By: Megan Sundquist
Lady Macbeth A.KA. The Downfall
Even though the witches gave Macbeth bad advice, ultimately, Lady Macbeth is to blame for Macbeth's downfall. She is manipulative and controlling. She is a person who wants what she wants, when she wants it. She is the one who was saying that if he didn't kill the king, he would be a coward,"Lady Macbeth: Glamis thou art, and Cowdor, and shalt be what thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature. It is too full o' the milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way," (33 Shakespeare). Lady Macbeth thinks he is not man enough to murder and take the throne, so she tells him that if he wants to be king, he has to murder. I think that Lady Macbeth is trying to bully Macbeth into doing what she wants him to do. Even when Macbeth was telling his wife he didn't want to kill the king because he didn't want to get caught, she would not allow Macbeth to back down, "'If we should fail?' 'We fail? But screw your courage to the sticking place, and we'll not fail,'" (45 Shakespeare). Lady Macbeth is basically telling Macbeth that the only reason he would get caught is if he loses his courage and he needs to man up and not be a coward. I think that this proves that she cares more about what the power, than she does about Macbeth. If she cared about Macbeth more, she would not want him to murder if there was a chance he would get caught. Even when Macbeth killed the king, she was angry because he didn't do it exactly the way she wanted him to,"'Why did you bring these daggers from the place? They must lie there. Go carry them and smear the sleepy grooms with blood,'" (56 Shakespeare). Lady Macbeth is literally telling Macbeth exactly what to do so he won't get caught and is able to murder more people. This just shows how controlling Lady Macbeth is over Macbeth. In my opinion, Lady Macbeth views Macbeth as a coward at this point, because he was not man enough to stay and finish the job right. Overall Lady Macbeth is the reason Macbeth ultimately becomes a murderer. If she didn't push so hard for him to murder the kind, he would not have done it.
Lit Device #1 Dramatic Irony
When Lady Macbeth learns King Duncan is coming to her house she acts very sweet and respectful towards him, "We poor and single business to contend against those honors deep and broad wherewith your Majesty loads our house," (39 Shakespeare). Lady Macbeth is being so nice and respectful to King Duncan, because she is planning his murder and she does not want to act hostile toward him and have him be suspicious about the Macbeths. This is an example of dramatic irony because shes being so pleasant to his face, however behind his back she is plotting his murder. The Macbeths (literally) stabbed him in the back.
Lit Device #2 Comedic Relief
The tensions were high in the scene 2 when Macbeth murdered the king. To break that tension scene 3 gives comedic relief, "Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes: it provokes the desire, but takes away form the performance," (61 Shakespeare). Porter is joking about alcohol. It is a light and funny moment between the stress in most of the play.
Lit Device #3 Symbolism
After Macbeth murders the king, he instantly feels extremely guilty about what he did,"Will the Great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No. This my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red," (57 Shakespeare). Macbeth is referring to the blood on his hands. The blood symbolizes his guilt. Macbeth is really talking about how he will never be rid of the guilt he feels for murdering the king. No matter what he tries to get rid of it, he will always have to carry around the guilt.
Option 5 Sonnet: Pressured by Love
Peer pressure influences Macbeth much
Innocent Macbeth was driven to kill
It was not the witches magical touch.
Innocent Macbeth was driven to kill
And to ignore whatever he did feel.
For Macbeth these acts are immorally wrong
but Lady wanted power all along.
Option # 8 Piece of Art: Heart Strings
Macbeth loves his wife and Lady Macbeth takes advantage of that by making him murder King Duncan. She acts like a puppet master and uses Macbeth as her puppet, making him act the way she wants him to. "Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye, your hand, your tongue; look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under't," (Shakespeare 35). Lady Macbeth is telling Macbeth not only how to look, but also how to think. This will ultimately lead to Macbeth's downfall.