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Student Name: Rashik Sifat

Teacher: Mr. Richards

Date: May 7th, 2010

Lady Macbeth is more evil character than Macbeth

The relationship between Macbeth and his wife is paramount to the

understanding of a major theme of this play. At first it would appear to be an

equal partnership. However, Lady Macbeth was the dominant of the two

character; she could have persuaded Macbeth to do anything if she so

wished. And though she does not openly exercise her power over him in

public, in private she often uses dishonour and emotional corruption to

manipulate Macbeth to execute her will. Lady Macbeth is the more evil

character than Macbeth in the play through her ambition, cruelty, and


When Lady Macbeth tends about the witches' prediction that

Macbeth will be the King, she worries he will be too kind-hearted to achieve

this status so she begins to take matters into her own hands. Her soliloquy

imploring dark powers to take all kindness from her is appalling in its

bizarreness: “Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me

here, and fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full of direst cruelty “(I, v,

43-46). Lady Macbeth is far more ambitious then Macbeth is. She appears to

be mentally strong and her conscience did not seem troubled by the murders

that she was a part of. Her determined ambition is what keeps Macbeth
focused on committing the murders. It is not until later in the play when

Macbeth is able to adopt ambition of his own as he plans the murder of

Macduff's family on his own. However, this ambition he receives is that

which came from Lady Macbeth.

Lady Macbeth hardly shows any sympathy toward any

characters throughout the time of the play. When she finds out the

prophecies given to Macbeth by the witches, she immediately takes action

and creates a plan. She works out the details of the plan to kill the king, and

when Macbeth cannot return the blood-stained daggers to Duncan's room,

she takes command of the situation and returns the daggers herself.

“Inform of purpose! Give me the daggers.” (II, ii, 68-69). She also plays a

key role in the murder of Banquo. During the feast whilst there are guests

over, Macbeth is so unsettled by seeing the ghost of Banquo that he nearly

has a mental breakdown. Lady Macbeth shows no regard for this as she

immediately ridicules him. Lady Macbeth's true cruelty is shown when her

death has no effect on the play as she is not considered a hero. Her

character is that of such pure evil that it is difficult for the audience to

sympathize for her on a personal level. Her crimes were considered so brutal

that it would be difficult for anyone to ever forgive her.

Lady Macbeth is an exceedingly approved character as seen in

as she openly dares heaven. Her true nature can be reflected through the

imagery of blood, violence, death, as from the beginning of the play she is

set out on an expected course of destruction. Macbeth is first introduced as

an admirable individual and a hero to Scotland; it is Macbeth's fatal ambition

that is unchecked by Lady Macbeth. His true personality can be revealed as

he admits: “I am in blood, Stepped in so far that should I wade no more,

Returning were as tedious as go o'er.” (III, iv, 167-169). Lady Macbeth

started the actions which eventually led to Macbeth committing the acts that

he did. Throughout the play the audience is constantly reminded of Macbeth

insecurity as he is always questioning his own actions. Lady Macbeth's

primary role in the play is to give Macbeth the vital push and then sustain

him until he can control his own conscience and actions. Lady Macbeth uses

specific techniques to make sure that Macbeth keeps to his purpose such as

blaming Macbeth of being a coward. As Lady Macbeth herself possesses

characteristics that are regularly only present in a male such as single-

minded courage and cruelty. She avoids Macbeth for his failure to live up to

the standard which she, as a woman, has set. Using her physical

characteristics of a woman, and mental characteristics of a man, Lady

Macbeth teases her husband for not being able to murder Duncan as seen in

the following quote: “ I have given suck, and know How tender `tis to love

the babe that milks me; I would, while it was smiling in my face, Have
plucked my nipple from his boneless gums, And dashed the brains out, had I

so sworn as you Have done to this.” (I, vii, 59-64).

Throughout the play, the character of Lady Macbeth is

consistently displayed as the most evil character in the play through her

determination, cruelty and manipulation. So eventually, Macbeth is less evil

than his wife. Lady Macbeth operates her husband with significant

effectiveness, overriding all his complaints. By the close of the play, she has

been reduced to sleepwalking through the castle. Once the sense of guilt

comes home, Lady Macbeth’s sensitivity becomes a fault, and she was

unable to survive. She apparently kills herself, signalling her total lack of

ability to deal with the legacy of her crimes.

Work Cited