Lady Macbeth In the closing scene of “Macbeth”, Malcolm refers to Lady Macbeth as “a fiend-like queen”. Do you agree with Malcolm, or do you think she is not as evil as he depicts? Lady Macbeth is a controversial figure. She is seen by some as a woman of strong will who is ambitious for herself and who is astute enough to recognise her husband’s strengths and weaknesses, and ruthless enough to exploit them. They see her in her commitment to evil and in her realisation that the acquisition of the Crown has not brought her the happiness she had expected, and finally, as one who breaks down under the strain.Others see her as a woman ambitious for her husband whom she loves.
She recognises the essential good in him, and feels that, without her, he will never win the Crown. She allies herself with the powers of the occult for his sake, but here inherent femininity breaks down under the strain of the unnatural murder of Duncan and the alienation of her husband. She is seen as simple and realistic where Macbeth is complicated and imaginative.She is willing to do what ever it takes or have Macbeth do them while he struggles to overcome his deep morale roots. Malcolm’s assessment of her as a “fiend-like queen” Act IV, Sc. vii is certainly backed up by evidence throughout the story as through large portions of the play she is malicious and ruthless in her crusade to make Macbeth king, becoming what many people would see as evil, although this is open to interpretation an example of this would be when she says “hey have made themselves and that their fitness now does unmake you.
I have given suck and know how tender tis to love the babe that milks me, I would, while it was smiling in my face, have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums and dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done to this”(Act 1,Scene7) But to say she is a fiend and is without kindness or weakness i believe is not true, there are instances when we glimpse the true humanity of lady Macbeth, like when she has been drinking to calm herself “That which hath made them drunk, hath made me bold; what hath quenched them hath given me fire” this show shows she is not an motionless person who feels no remorse or sorrow and proves her to be human. When she calls on the powers of evil to unsex her and make her cruel, does this not prove that she knows her own capacity to do such things and realises she cant because of the the unnaturalness of the murder of Duncan? Is she, like Macbeth just an ordinary human being overcome with ambition? but even after these spirits enter her, she still retains part of her womanliness, do the words(Act I, Sc. ii) “Had he not resembled My father as he slept, I had done it” not imply that she is still a woman with a tenderness to her loved ones? he shows herself strong willed and more determined than Macbeth in Act I, Sc. vii, as she argues and demands his agreement to the murder In my view her worst act is her exploitation of Macbeth’s love for her when she makes his consent to murder a test of his love. She is aware, too, that dwelling on the moral aspect of the murder “will make us mad”.
she remembers the details that Macbeth has overlooked, “Why did you bring these daggers from the place? ” and shows her as she brings the daggers back.She almost seems tp despise Macbeth when she accuses him of wearing “a heart so white” Or is she afraid for him that he may betray himself? In Act II, Sc. ii, when she calls for help does she do so because of her human weakness, or is she afraid that Macduff may question Macbeth further as to his killing of the chamberlains? If the latter, it again illustrates her quick thinking? In Act III, Sc. ii, Lady Macbeth is coming to realise that the Crown has not brought happiness, “Noughts had, all’s spent, Where our desire is got without content.
she maybe suffering from remorse here, she thinks that the murder of Duncan has alienated Macbeth from her “how now my lord why do you keep alone” Is she worried that he is unhappy? She tries to console him, “what’s done is done. ” and to rally his spirits. She again shows her presence of mind in the Ghost scene when he becomes ‘unmanned’, but then, she does not see the Ghost. She uses the old strategy of appealing to his manliness, but without success.
When the guests have departed she does not upbraid Macbeth, but makes excuses for him that he lacks “the season of all atures, sleep. ” this shows her gentleness, compassion and devotion to him. We do not meet her again until Act v Sc. i She has now been reduced to a poor, mad shadow of her former self, broken by events. Our last view of her is her delusion of nearness to Macbeth. there is a stress on her sense of guilt, her despair and, perhaps still, her determination.
Macbeth’s few words about her (Act V,Sc. v) may be uttered in an indifferent tone, or even with a sense of something already lost.In the end, perhaps, we feel guilty for her, but we may still remember what appeared to be hardness and cruelty. In conclusion I stand in my opinion of Lady Macbeth as not being a fiend like queen rather a woman of great ambition and a person capable of immense love and devotion, but with a greatly blurred morales that lead her to take the the actions that set the story of Macbeth into motion.
This side of her may have been largely overshadowed by her “fiend-like” side but you can not ignore the many times her compassion and loyalty make themselves known.