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The Role of Power and Ambition in The Fate of Lady Macbeth

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The play ‘Macbeth’ was written by one of the world’s greatest writer’s ‘William Shakespeare’. It is recognized as one of the most tragic stories that have ever been written. He uses numerous characters to develop the downfall of Macbeth. Characters such as Lady Macbeth are one of the most significant protagonists in the play as she manipulated Macbeth to find his quest in becoming the king. Lady Macbeth portrays herself as a hubris character who believed that nothing could stop her as she expressed the spirits to “unsex” her femininity to be released from her body. Thus, although it is surmised that Lady Macbeth had poor judgments and only desired the best for her husband, she was ultimately ambitious, scheming and cruel which indicates that she is a woman who does not earn the audience’s pity and deserved her fate. Various elements analyzed in this essay are determined and understood through Lady Macbeth’s ambition to be queen, her behaviour towards Macbeth and the blood on her hands that proved her guilt.

An essential element in act one, scene five showed the audience when Lady Macbeth realized that a prophecy was told by the three witches to Macbeth, saying that he will become the king of Scotland. Factors reveal that she then began portraying her ambition, scheme and cruelty by explaining to herself that “what thou are promised” from the prophecy will allow Macbeth to be the king. Yet, she feared that “thy nature… is too full o’th’ milk of human kindness” as he was an honorable and loyal soldier and not a murderer or traitor to the “nearest way” of becoming the almighty king. Hence, she had faith that the country would be ruled by Macbeth; however, she forced him acquire the crown as cruel as possible by killing the Duncan. From this it can be deduced and provided with an immediate implication that although Lady Macbeth had poor judgments and that she desired the best for her husband, her desire for him to become king by forcing him to kill Duncan was ultimately ambitious, scheming and cruel which shows that she is a woman who does not earn the audience’s pity and that she deserved her fate.

Throughout the end of the same act, killing King Duncan were both in Lady Macbeth and Macbeth’s eyes in order to allow them to rule Scotland and for Lady Macbeth to control the nation like no woman ever had in such a male-dominated society. However, her behaviour of forcing Macbeth to kill Duncan was profoundly initiated in her hands as she considers the ideas on completing the plan. An insight into this issue can be gained as she says to Macbeth, “when you durst to do it, then you were a man” in which verbally abused and peer-pressured him to kill Duncan. Shakespeare portrays a character who had the confidence to peer pressure such an honorable man as during, the 11th century of Scotland, gender proceedings did not have equality as it was a society of men taking a complete authority towards their wives. Lady Macbeth is an essential character used by Shakespeare to present a powerful woman that can cause such wicked acts and use Macbeth to acquire the scheming “solely sovereign sway and masterdom” that will change her life and nature from a categorized traditional woman to the Queen of Scotland with legitimate power. On an interpretation of the evidence, it can be therefore represented that Lady Macbeth was ambitious, scheme and cruel in which is an act that the audience does not need to pity and that she deserved her guilt and fate although she only desired the best for her husband by increasing their power willingly.

All of Lady Macbeth’s ambitious, scheming and cruel desires are all demonstrated in the rising tension, for example, Duncan’s blood on her hands and the sleepwalking in which caused her with peripeteia and symbolic guilt. Her visions expressed her anxieties and insaneness. This particular element suggests that Lady Macbeth articulates the cruel acts she caused as she was not able to wash the “damned” blood that was draining through her hands in which then she screamed “out, I say! One-Two”. She refers “’tis time to do it” to recollect back to Duncan’s murder and clarify that she understands her sins would bring her to the “murky” hell. Moreover, although she senses the guilt, she believes that Macbeth and her power cannot be “account” and that they were both unstoppable. However, she senses the effects that caused her mental health as Shakespeare illustrates that Lady Macbeth continued feeling the dripping of “so much blood” that was from Duncan’s body and attached to her hands. The accumulated evidence, therefore, determines that although she only desired the best for her husband by increasing their power to the nation, her ambition, scheme and cruelty are all established in this interpretation as her complete guilt proves that she does not need the audience’s pity and that she deserved her fate.

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The Role Of Power And Ambition In The Fate Of Lady Macbeth. (2021, March 18). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 21, 2022, from
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