How Does Lady Macbeth Change Throughout The Play

Improved Essays
One of the most interesting things about "Macbeth" is the way both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth's personalities change from beginning to end. Throughout the play, both characters waver between extreme confidence and self doubt. In the beginning, Lady Macbeth is ruthless, ambitious, and relentless. By the the end of the play she is plagued with a guilt so strong it ultimately leads to her death. This same development occurs in Macbeth, however, the reason for his downfall is the exact opposite. Macbeth starts off as a kind and brave Lord who is loyal to his King. By the end of the play, he has become an overconfident, bloodthirsty tyrant. Throughout the play, Lady Macbeth's attitude and mindset changes drastically. We can see almost immediately her manipulative and controlling behavior when we are introduced to her in Act 1, Scene 5. In this scene, Lady Macbeth receives a letter from her husband. The witches prophecies fuel her ambitions for her husband to become King of Scotland. Lady Macbeth not only encourages Macbeth to kill King Duncan, but she makes the plans herself. She knows that Macbeth has great ambitions but that he is …show more content…
Because of his betrayal, Macbeth is thrown into a state of guilt and fear. Determined not to face the consequences, he murders again and again to satisfy his paranoia. He even kills one of his dearest friends, Banquo. While Macbeth is busy making sinful decisions without telling his wife, Lady Macbeth is feeling so guilty that she starts to sleep walk and dreams about one of the conversations between Macbeth and herself. In the dream he is trying to calm her of her paranoia. Unlike Lady Macbeth, Macbeth is feeling overconfident in himself due to another prophecy given to him by the witches that make it seem as though no one can hurt him. Lady Macbeth eventually succumbs to her guilty mind and ends her own life and in the end, Macbeth is killed by

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts cannot once start me.” (5. 5. 9-16) All this has weighed heavy on Lady Macbeth as she wallows in self pity due to her assistance to the murder. She regrets her sins of devising the plan to murder Duncan, and her guilt leads her into depression as she grows weak and unable to grapple her guilty mind. Consequently, Lady Macbeth ends up committing suicide due to her inability to cope with her culpable mind in Act 5 scene 5.…

    • 1280 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Shakespeare presents an interesting dynamic in Macbeth wherein Lady Macbeth acts as the proverbial devil on the shoulder of her husband, constantly whispering in his ear. Though Macbeth is introduced as a loyal warrior under King Duncan of Scotland, he ponders murdering his king almost immediately after he is told by three witches that he will one day rule the country. Even so, Macbeth’s resolve to carry out this crime is shaky at best. Once his wife gets into his ear, however, that shaky resolution is ever so slowly strengthened. Lady Macbeth begins her work by insisting that to not kill King Duncan would be cowardly.…

    • 737 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Lady Macbeth is trying to guilt Macbeth by showing her loyalty to him. Lady Macbeth claims that she would kill her own child in an instant if Macbeth asked her too. This breaks down Macbeth’s ambiguity enough for him to instead ask questions for her plan. All attempts to attacks Macbeth’s character usually leads to Macbeth try to prove that he is not what she says he is. With Macbeth’s lack of assertiveness both the witches and Lady Macbeth use this flaw to gain control of him and lead him into action.…

    • 1148 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Lady Macbeth encourages her husband to carry out the terrible task of killing King Duncan. When Lady Macbeth hears of Macbeth’s future from the prophecies, she asks the spirits to “unsex me here… make my blood thick” (Shakespeare 1.5.31-34). Lady Macbeth, as a woman, needs strength to convince her husband to kill Duncan because she cannot do it herself due to her place in society. Her thought of manhood and masculinity comes from thoughts of fighting and murder. When Lady Macbeth approaches Macbeth to convince him to kill Duncan, she calls him a…

    • 435 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Macbeth 's wife, Lady Macbeth, is not affected by her husband 's trepidation, and urges him to follow through with the sinful act. Roles then shift, as Lady Macbeth begins to feel culpability and commits suicide. Macbeth, corrupted with his long for the throne and his power hungry attitude, acts merely on his guilt and panic-stricken behavior to project the throne, bypassing his moral conscious. But, later the guilt he feels for the blood he has shed and his fractured conscious ultimately leads Macbeth to his death. Throughout Macbeth, Shakespeare describes many scenes in which violence plays a huge role.…

    • 1398 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    What’s done cannot be undone. To bed, to/ bed, to bed” (5.2.70-72). The women who was immune to guilt, soon was driven mentally ill due to fear, causing the hero to encroach insanity, as she shrifts from foul to fair. On the other hand, the once innocent man described as, “It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness,” ascended into malice (1.5.17). Shakespeare presented Macbeth’s corrupted mind, as he kills without feeling any guilt, to alter the reader’s perception of him.…

    • 704 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    At the very end of the play, Lady Macbeth reads aloud the letter her husband wrote her before he became the King of Scotland. She is so overwhelmed with the personal torment of guilt that she commits suicide. Macbeth heard the scream but confesses in a brief soliloquy that such noises of horror no longer have the power to frighten him. Upon finding of her death Macbeth is solemn and empty but he shows no remorse for his actions. Some see the lines “She should have died hereafter; / There would have been a time for such a word”, as him seeing her death as an inconvenience others see it as wishing he had time to mourn.…

    • 1137 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    On the contrary, the fall of Macbeth’s redeemability begins when Lady Macbeth pressures him to go through with the murder (Emily McNellis). His shortcoming is allowing himself to be so easily persuaded by her. He cannot stand up to her and she makes the choice of regicide for him. This, however, is not the first example of how easily Macbeth is influenced. This has been occurring since the very beginning of the play, for example, when Macbeth met the witches for the first time (Tom Vicenzi).…

    • 714 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Macbeth Downfall Essay

    • 1062 Words
    • 5 Pages

    She is one of the most important external factors in the play for many reasons and is known for playing the more dominant role in the relationship in Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is best known for questioning Macbeth’s manhood, to get what she wants. A significant scene is when she receives a letter telling her that her husband is going to kill Duncan and take the throne. Lady Macbeth demonstrates her opinion when she says: “It is too full o’ th’ milk of kindness” (1.5.17). She is showing her belief that Macbeth is a coward and that he is not a man.…

    • 1062 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    In the beginning of the play Lady Macbeth is manipulative, bold, and ruthless. By the end of the play, she becomes remorseful, fearful, and weak. To sum up, Lady Macbeth 's character…

    • 1778 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays