Essay Compare And Contrast Macbeth And Lady Macbeth

Comparing and Contrasting Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are depicted very differently and simply wanting kingship are among the few similarities. It is also interesting how the differences between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are caused by other differences in their traits, starting chain reactions of contrariety.

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth both posses greedy and ambitious attributes. So far we have learned that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are very ambitious to gain kingship. At the end of Act I, Lady Macbeth uses her conniving manipulation skills, and then as a last resort uses her seductive manipulation skills to persuade Macbeth to follow through with the plan to kill the king. This proves that she is greedy because she will do anything in her power to get something she wants regardless of other people. Macbeth is ambitious in a different way.

It is well known that simply wanting something is not enough to actually get it. One must have desire and ambition and must work towards obtaining a certain goal. Macbeth has the desire to become the king but lacks the motivation to work for it. In this case the work he must perform is killing the king. Lady Macbeth has the desire to gain kingship through Macbeth and has motivation to kill the king. She constructed the entire plan to kill the king because she knew that Macbeth would not. In scene three and at the end of Act I, the reader learns why Macbeth posesses reluctance to kill the king.

Macbeth has a very strong conscience which is evident in act I, scene three beginning at line 133. Macbeth says, "I Am Thane of Cawdor: If good, why do I yield to that [thought of killing Duncan] whose Horrid image doth unfix my hair and make my seated heart knock at my ribs, against the use of nature?" Macbeth is explaining that the thought of killing Duncan makes him very nervous and frightened. In scene seven of act I, Macbeth admits to Lady Macbeth that he doesn't want to kill Duncan because Duncan was so nice to Macbeth. For example Duncan gave Macbeth the Thane of Cawdor's title. He felt a moral obligation to be nice to the king. Lady Macbeth didn't want to hear any of this and accused Macbeth of not being a man. She didn't care about who she would hurt (emotionally or physically) to acquire kingship. She saw nothing wrong with killing the king.

The differences are obvious throughout the play. The reader can only hope that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's differences will complement one another, and that they will find more productive means to gain kingship.

Both of the Macbeths are ambitious, but Lady Macbeth lacks the strength to deal with all the consequences of her ambition.  In Act 1, sc. 5, when Lady Macbeth reads her husbands incredulous letter about the witches and their prophecies, she immediately knows that she wants to kill Duncan.  She doubts, however, that her husband has the drive to do the deed.  She goads him into killing Duncan by telling him he's not a man in...

Both of the Macbeths are ambitious, but Lady Macbeth lacks the strength to deal with all the consequences of her ambition.  In Act 1, sc. 5, when Lady Macbeth reads her husbands incredulous letter about the witches and their prophecies, she immediately knows that she wants to kill Duncan.  She doubts, however, that her husband has the drive to do the deed.  She goads him into killing Duncan by telling him he's not a man in her eyes unless he does this act.  She knows her husband wants to please her she uses that against him.  Macbeth never does anything like that to Lady Macbeth, however.  In fact, he shields her by not telling her, even, of his intent to have Banquo killed, Act 3, sc. 2.  By the beginning of Act 5, Lady Macbeth has gone mad from guilt and in Act 5, sc. 5, she dies, presumably by suicide.  She did not have the strength that she doubted her husband possessed earlier.  Macbeth, on the other hand, has become determined to ride out the consequences to their natural conclusion.  In the last act, Macbeth is seen as a tyrant, but a valiant tyrant who has not given up the fight.  In the last scene of the play when Macbeth and Macduff meet up again, Macbeth says he does not want to fight Macduff because he's killed enough of his family already.  When Macduff tells Macbeth of his birth and Macbeth knows he was tricked by the witches, he still does not give up the fight.  He is stronger than his wife.

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