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Lady Macbeth Essay

598 words - 3 pages

Macbeth: Lady MacBeth

Lady MacBeth is one of Shakespeare's greatest and most intriguing female

characters. She is evil, seductive, and witch-like all at the same time.

However, during the play we see her in two different ways. At the time when we

first meet her, she is a brutally violent, power wanting witch, and later on she

turns to a shameful suicidal grieving woman.

At the beginning of the MacBeth, Lady MacBeth is very savage and vicious.

She thinks nothing of killing King Duncan. She has no sense of what is wrong

and right, and believes that it is perfectly moral to do the deed of murder.

She states that to not go through with the deed would be horrible to yourself,

and that you would be a coward in your own eyes.

"Wouldst thou have that which thou esteem'st the ornament

of life, and live a coward in ...view middle of the document...

Lady MacBeth on the other hand, takes everything calmly.

She takes the daggers back to the King's room, smears blood on the drunken

guards, and attempts to destroy all evidence of MacBeth ever being there. She

knows what needs to be done and does it without any hesitation or fear.

However, it is later on in the story, that it is revealed to us that

Lady MacBeth's conscience is strong. When sleep walking one night, Lady MacBeth

(seemingly somewhat insane) begins blabbering about spots of blood on her hands.

"Out damned spot! out, I say! One; two: why, then 'tis time

to do't Hell is murky! Fie, my lord - fie! a soldier and


When at first she believes that "a little water clears us of this deed", and now

she can smell the blood on her hands still, and "all the perfumes of Arabia will

not sweeten this little hand". She now realizes the consequences of what she

has done. She knows that the sin will be on her soul forever, and that nothing

will be able to cleanse it. She realizes "What's done cannot be undone".

But this can not be redemption. She has done the deed and must expect

the consequences. Her wrong doing has been too much, she has committed the

mortal sin. Though she now realizes it (even this is skeptical, since she was

sleep-walking at the time), she has still the deed on her soul. It can never be

totally cleansed, therefore Lady MacBeth can never have total redemption.

Lady MacBeth is a complex character. She is seen as two totally

different people as the play progresses. At first, she is crazy about getting

the power of the King. She is brutish and sadistic in both the things she says

and does. But as the play progresses, she begins to understand the consequences

of her actions, and goes slightly mad from these thoughts. She can never be

totally redeemed of her mortal sin, and realizes this. It is perhaps this, that

gives her the most redemption of all.

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