Lady Macbeth Vs. Macbeth Essay, Research Paper
William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, is a Medieval story about a Nobleman who had evil ambitions of becoming the King of Scotland. Throughout the story, Macbeth carries out three evil deeds, the murder of King Duncan, the murder of Banquo and, the murder of Macduff’s innocent family. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are both responsible for these evil deeds, because Lady Macbeth drove Macbeth to commit the first murder. As a result of this, Macbeth had to carry out the other two murders to keep his evil ambition alive.
Lady Macbeth is equally responsible for the Murder that was committed by Macbeth. She convinced Macbeth to kill Duncan, by questioning his manliness. Lady Macbeth illustrates her evil ambition, and her persecution of Macbeth’s manliness in this quote. She is talking to Macbeth.
“Was the hope drunk?
Werein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since?
And wakes it now, to look so green and pale
At what it did so freely? From this time
Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard
To be the same in thine own esteem,
Letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would,”
Like the poor cat I’ th’ adage*”
(Act I, Scene vii, Lines 35-45, Page 36)
In this quote we can see that Lady Macbeth’s ambitions are as evil as Macbeth’s ambitions. Lady Macbeth is asking Macbeth if he is afraid to kill Duncan, and if he has enough courage to say so. She is asking him if he wants to be king or not, and if he is to be king he must kill king Duncan tonight. By reciting her speech, she is questioning Macbeth’s manliness, and his ambitions. As a result of this Macbeth ends up killing Duncan that same night. The witches prophecies came true, Macbeth was crowned King, but not morally. The dramatic significance can be illustrated when Duncan first arrives to their castle, Lady Macbeth is so polite to him, and acts as if she would do anything for him. Ironically, she turns from good to bad, in a matter of hours. Which is unfortunate for King Duncan, fore he was brutally murdered by Macbeth that same night in his bed. This reveals Lady Macbeth’s true character, cunning, conniving, and surprisingly evil.
Through this quote we can see how reluctant Macbeth is to kill his beloved King Duncan. Macbeth is talking to Lady Macbeth.
“We will proceed no further in this business:
He hath honoured me of late, and I have brought
Golden opinions from all sorts of people,
Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,
Not cast aside so soon.”
(Act I, Scene vii, Line 31-35, Page 36)
Macbeth is telling Lady Macbeth that he does not want to take the next step and kill King Duncan. He is explaining to her how the king loves him and trusts him, and he does not want to throw all that away. He makes a comparison with clothes. He says that bright new clothes should not be thrown away so soon. In other words, he should not throw away his new found trust, and all the good things that people are saying about him. Macbeth is showing acts of compassion, but that is all over come once Lady Macbeth plays with his mind.
Banquo was one of Macbeth’s most trusted and loyal friends. In the beginning of the story, Macbeth and Banquo come across three witches. These witches prophesied to Macbeth that he is going to be the Thane of Cawdor, and later King of Scotland. When Banquo asked for his prophesies, the three witches told him that he himself would not see anything. Nevertheless, they told Banquo that his children were to be great Kings of Scotland. It is clearly evident that Macbeth must kill Banquo through this quote. Macbeth is talking to the murderers.
“Your spirits shine through you. Within this hour at most
I will advise you where to plant yourselves,
Acquaint you with the perfect spy o’ th’ time,*
The moment on t; for t must be done tonight,
And something from the palace; always thought
That I require a clearness: and with him company,
Whose absence is no less material to me
Than is his father’s, must embrace the fate
Of that dark hour. Resolve yourselves apart:
I’ll come to you anon.”
(Act III, Scene ii, Line, 128-139, Page 78)
In this quote Macbeth is instructing the murderers to kill Banquo and his son Fleance. This quote illustrates how evil and strong Macbeth’s ambitions are. He will kill his best friend and son, because he does not want Banquo’s offsprings to see the throne. Macbeth’s character is somewhat disturbing. Banquo is his most loyal and trust worthy friend, and now he is nothing but a pig that is about to be slaughtered. Lady Macbeth is equally responsible for the death of Banquo, because of her persistent persuasion for Macbeth to fore-fill his evil ambition of being king. In this quote it is evident that the murderers killed Banquo, but failed to kill Fleance.
“O, treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly!”
“Thou mayst revenge. O slave!”
(Act III, Scene iv, Line 17-18, Page 86)
All of the witches prophesies have come true now. Macbeth is the thane of Glamis, he is the Thane of Cawdor, and He is now King of Scotland. The three witches told Banquo that nothing will come to him, but his children shall be kings. Macbeth tried to get rid of Banquo for this reason, but he failed. Fleance escaped, and he shall eventually be king, just as the witches foretold.
When King Duncan was murdered, Macduff was the first person to discover the brutally murdered body. Ever since Macbeth was crowned king, Macduff despised him. Hence, Macduff fled to England, to join Malcolm. In this quote it is clearly evident that Macbeth suspects Macduff of betraying him. As a result he commits his third evil deed.
“The castle of Macduff I will surprise;
Seize upon Fife; give to th’ edge o’ th’ sword
His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls
That trace him in his line. No boasting like a fool;
This deed I’ll do before this purpose cool:”
(Act IV, Scene ii, Line 150-155, Page 118)
Macbeth ordered the murderers to raid Macduff’s castle, and kill his wife, children, and everyone else in the castle. Through this quote it is evident how ruthless and evil Macbeth’s character has become. To kill innocent women and children out of revenge is truly evil. Macbeth knew that Macduff fled to England to join Malcolm, and rebel against him. Lady Macbeth is also responsible for this evil deed. If she had not persuaded Macbeth to fore-fill his evil ambition, there would not be so many people dead, and there would not have to live in fear. It is evident in this quote that Macduff and Malcolm are gathering an army to over throw Macbeth.
“O, I could play the woman with mine eyes,
And braggart with my tongue! But, gentle heavens,
Cut short all intermission; front to front
Bring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself;
Within my sword’s length set him. If he scape,
Heaven forgive him too!”
(Act V, Scene I, Line 230-235, Page 144)
Hence, because of Lady Macbeth’s constant and effective persuasion, Macbeth has committed three evil murders. He murdered his loving King Duncan, he murdered his most loyal and trust worthy friend, Banquo, and Macbeth murdered Macduff’s innocent family. All for his evil ambition for the crown. In the end Lady Macbeth took her own life, and Macbeth got what was coming to him. Macbeth was murdered in the end by Macduff, who swore to get revenge. It is a question of weather or not Macbeth should have let fate take it’s course, and let the prophesies happen naturally. Nevertheless Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s evil ambitions got the best of them.