Parallel Transformations of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

Parallel Transformations of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

  • Submitted By: tsolakis
  • Date Submitted: 08/09/2010 11:32 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 971
  • Page: 4
  • Views: 525

Compare the transformations of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. They’ve been called parallel. To what extent is that fair?

Lady Macbeth and Macbeth’s transformations are parallel in the sense that one evil act spurred them both onto their corruption. They both suffered horrible deaths – Lady Macbeth committed suicide and Macbeth was slain by his rival Macduff. However, their behaviour before and after the murder of King Duncan proved very different. It was almost as if after the point where their paths intersected (the shared act of killing Duncan), their characters were reversed (they swapped paths).

"Come, you spirits; that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here…" In this line of Lady Macbeth’s first soliloquy, both her character and motives are revealed. Lady Macbeth is made to appear dark and evil right from the beginning of the play. She is not in the slightest afraid of who she is calling upon when she commands the evil spirits hungry for murder and death to strip her of her soft, feminine characteristics. She knows that such qualities would handicap her in her venture to do evil. For the Elizabethan time, her perspective on woman’s inability to do the evil a man could do was very common. Little did she know that she would become the vessel of an act that would haunt and toxicate her spirit and mind later in the play. She’s convinced her husband lacks the courage and cruelty he needs in order to muster the greatness he could achieve in murdering the King, so she must urge him on. In doing this, she contradicts the consensus of the time, that women should be submissive to their husbands. Lady Macbeth is a unique case, so influential that she prevails in persuading Macbeth. Playing on his weakness, she questions his manhood to get what she wants from him. "When you durst do it, then you were a man; And to be more than what you were, you would; Be so much more the man." This suggests gender roles have been swapped. Macbeth is the coward ‘too...

Similar Essays