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Significance Of Lady Macbeth Essays

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Summary: Lady Macbeth has much to do with the success of William Shakespeare's play "Macbeth." Early in the play she is stronger, more ruthless, and more ambitious than her husband, and she uses her womanly skills of manipulation to persuade Macbeth to kill King Duncan. As she tells Macbeth to remain strong after the murder, however, she herself becomes affected as visions related to the bloodshed begin to weigh down her conscience. The visions eventually drive Lady Macbeth to insanity and eventually suicide.


Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth is a pivotal and key character in the play Macbeth and is responsible for much of the plays huge success. She is not only the drive for murder but brings out many themes and challenges the role of women during Shakespearean time. She is stronger, more ruthless, and more ambitious than her husband and gains power in her relationship through her womanly skills of manipulation.

She uses her skill of manipulation to talk her husband into murdering king Duncan. Interestingly enough, she does not use any of her sex appeal but rather her intellect to do so. She does this by questioning Macbeth's manhood and wishes that she herself could be "unsexed."

The women in this play are also sources of evil and violence, and provide for a controversial theme and idea of the play. Not only are the witches a source of this...

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This section contains 581 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)

View a FREE sample

How does the character of Lady Macbeth develop throughout the play? Think about the key events of the play and Lady Macbeth's changing thoughts and feelings, before working through some important questions about Lady Macbeth's character. We have chosen quotations to support the points made, but try to find other examples yourself to use in your essays. Look at how quickly Lady Macbeth fades out of the action. It is only a matter of days between the point where she is driving Macbeth to kill Duncan, and the point when she loses touch with him completely.

The effect of the letter (Act 1, Scene 5)

How does Lady Macbeth react to the letter from Macbeth?

Lady Macbeth's reaction when she reads her husband's letter is powerful and dramatic.

  • As soon as she's finished reading, she has decided she will make sure Macbeth is king. It's as if she and her husband are thinking exactly the same thing. She does not hesitate for a moment.
  • Lady Macbeth invites the spirits of evil to enter her. She knows she has to steel herself, that the murder will need evil power, and evil is not naturally within her.
  • She knows immediately that murdering Duncan is the only way of quickly achieving her goal. When Macbeth brings further news that Duncan is actually coming to spend that night with them, it becomes clear that her role is to seize the moment and facilitate her husband's rise to kingship.

Interpretations of Lady Macbeth

Jane Lapotaire plays Macbeth in a 1983 production