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Cameron Campbell


Brit Lit Final Macbeth Essay Macbeth made a lot of different choices throughout the course of the play that led to his

downfall. While ultimately he is responsible for his own action, partially to blame are Lady

Macbeth, and the three witches. Although both played a part in leading Macbeth to his downfall,

when it comes down to it, Lady Macbeth is to blame. The reasons for this, that will be elaborated

on in this essay are; Lady Macbeth’s role as Macbeth’s wife, her lack of sympathy toward other,

and finally Macbeth being easily manipulated and how Lady Macbeth uses that to get him to kill

King Duncan.

First, Lady Macbeth’s role as Macbeth’s wife played a big part in her leading Macbeth to

his downfall. As his wife Lady Macbeth has the biggest influence on Macbeth than anyone else.

Macbeth is more likely to listen to what his wife has to say and what she wants simply because

of the fact that she is his wife. This makes him more partial toward her. Lady Macbeth uses this

to her advantage, as you will see she does many more times over the course of the play. She

realizes that she is in a position to influence Macbeth and his decisions. The relationship between

the two is a big part of understanding one of the major theme of this play. At first it would

appear to be an equal relationship. On the contrary, Lady Macbeth was the dominant of the two

character, she could have persuaded and manipulated Macbeth into doing anything if she wished.

And although she does not openly exercise her power over him in public, in private she often

uses Macbeth’s character flaws against him in order to manipulate him to execute her will. Lady

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

and manipulation she leads him to his demise.

Cameron Campbell


Brit Lit Final Macbeth Essay When Lady Macbeth is talking about the three 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. She has a soliloquy where she calls on dark powers to take all

kindness from her: “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.” Lady Macbeth is also far more ambitious

and greedy than Macbeth is. She appears to be mentally strong and her conscience is not fazed

by the murders that she conducted and 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 so

influenced by Lady Macbeth that he is able to adopt that same type of ambition on his own part

to plan the murder of Macduff's family. However, as stated, this ambition he receives is very

heavily influenced by 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 King Duncan, 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.” She also

plays a big part in the murder of Macbeth’s best friend Banquo. During the feast while there are

guests over, Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo and is so unsettled by it that he nearly has a

mental breakdown. Lady Macbeth shows no regard for this as she immediately ridicules him.

Her character is so evil and manipulative that even though Macbeth is still partly responsible for

his downfall the audience can still sympathize with him more than they can with Lady Macbeth.

Cameron Campbell


Brit Lit Final Macbeth Essay Her crimes were considered so brutal that it would be difficult for anyone to ever forgive her.

Her true nature is reflected through the imagery of blood, violence, and death, because from the

beginning of the play she is set out on a course of destruction and brings Macbeth along with her.

Macbeth is first introduced as an admirable individual and a hero to Scotland; it is Macbeth's

fatal ambition to fulfill the prophecies that is unchecked by Lady Macbeth. Instead she pushes

him to do whatever it takes to become king. 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.”

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” of

doing what she wants him to do; such as blaming Macbeth of being a coward. She avoids

Macbeth for his failure to live up to the standard which she has set. 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.”

Throughout the play, the character of Lady Macbeth is consistently displayed as the most

evil, ambitious, and manipulative character in the play. And through her determination, cruelty

Cameron Campbell


Brit Lit Final Macbeth Essay and manipulation she is able to manipulate Macbeth in anyway she wants, which ultimately

pushes him to his downfall.


Cam, Very organized piece of work. Try to use evidence throughout your piece to assert your

claims. Overall, very solid.

Grade: 95