Sample Shakespeare Essays Paper on The character Traits of Lady Macbeth

Shakespeare's play, Macbeth, is among the works with the bloodiest female
characters. The book uses different females, such as the three witches (Burns 142). The three
witches set the ball rolling by predicting that the husband to Lady Macbeth is about to be
king. Usually, Shakespeare presents the female characters in most of his works as meek,
submissive, and good people. However, giving Lady Macbeth traits that match men
illustrated a dynamic world (143). Lady Macbeth understands the societal expectations of
how females should carry themselves, and thus she uses her influence on her husband to help
in executing her treacherous plans. Lady Macbeth is ambitious, persuasive, effective in her
dealings, and remorseful; she uses her position to manipulate her husband and commit
murder on her behalf.
Lady Macbeth understands that she cannot manage to climb the ladder of power in her
society on her own. The community expects women to be less concerned with governance
matters, which explains why Lady Macbeth cannot act independently (Burns 142). However,
through her husband, she can achieve her desires as she manipulates him into committing
murder. She persuades her husband, Macbeth, to kill King Duncan. Although Macbeth is
hesitant to take such actions, his questions whether he is man enough (Burns 142). Lady
Macbeth's tactic of questioning her husband's manhood makes him swim into action and kill
King Duncan. According to Shakespeare, the society in the play equates power with

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manhood, asking the latter indicating that the former is also under scrutiny (Lee2020). Lady
Macbeth’s ambitions to occupy some hierarchy of power lead to guilt and remorse.
Macbeths' appetite to occupy the hierarchy of powers is soon satisfied, but it comes
with some cost. In Act five, Scene One, the playwright indicates that Macbeth is engulfed by
remorse and guilt after her husband kills King Duncan. She is washing her hand frequently to
remove imaginary blood from her victims (Fraser 12). Her remorse is evident through the
endless nightmares that rarely make her sleep. The Doctor asks the gentlewomen, “What is it
she does now? Look how she rubs her hands” (5.1.12). The gentlewoman replies, "It is an
accustomed action with her" (5.1). Later, Lady Macbeth engages herself in a monologue; she
notes, "…yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?"
(5.1.13). The remorse and distress indicate that she regrets her action.
Lady Macbeth is an effective and persuasive woman. Although her husband does not
agree to take part in her evil plots, she effectively manages to identify some flaws that
Macbeth dislike and use them to persuade him (Fraser 13). Lady Macbeth's effectiveness in
undertaking the desires is evident after accomplishing the mission of killing the king.
Macbeth equates her courage with masculinity and notes that she is “a male in a female
body” (1.7. 73-74). However, she is not effective in dealing with the aftermath of her
actions. She gives in to a mental breakdown and later kills herself at the end of the play.
The play undoubtedly indicates that most of the techniques used by females to acquire
power are through manipulation. In this case, Macbeth manipulates her husband into killing
the king so that he can become the ruler. In this way, Lady Macbeth will climb the ladder of
power. Although the play's society is different from the modern-day, it is clear that
Macbeth's character is similar to a few females who use their influence to acquire their
desires. Lady Macbeth is persuasive, effective, and remorseful at the same time. She is swift

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in her actions but later becomes regretful; she tries to scrub off her victims' imaginary blood
from her hands.

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Works cited
Burns, Lisa. First Ladies and the Fourth Estate: Press Framing of Presidential Wives.
DeKalb, Illinois: Northern Illinois University Press, 2018. ISBN 978-0-87580-391-
3. – p. 142.
Fraser King, Susan. Lady Macbeth. New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0-307-34175-
4, p. 12-13.
Lee, Jamieson. Lady Macbeth Character Analysis., 2020. Accessed from