdor by encouraging her husband to murder him even though he was against the idea at first. Lady Macbeth’s words throughout the play have a huge impact on Macbeth and how she is able to control Macbeth. Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth as a manipulative, power-hungry and cruel character whose characteristics will lead to Macbeth’s downfall and death. Macbeth is the story of the temptation of a good man brainwashed by witches. Lady Macbeth mentally broke him by slowly manipulating him to murder King Duncan. Lady Macbeth is more or less responsible in her husband’s descent throughout the whole play; she was slowly unknowingly plotting both of their downfall since the murder of King Duncan. Lady Macbeth even admitted in the play that her husband has too good of a heart.

In order to understand Lady Macbeth’s method of manipulation on Macbeth, we need to understand why she did this. Lady Macbeth is exceptional at controlling Macbeth; for instance, she questions his manhood in act 1, scene 7: “you durst do it, then you were a man”. This accuses him of being a coward and justifies that she’s emotionally blackmailing him by questioning his manhood. Another instance where she shows her manipulative nature is in Act 1 Scene 5, with the quote: “Hie thee hither, That I may pour my spirits in thine ear and chastise with the valor of my tongue”. After reading the letter, she asks the spirits to fill her with cruelty to manipulate Macbeth. This characteristic mainly leads to Macbeth’s downfall because without people whispering in his ear, telling him what to do and questioning his courage then he would not have done these inhuman acts.

Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth as dominating character for her husband’s demise further on in the play, especially in Act 1, scene 5 when Lady Macbeth states that her husband who is too full of kindness and empathy to be king. This is evident when she states. “What thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness.” Another quote that further emphasizes the topic I when Lady Macbeth tried telling Macbeth to seem good on the outside, but to actually be evil from inside. We can see this in act 1, scene 5 when Lady Macbeth states. “Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under it.” Lady Macbeth is suggesting that her husband can seem like a good person with good intentions in public, but really deep inside to be evil with bad intentions. This is evident as it later leads to this getting in his head and forcing him to commit sins that he is well aware of. This turns Macbeth into a bad character and is the beginning of his demise throughout the play.

She stated “Come you spirits.” The use of imperative suggests that she can command evil spirits or has witch like powers, which connects her to the art of witchcraft or summoning the demon which can link to her actions brain washing her husband into committing the sins he committed. But there are also parts in the play which suggests that she is not to be blamed for her husband’s actions as he was aware of what he was doing. This is evident in the beginning of act 1 scene 4 when he stated, “Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires.” This portrays that Macbeth is aware of what he is doing, therefore she is not controlling him in any way. Shakesphere uses imagery to show us Lady Macbeth’s dark personality portraying evil.

In conclusion, Shakespeare utilizes her cold ambition to derive the theme of the play as well as create the necessary tension and thrill upon the audience. She appears to be in full control of her husband’s actions and understands words that could insight him into doing, as she desires. After killing King Duncan, Macbeth appears to have unlocked her demons in the sense that when he orders the killing of Banquo and Macduff’s family, she is shocked. Lady Macbeth appears to have calculated moves in his plan to eliminate the inherent threat and assume power; however, the evil and sinister motives of the nature of the prophecies delivered by the three witches, take a toll and raids confusion in their kingdom. Upon assuming the Kingdom, Macbeth turns out to be a murderous King, perhaps out of fear that Banquo could inculcate a similar plan and eliminate him.   


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