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Image of Lady Macbeth in "Macbeth"
 
Lorraine D. C Views: 88
Published: 73 days ago
 
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Image of Lady Macbeth in "Macbeth"


If you need to write a good macbeth example essay, then here you can find useful information. Lady Macbeth's image of the "satanic queen" as the instigator who forced her husband to commit murder is attractive to critics, not least because it embodies ancient fears about female power and authority over men. The critical tradition here often (and, it seems, voluntarily) supports the misogynistic attitudes of the play itself. The arguments in favor of this concept are so old and familiar that they have long lived a life of their own, separate from Shakespeare's text.

Lady Macbeth is the force that rules her husband. Or rather, when, reading Macbeth's letter about the witches' prophecy, she calls upon the spirits, "...pervert my sex," when she uses the grim metaphor of infanticide, when she doubts Macbeth's manhood and mocks his indecision, when she calculates in cold blood how to commit murder and blame it on her servants, Lady Macbeth becomes the main culprit. She forces her husband to go against his conscience and reason, finally causing the "good moloko" that she herself had found in her to curdle in his soul.

Certainly in the first half of the play Lady Macbeth is one of the main driving forces of the plot; it is remarkable how frightening and unnatural critics find her power and activity.

The play is markedly calculated for the highest approval: the "Scottish" theme, the ennobled image of Banquo, whom James I considered his ancestor, witchcraft to please the king, who wrote a treatise called Demonology, and a dose of male misogyny, very palpable in the homosocial environment of the new monarch. Unlike the Elizabethan court, the Stuart stronghold was held exclusively on the shoulders of men and its culture was blatantly anti-feminist.

Perhaps instead of blaming Lady Macbeth and excusing her husband, we should have seen the unity that prevailed in their union (the Macbeths are one of the most mature and coordinated couples of all Shakespearean characters). In calculating the degree of guilt of each separately, we probably lose sight of the picture Shakespeare was trying to portray - folie a deux, "madness for two," a joint crime.

Nor does she fit the label of promiscuous woman, which is so readily attached to women who dare to behave like men. She does not fit the usual theatrical stereotype of the "bad wife. The specific image of Lady Macbeth, which has always fascinated actresses and critics, suggests strength and activity, but in the second half of the play Lady Macbeth is no longer involved either in the fate of her husband or in the development of the plot, slowly disappearing from view.

Malcolm calls her the "satanic queen," but, like many of the characters who step onto the corpse-strewn stage at the end of the tragedy (recall Fortinbras or Octavius Caesar), his judgment is biased, politicized, and flat. The question of Lady Macbeth's role in the crime is certainly asked, but Shakespeare does not answer it. Along with Macbeth himself and the trio of witches, Lady Macbeth can claim to be the force that drives the events of the play; but there are so many contenders that we get more of a question out of the finale than possible answers.

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