Macbeth Lady

MacBeth – Lady a In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Lady Macbeth’s character is a wife and, at times, confidante to Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is a good wife to Macbeth, if not always a good person; however, she does not truly succeed in winning him a title he can be secure in and seems to only partly understand her husband. Lady Macbeth is a devoted wife and has a single-mindedness pursuing Macbeth’s interests. Her only concern is for him – that he will acquire and keep the crown. Her ambition is genuinely for Macbeth and not herself. Lady Macbeth also shows great strength when after Macbeth has become King, she is still concerned about the safety in his new title: Nought’s had, all’s spent, Where our desire is got without content: ‘Tis safer to be that which we destroy Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.

(3, 2, 4-7) Despite this, she hides her doubts, feigning confidence, and tells him “Things without all remedy / Should be without regard: What’s done is done.” (3, 2, 12-13) Lady Macbeth is capable of great evil, and connects herself to true dark forces when she summons them to her aid saying, “Come, you spirits / That tend on mortal thoughts! Unsex me here” (1, 5, 39-40). Lady Macbeth does not succeed in securing Macbeth a position as King. The prophecy remains that Banquo “shalt get kings,” not Macbeth. Lady Macbeth and her husband are constantly in fear of their crime being discovered and being punished for their crime: “We have scorched the snake, not kill’d it” (3, 2, 13) Lady Macbeth knows her husband’s virtues may keep him from killing Duncan. She says after receiving his letter, “I fear thy nature; / It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness / To catch the nearest way” (1, 5, 15-17).

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She knows Macbeth is “not without ambition, but without / the illness should attend it” (1, 5, 18-19). Lady Macbeth knows that her husband values his honour and bravery and uses that to goad him into committing the murder, saying such things as “When you durst do it, then you were a man” (1, 7, 49) and “Art thou afeard / To be the same in thine own act and valour / As thou art in desire?” (1, 7, 39-41) Even though Lady Macbeth seems to know her husband’s reasons for and against killing Duncan, she does not understand his conscience. She does not realize that Macbeth will be tortured by his thoughts if he commits the murder. Having done so, Macbeth feels extreme guilt: “I am afraid to think what I have done” (2, 2, 51). Lady Macbeth shows that though she may not fully understand Macbeth’s feelings, she is a strong woman who is devoted to and loves her husband.


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