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Lady Macbeth Case

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Question 2: "Lady Macbeth is not naturally cruel or unfeminine or relentless. She has to force these qualities fiercely and violently upon herself... she is totally selfless and a devoted wife, willing to wrench and distort her personality in response to what she knows that Macbeth wants and needs from her... although she destroys herself completely in doing this, she never utters reproaches of regrets."

Discuss this view of Lady Macbeth.

In the quotation that is mentioned in question 2 the speaker talks about Lady Macbeth as being "totally selfless" and "willing to wrench and distort her personality in response to what she knows that Macbeth want and needs". I do not agree with these two statements because throughout the play, Lady Macbeth is seen to be one of the cruelest and heartless characters as well as being thought by many, to be the fourth witch. In the first act of the play, Lady Macbeth's words mean a lot to her husband and it is clear that she is the dominant figure in the relationship but by the end she seems to have no control over Macbeth and his decisions.

"Not naturally cruel or unfeminine...", Lady Macbeth shows signs of being cruel and unfeminine from the very beginning of the play. When she receives a letter from Macbeth about the witches and their prophesies she immediately starts to plot Duncan's murder and how Macbeth can become king. When Lady Macbeth says, "Come, you spirits that tend on moral thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-fill of direst cruelty", it is clear that she does not want her feminine soft nature to show through but rather to have a harder and more masculine mindset in order to obtain the crown. She willingly "gives" herself to the evil spirits and feels that she is doing what will benefit her and Macbeth. This shows great ambition even though it is for the wrong reasons. When Lady Macbeth says, " Come to my woman's breast, and take my milk for gall...", she is trying to rid herself of the expected role of a woman as well as her femininity. This is represented by her kind nature, breasts and milk that is thought to prevent her from performing the acts of violence that she is wanting to carry out.

In the quotation for question 2 the speaker says, " Force these qualities fiercely and violently upon herself," I do not agree with this statement because it is clear that Lady Macbeth willingly demands and calls for evil spirits to take away her nurturing side and her sense of morality. You can see this when she says "Stop up the access and passage to remorse, that no compunctious visiting of a nature shack fell purpose, nor keep peace between the effect and it!"

Looking at the selfless versus the selfish aspects of Lady Macbeth's



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