Lady Macbeth, an Effective Villain

Lady Macbeth, an Effective Villain

  • Submitted By: markrog
  • Date Submitted: 03/05/2009 1:41 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 1563
  • Page: 7
  • Views: 866

What makes Lady Macbeth an effective villain?

In William Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth” he has created one of the most powerful women in literature, Lady Macbeth. Throughout the play we see her in humanity and ruthlessness. We notice her controlling Macbeth and manipulating him when it comes to the murder of King Duncan. She is also loving towards her husband but at the same time very ambitious, as shown by her immediate determination for Macbeth to be king. But we will see the changes in her that take place from villain to a more three dimensional character and the way her relationship with her husband changes throughout the play. From the start of the play we would guess that Macbeth is more of a villain than his wife would be because he is a “man of war” and has killed many men on the battle field. However this s not the case and the villain Shakespeare had created is Lady Macbeth.

Back in Shakespearian times stereotyping was common. Men were perceived to be the strong and courageous ones that would go out to work and make money, while the women were viewed to be the weak, timid and vulnerable ones that should stay at home cooking, cleaning and looking after any children. In the play, however, Shakespeare has shattered those gender assumptions that the audience would have of Lady Macbeth. She acts totally opposite to the stereotyped woman; she acts brave, strong, ruthless and inhumane and manages to manipulate her husband who we are lead to believe she thinks is inferior to her. We can tell this from the first moment that we meet this murderous woman and in her first speech in act 1 scene 5 where, on reading Macbeth’s letter, she reacts completely different to what people would think that a stereotypical woman of the time who would be: scared, shocked, nervous and worried for her husband but no, not lady Macbeth, she is excited at the news and instantly concludes that the fastest way for Macbeth to become king is by murdering King Duncan to for fill...

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