Term Paper: Lady Macbeth William Shakespeare's Play

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¶ … Lady Macbeth

William Shakespeare's play, Macbeth, illustrates how we all need somebody to help us along the way to becoming who we are. Macbeth was no doubt a successful man but he would never have become the man he did without Lady Macbeth. Whether or not he ever knew it, Macbeth needed Lady Macbeth to accomplish the things he did. She supported him and his ideas, provided strength and urgency when necessary, and essentially made him the man he became through careful and calculated manipulation. Lady Macbeth was the spine Macbeth needed in times of weakness and his love proved to be a blind spot where his wife was concerned.

Macbeth was a good man but he did not have what it took to be king. His wife knew this and was prepared to do what she had to in order to help him reach their shared goal - the crown. She also knew that it was highly unlikely that a "good guy" would make it to the throne. Wayne Booth claims that Lady Macbeth "fears his human kindness" (Booth 194). Lady Macbeth wanted nothing to stand in their way. She tells her husband:

Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be What thou art promis'd. Yet do I fear thy nature;

It is too full o' the milk of human kindness

To catch the nearest way; thou wouldst be great,

Art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it; what thou wouldst highly,

That thou wouldst holily; wouldst not play false,

And yet wouldst wrongly win; thou 'dst have, great Glamis,

That which cries, 'Thus thou must do, if thou have it. (Shakespeare I.iv.16-24)

This statement allows us to see two things about their relationship. First, we see how in tune to his Macbeth's psychological composition. Second, we see how she knows she has control over him.

From this we can understand how Lady Macbeth is very aware of Macbeth's psychological composition and is completely confident in herself to influence him.

Stephen Greenblatt maintains that spousal intimacy in Macbeth is "terrifying" (Greenblatt 138). Lady Macbeth uses her "sexual taunt" (138) to get her husband to do what she wants him to do. She plays on Macbeth's "innermost fears and desires" (139). What is remarkable about their relationship, he continues, is the "extent to which they inhabit each other's minds" (139). Harold Bloom agrees with this assessment noting that lady Macbeth persuades Macbeth to "self-abandonment" (Bloom 532). Indeed, she knows how to get what she wants and has no reservations in talking him into doing something he might not otherwise do. In other words, she uses love for her gain.

It is also obvious that she… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Lady Macbeth William Shakespeare's Play.  (2008, March 13).  Retrieved July 23, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/lady-macbeth-william-shakespeare-play/42759

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"Lady Macbeth William Shakespeare's Play."  Essaytown.com.  March 13, 2008.  Accessed July 23, 2019.