The Role Of Power And Ambition In The Fate Of Lady Macbeth

William Shakespeare wrote the play “Macbeth”. It’s considered one of the saddest stories ever written. Macbeth’s downfall is developed through the use of many characters. Characters like Lady Macbeth were the main protagonists of the play because she was the one who convinced Macbeth that he would become the king. Lady Macbeth is shown as a character of hubris, who thinks that nothing can stop her. She believes she will be able to achieve her goal as she expresses her spirit to “unsex”, her femininity. Although it’s assumed that Lady Macbeth was a poor judge of character and wanted the best for her spouse, she was also ambitious, cruel and scheming, which shows that she deserves no sympathy from the audience. In this essay, the analysis is based on Lady Macbeth’s ambitions to become queen and her actions towards Macbeth. Her guilt was also proven by her blood. A key element of the scene in act 1, scene five was when Lady Macbeth discovered that Macbeth had been told a prognosis by three witches that he would be king. She began to show her cruelty, ambition and scheme by telling herself that the prophecy “promises” Macbeth the position of king. She was afraid that “thy kindness… is overflowing with human kindness”, because he was a loyal soldier who had acted honorably and was not a murderer. Lady Macbeth believed that Macbeth was the right man to rule Scotland, so she killed Duncan in order for him to gain the crown. The audience can deduce and understand that even though Lady Macbeth made poor decisions and she wanted her husband to succeed, her ambition to see him become king through forcing him to murder Duncan was scheming, cruel and ambitious. She deserved to die and she did not deserve the audience’s sympathy. She was the one who initiated the idea of Macbeth killing Duncan. She verbally abuses Macbeth and peers him into killing Duncan. Shakespeare depicts a woman who was confident enough to peer pressure an honorable male character. At the time, in the 11th Century of Scotland, there were no gender equality laws and men had absolute authority over their women. Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth, a strong woman capable of committing such evil acts. Shakespeare also uses Macbeth for the purpose of acquiring the “solely sovereignty sway and dominance” which will change the nature and life of the traditional woman and make her the Queen in Scotland. It is possible to interpret the evidence in a way that shows Lady Macbeth as ambitious, cruel, and schemer. The audience doesn’t need to feel sorry for this woman, even though she was only trying to do what she could for her husband.

In the increasing tension, Lady Macbeth’s cruel, ambitious and scheming desires are clearly demonstrated. Duncan’s blood is on her hand, she sleepwalks, and this causes her to feel peripeteia. Her visions reflected her anxiety and madness. This element indicates that Lady Macbeth is expressing the cruelty she committed as she could not wash the “damned blood” that was dripping through her hands, and then screamed: “Out! One-Two”. She uses “’tis now to do it” as a way to remember Duncan’s death and confirm that she is aware of her sins which will lead her to a “murky” Hell. In addition, she does not believe Macbeth can be held responsible for her actions and believes she and Macbeth are invincible. Shakespeare shows how Lady Macbeth continues to feel the “so-much-blood” that is dripping from Duncan and is attached to the hands of her character. According to this interpretation, even though she wanted the best outcome for her husband in terms of increasing his power, her ambitions, schemes, and cruelty have been established.


  • rosewebb

    Rose Webb is an educational blogger and volunteer who also studies for a degree in law. She loves to write about her experiences and share her knowledge with others, and is passionate about helping others to achieve their goals.

Back to top