Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are good people with poor judgment. It is unfair for Malcolm to describe them as “this dead butcher and his fiend – like queen”. In the beginning they are a respected couple sharing a loving relationship. Their downfall is not due to evil, but caused by their ambition for Macbeth, sparked by the witches’ prophecy. Macbeth’s indecision on whether or not to kill Duncan, and Lady Macbeth’s begging of the spirits to take away her feminine qualities, demonstrate that ruthlessness does not come easily to them.
Macbeth is a Scottish nobleman and important kinsman of King Duncan, whose devising and heroic leadership of a winning tactic in a battle show his talent, courage and loyalty to his country. He is well respected, and after his feat of braveness, Duncan believes him worthy to receive the title of Thane of Cawdor, which is a huge honour to Macbeth. The problem with this, though, is that it helps to spark his ambition, which, we find later, is his tragic flaw.
Lady Macbeth is a loyal wife with ambitions for her husband. She believes that Macbeth deserves to be King, but thinks that he is too nice to do anything about it. She does not think that he could kill Duncan on his own. She is supportive of Macbeth, and is willing to do what she can to help him get what he wants. She is basically a caring and loving person, though, so she pleads with the Spirits to take away her tenderness and femininity and make her ruthless: ” 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.38-41). This evidence on Macbeth and Lady Macbeth proves that, at the beginning of the play, they are bo…
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…omen Reading Shakespeare 1660-1900. Ann Thompson and Sasha Roberts, eds. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1997.
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Mack, Maynard. Everybody’s Shakespeare: Reflections Chiefly on the Tragedies. Lincoln, NB: University of Nebraska Press, 1993.
Schlegel, August Wilhelm. Criticism on Shakespeare s Tragedies . A Course of Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature. London: AMS Press, Inc., 1965.
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Soliloquy Essay – Two Soliloquies, One from Lady Macbeth and One from Macbeth
Analysis of Two Soliloquies – One from Lady Macbeth and another from Macbeth
On the level of human evil, Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth is about the character Macbeth’s bloody rise to power, including the murder of the Scottish king, Duncan, and the guilt-ridden pathology of evil deeds generating still more evil deeds. Perhaps, the play’s most memorable character is Lady Macbeth. Like her husband, Lady Macbeth’s ambition for power leads her into an unnatural, phantasmagoric realm of witchcraft, insomnia and madness. But while Macbeth responds to the prophecies of the play’s famous trio of witches, Lady Macbeth goes even further by figuratively transforming herself into an unnatural, desexualized evil spirit.
Throughout the novel, there are moments when important characters are given the opportunity to express details of their character and reveal information that is otherwise not given, but vital to the development of the story. A soliloquy is a classical literary technique to allow a character to share his or her thoughts and feelings with the audience. I will now examine and attempt to interpret two of these soliloquies, one from Lady Macbeth and the second from Macbeth himself.
As the scene opens, Lady Macbeth is reading a letter from her husband. The letter tells of the witches’ prophecy for him, which is treated as a certainty, because “I have learned by the perfectest report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge”. “The perfectest report” means “the most reliable information,” so it appears that Macbeth has been asking people what they know about the reliability of witches. If that’s the case, he has ignored the advice of Banquo, who is quite sure that witches can’t be trusted. But Macbeth seems to trust the witches absolutely, because he is writing to his wife, his “dearest partner of greatness,” so that she “mightst not lose the dues of rejoicing”. That is, he believes that she has a right to rejoice because she will be a queen. However, Lady Macbeth doesn’t rejoice. She is determined that he will be king, but she suspects that he doesn’t have the right stuff to do what needs to be done. Speaking to him as though he were really there, she says: “Yet do I fear thy nature; / It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness / To catch the nearest way”.
Her reaction to the letter shows that Lady Macbeth is a woman who knows her husband very well, perhaps because she shares some of his instincts.