In Shakespeare’s Macbeth king Duncan is murdered first followed by the guards Banquo lady Macduff and her children. In order to establish the extent to which lady Macbeth is responsible I will consider her role and those of the witches, Macbeth and other characters There is evidence to suggest that lady Macbeth was well loved by her husband, as she was able to convince him that he should murder Duncan: “I am settled and bend upon each corporal agent to this terrible feat.
“The phrase terrible feat here shows that he has given in to his wives wishes but knows that what they are doing is wrong. Lady Macbeth takes charge when planning the murder because she knows that her husband is “Too full of the milk of human kindness. ” In her soliloquy in act 1, Scene 5 she recognizes that Macbeth’s morals would prevent him from murdering his friend and king Duncan.Though she takes charge in planning the murder she is too weak to do it herself because she thinks that the king looks like her father when he sleeps Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done’t. ” Does this suggest that lady Macbeth has conflict of emotions of which she finds hard to overcome? So maybe Duncan was killed not because lady Macbeth wanted Macbeth to do it necessarily but due to the fact that she couldn’t bring herself to do it. Showing that even though she would like for him to do something for her, she would still prefer it if he did as little as possible.
“Leave all the rest to me” Macbeth must have trusted her a lot to let her think of this scheme.The phrase ‘leave all the rest to me’ has connotations of evil like someone has secretly conspired their own plan for mischief in their head. Though the witches explained to Macbeth that he would one day become king surely a man of such honour valour and dignity could not be lured to commit cold blooded which is much closer to home than on the battlefield where he has developed an obvious talent for slaying foes “Till he un-seamed him from the nave to the chaps” The Captain graphically explains to the king what a commendable hero Macbeth is to have fighting on Duncan’s sideOr maybe the killer instinct he had from the various wars he had fought had driven him to murder his respected king and friend? “God save the king” Ironically Rosse says it in act1 scene 2 as a mark of respect towards the king but Shakespeare only uses it once to symbolise the fact that it probably wasn’t being said enough. The word murder in itself is a very unpretentious word but with so many meanings and ways for it to happen but why did it happen? I consider lady Macbeth to be ultimately responsible for the deaths. First we have to consider why she would want Duncan dead in the first place.
She knew that if he died by Macbeth’s hands that Macbeth would become king of Scotland so we can clarify that were to happen then she as his sweet caring and loyal wife would therefore become the queen of Scotland, which was what she wanted. Macbeth had already been succumbing to the though that he would be made king but didn’t know how, so lady Macbeth gave him the chance which he unwillingly accepted as a husband does.”Wouldst thou have that which esteems’t the ornament of life and life a coward in thane own esteem, letting I dare not wait upon I would? Subtly but forcefully put across to Macbeth stating the fact that he may miss his chance and feel a coward to himself by letting fear overcome him, maybe she would want to shout at him just so he take it all in more but doing so may incite him to question her true meaning of love for him. Lady Macbeth proves to us that she would and could have the courage to murder if only she were manly “Unsex me here and make me cruel” This seems to show that maybe she fears or disgusts her own womanhood.But the way in which we know that no unsexing of the kind she means has been done is again when she loses faith in her own will “Had he not resembled my father as he slept I would have done’t” This displays to the audience that the tenderness and strong emotion of a woman still lay within her soul but that is not to say that woman can only be strong if she is unsexed The way in which I consider lady Macbeth to be responsible for the many murders in the play is by Channelling her will and greed through Macbeth by her despair, the strength on her sense of guilt and her utter determination to succeed.Shakespeare presents Macbeth’s lack of morals and the empowerment that lady Macbeth has over him by that lady Macbeth adds “Wouldst not play false, and yet wouldst strongly win. ” Shows that there is weakness in him. Is her determination to get him to murder the King another circumstance of his downfall? Shakespeare has clearly used Macbeth as an important host for lady Macbeth’s murderous intent.
She has unleashed the tremendous killer instinct he saves for the battlefield locked away inside his noble heart by tampering with his innocent moral instability.