Literary Analysis: Characterization of Lady Macbeth

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Literary Analysis: Characterization of Lady Macbeth

Mark Vincente-Morales, Katherine Cortes, and Mya Morgan

Mark Vincente-Morales, Katherine Cortes, and Mya Morgan

Mark Vincente-Morales, Katherine Cortes, and Mya Morgan

Mark Vincente-Morales, Katherine Cortes, and Mya Morgan

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Students in Dr. Lisa Scherff’s English II class explored character development of Lady Macbeth.  

Mark Vicente-Morales

At the beginning of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is characterized as violent and manipulative. First, Lady Macbeth is shown to be violent. For example, after receiving the letter from Macbeth, the reader learns that Lady Macbeth has murderous intent. She thinks “…as he announces Duncan’s entrance into my fortress, where he will die. Come, you spirits that assist murderous thoughts…” (Macbeth 1.5. 107-109). This is important because she wants Macbeth to be king, even killing people who stand in the way of her desire.

Lady Macbeth is also shown to be manipulative. This is revealed when her husband enters the scene. The reader discovers that she is using him for own goals. An example of this is in lines 134 through 137 in Act 1, Scene 5, Lady Macbeth says, “In order to deceive them, you must appear the way they expect you to look. Greet the king with a welcoming expression in your eyes, your hands, and your words.” In other words, she will use anyone to get the things she desires. Up to this point in the play, the reader learns that Lady Macbeth is violent and manipulative making her a frightening, yet interesting character.

Katherine Cortes

At the beginning of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth  is characterized as manipulative and ruthless.  First, Lady Macbeth is shown to be manipulative. For example, when Lady Macbeth learns of Macbeth becoming the Thane of Cawdor and meeting the witches, the reader learns that Lady Macbeth is thinking of manipulating Macbeth into taking the crown. She thinks, “Hurry home so I can persuade you and talk you out of whatever’s keeping you from going after the crown.” This is important because the quote shows that Lady Macbeth is ready to persuade Macbeth to be tougher and more ambitious. Lady Macbeth is also shown to be ruthless. This is revealed when she speaks to Macbeth. The reader discovers that Lady Macbeth is planning to kill the king. An example of this is when she says, ”The King is coming and he’s got to be taken care of.” This quote shows that Lady Macbeth is planning to kill the king because she wants the crown for Macbeth and because she thinks Macbeth can’t do it. Up to this point in the play, the reader learns that Lady Macbeth is manipulative and ruthless, making her a hated yet interesting character.

Mya Morgan

At the beginning of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is characterized as ruthless and ambitious.

First, Lady Macbeth is shown to be ruthless. For example, she says to herself, “Come, you spirits that assist murderous thoughts, make me less like a woman and more like a man,  and fill me from head to toe with deadly cruelty!”  The reader learns that Lady Macbeth is calling upon the evil spirits to give her power that she will use in a merciless way. This is important because it introduces her as a cruel character from the beginning, to expect worse throughout the rest of the play. Lady Macbeth is shown to be ambitious. This is revealed when she says “Thicken my blood and clog up my veins so I won’t feel remorse, so that no human compassion can stop my evil plan or prevent me from accomplishing it!” The reader discovers that Lady Macbeth is putting herself in dark places only to kill the king. This shows ambition because she is determined to meet her goal, regardless of the consequences. Up to this point in the play, the reader learns that Lady Macbeth is ruthless and ambitious, making her a disliked and interesting character.

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