The Scottish Play

The Curse of Macbeth

Lady Macbeth and Her Reverse Psychology

Lady Macbeth uses reverse psychology to get Macbeth to do what she wants him to do. Through this reverse psychology, Lady Macbeth makes her husband feel like less of a man which then gives him the courage he needs to begin his murder spree. Although she is an awful woman who cares more about status than her own husband, she is the smartest character in the play because she knows exactly how to get what she wants through the power of language.

The Downfall of Macbeth

The downfall of Macbeth is ultimately caused by his wife, Lady Macbeth, for she is the one who woke the beast within Macbeth. Macbeth may have issues of violence, rage, greed, and paranoia, but before Lady Macbeth urged these characteristics to come out in Macbeth, he was a loyal and brave thane to King Duncan. When the prophecies were first made, Macbeth didn't know what to think about them, and since he was "too full of the milk of human kindness," Lady Macbeth had to take matters into her own hands to get Macbeth to fulfill these prophecies of being King of Scotland. Lady Macbeth uses every tactic to manipulate Macbeth to do what she wants. She calls him a coward, tells him he is not really a man, tells him he must be fickle about their love as well since he can't stick to the plan, tells him that this is what he truly wants and that he should be able to have what he wants. Macbeth eventually gives in, but after he murders Duncan, Macbeth claims that he wishes he could wake Duncan, but the deed was already done. It was not until there was no turning back that Macbeth allowed his evils to come out and reek havoc on Scotland and all who stood against him. He then became obsessed with the prophecies and getting rid of everyone who could possibly stand in his way. Macbeth only turned to the dark side because he was too far deep in all of his sins that the only thing he had left was being King of Scotland, so he did whatever he thought he had to do to keep it. If it weren't for Lady Macbeth, Macbeth would be at home with two titles to his name, friends who adore him, and a king that all of Scotland loved - King Duncan.
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Lady Macbeth is Macbeth's Destruction

"Yet do I fear thy nature;

It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness"

Before Lady Macbeth talked to Macbeth about the prophecies, she feared that Macbeth was too kind to do what "needed" to be done in order for them to be king and queen. She then decided that she needed to take it upon herself to change Macbeth.


"Was the hope drunk

Wherein 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."

Macbeth tries to get out of the plan to kill Duncan, and Lady Macbeth belittles him asking him if he was drunk when he told her that he would do it because now he looks so weak. She goes on to stick the knife in a little deeper by telling him that from now on this is what she will think of when he tells her that he loves her because he probably doesn't mean it if he can change his mind so quickly.


"Wake Duncan with thy knocking. I would thou couldst."

After Macbeth commits his first murder to become King of Scotland, he wishes he didn't do it. This proves that even with the throne in his grasp, Macbeth immediately regrets killing Duncan; therefore, this shows that Macbeth originally had more good in him than evil.

Never Meant To Be

A ruler so generous and most fair;

A land of peace where blood was not shed.

Where rules were just punishments were rare

Because loyalty was most rewarded.


Scotland was turned upside down by Macbeth,

And for what? For power and for a throne?

A throne and country that wanted his death,

No chance did he have once the future shown.


Prophecies and his wife play him for fool.

For the former, Macbeth was just a game,

And for the latter, Macbeth was her tool.

He was weak and was tricked which brought him shame.


Someone had to stand against the new king.

Macduff does, and the rightful heir he brings.

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Literary Devices in Quotes