Lady Macbeth: Downfall of Macbeth

By Forrest Denney

Ways Lady Macbeth Screwed Up Her Husband

Lady Macbeth was the clear reason why Macbeth went crazy. She was the mastermind behind the entire murder. The whole idea was her from her brain. She even tells Macbeth that she'll make the plan when she states, "'Only look up clear. To alter favor ever is to fear. Leave all the rest to me'" (1.5.83-85). This excerpt from Shakespeare's play "Macbeth" shows how Macbeth's wife was soon to ruin his life by coming up with the evil plan to kill the king. When Macbeth even tried to back out of killing Duncan, she kept egging him on by saying, "'Wouldst thou have that which thou esteem'st the ornament of life, and live a coward in thine own esteem....'" (1.7.46-48). She couldn't just let him back away. She made him question his manhood by calling him scared and a coward. There was no way Macbeth was going to confess to the murder with his wife around. After Macbeth killed the king, Lady Macbeth told him, "'...sleek o'er your rugged looks; be bright and jovial among your guests tonight"' (3.2.30-32). In Lady Macbeth's mind, there is no way that this murder is going to come to back to them. She fears the look on Macbeth's will give it away that they had killed the King.

Literary Devices

Shakespeare's "Macbeth" has a lot of examples of literary devices. For example, in the first scene there was a paradox when one of the witches stated, "'When the battles lost and won'" (1.1.4). This statement doesn't sound logical but the witches have a way with their words to make it seem this way. When the witch stated this, the three of them were discussing when they would come to Macbeth and announce that he will be king. After that, there was an example of an analogy when Captain stated, "'As sparrows eagles, or the hair the lion'" (1.2.39). Captain was talking to Duncan about Banquo and Macbeth. He was explaining how the two of them fought in battle and the analogy means that they brought fear into their enemies' eyes. Lastly, in scene six, their was a scene of dramatic irony when Lady Macbeth was being polite to Duncan right before she and Macbeth killed him. She's being sweet and innocent by saying, "'All our service in every point twice done, and then done double, were poor and single business to contend against those honors deep and broad wherewith your Majesty loads our house'" (1.6.17-21). She is meaning that nothing her or her husband can do will match his generosity.
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