Strengths In William Shakespeare's The Tragedy Of Lady Macbeth

2013 Words 9 Pages
Lady Macbeth plays the crucial role of the overly criticized wife to the notorious Macbeth in William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth. She is portrayed as inimical and deceiving, making it effortless for readers and Shakespeare himself to loathe her. However, she is not as villainous as Shakespeare illustrates her to be throughout the play, and she is certainly not completely estranged from all modern women. She demonstrates strength, ambition, and deceit for the sake of her husband and his image, and remains his “partner in greatness” despite his new affair with royalty. Simultaneous to keeping her tenacious persona intact, she carries the burden of guilt and misery until her very own tragic downfall transpires. Lady Macbeth, the main …show more content…
Throughout Macbeth, Lady Macbeth constantly battles her own mind, resembling her very own mental Civil War (Moulton, 2). This is her first example of strength. Macbeth believes that strength is shown through the unspeakable and the most daring of actions, such as murdering a devoted king, an innocent wife and child, his best friend, or even his best friend’s son. The course of his unforgivable and gruesome actions lead to his tragic downfall and his inevitable death. In contrast, Lady Macbeth maintains a different kind of strength known as the power of influence. Driven by enthusiasm for her husband’s future, she is able to change Macbeth’s mind with just a few words when discussing the murder of King Duncan. (Empson, 8). This strength is rare in women of her time, which makes her an extraordinary character. She acts out for her husband, lies for him, and does not once mention herself or the possible riches she will have in her first soliloquy; she only mentions the outcomes for Macbeth’s future (Jameson, 5). She dreams of Macbeth taking the crown, but never wanted the extreme measures that Macbeth took after the murder of the king. Lady Macbeth had no intention of destroying so many families, nor did she only convince Macbeth to murder Duncan for her own wealth. If she had only wanted Macbeth to receive the prestigious title for her own benefit, she would have fantasized about …show more content…
The strain from the immeasurable amount of guilt and sorrow eats away at her once strong and fascinating demeanor until she has absolutely nothing left. She slowly realizes the toll Macbeth’s actions have taken on her, and her mental strength dwindles away to nothing. Bradshaw explains their marriage as, “having no metaphysical dimension, representing no morally constructive aspiration, it is never more than - if sometimes not less than - ‘mating’ as its most human and engaging” (Bradshaw, 1). She loses her mind and pride while her husband is focused on the throne. Her first exhibition of insanity and despair begins when she sleepwalks and cries, “Out, damned spot! out I say! - one two. Why then, / ‘tis time to do’t” (5.1.25-26). These subconscious words reflect her demise and the hysteria that has taken over her entire body and soul (Coriat,1). Johann Heinrich Ramberg’s painting portrays Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking scene and essentially her madness by the end of the play. In this piece of artwork, Lady Macbeth appears to be disheveled, tired, and disoriented. She seems to be in a frenzy, unsure of where to go or who to turn to. This represents the inevitable downfall of her mental health. In the back of the scene, the doctor and the servant are shown speculating her, coming to an understanding that she is in not in the right state of mind. Her hysteria, shown

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