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In the play Macbeth, Lady Macbeth would be considered a woman with very few scruples. However, I see her as a woman who is a lot like her husband, Macbeth. She was the same as Macbeth. They were both fiendish people with an overwhelming sense of vaulting ambition. I would even go as far as saying that Lady Macbeth was the one with a greater sense of ambition than Macbeth because she lacked what Macbeth did not. She lacked scruples. It was Lady Macbeth s scrupulous ambition that led Macbeth to his seat upon the royal throne of Scotland.
After hearing about the prophecies that had been dealt to Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, concerned that her husband was too weak and/or kind to seize this opportunity that had been apportioned to him, began to devise a plan of her own which she would make Macbeth, the newly appointed Thane of Cawdor, carry out. I would think that a regular human being, male or female, would be more concerned about how the event in question would come into play. However, Lady Macbeth (and Macbeth) seems quite impatient and instead starts to think of ways that she could bring this event out herself. At about this time Macbeth is also thinking of killing Duncan in order to become the king. This is an example of the similarity between Macbeth and his wife. Its like they say, great minds think alike . It s scary when the great minds belong to devious people.
When Macbeth arrives at his castle Lady Macbeth tells him to wear a friendly face and leave the plotting up to her. However, when Macbeth decides against killing the king, Lady Macbeth is outraged. She appeals to his ambition and pride while at the same time mocking his masculinity until she persuades him to persevere in her plot to kill the king. She even says that she would kill her own child had she promised to do so. This is where I think it becomes apparent that Lady Macbeth has a higher sense of ambitions and far less scruples than the future king. Its as if Lady Macbeth is actually Macbeth s darker, more sinister side. She is the one that encourages him to do such sinister deeds even after he has decided to oppose the notion. She seems quite proud of herself for initiating the deed and says that she would have committed the act herself had Duncan not resembled her father as he lay their sleeping. It would seem as if Shakespeare was trying to show us that Lady Macbeth had at least a little bit of a heart. I find that notion quite absurd though, considering she said she would have been willing to kill her own child.
After the deed has been done, Macbeth is showing deep signs of remorse while Lady Macbeth is showing none. She acts as if they have merely squashed a bug or robbed some insignificant creature of its existence. She tries to comfort him and get him to forget about what has been done so he can go back and plant the evidence on the guards. Macbeth is too grief stricken to go back to the scene of the crime though. Lady Macbeth goes back and does it herself instead. When she returns she chides Macbeth for having lost his resolve and quickly gets him to bed before they are suspected. This another sign of her lack of scruples. She was able to return to the scene carrying the two blood stained daggers and smear them upon the slumbering guards. If she was so concerned about Duncan looking like her father she should have been more reluctant about returning to the bloody scene.
When Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo Lady Macbeth covers for him. She tells their guests that he is having a bad spell. She scolds him for not acting like an appropriate host to the guests. She gets the lords to leave because she fears Macbeth will give up their secret. Lady Macbeth feels no fear because she has no scruples and is not plagued with the guilt that Macbeth is plagued with at present. This is not to hard to believe considering Banquo was Macbeth s best friend. She also had no part in this murder. However, it does show how much deeper a descent Macbeth has taken compared to Lady Macbeth.
When Lady Macbeth is observed sleep walking by the doctor and the gentlewoman she reveals the murders and the guilt that she has actually been feeling all along. I think that she had been taking the advice that she had given Macbeth before the first murder. However, it was as if she had been taking it in reverse. On the outside she appeared to be the cold serpent. Speaking with her forked tongue. She acted as if none of the events had affected her mental status. She continually appeared to have no scruples. This was all one big act though. On the inside she was actually like the flower. Gentle, brittle, vulnerable. Each event had actually been wearing her mental status down slowly, like pedal after pedal being torn from her head and leaving her even more brittle and distraught then before. None of this was revealed until the observation of her sleepwalking. She gave us a mental picture similar to that of Macbeth s in Act 2 scene 2. She herself explains that she cannot remove the guilt which she herself has bestowed upon her. Nearing the end of the play it is actually Macbeth who is less plagued with fear. He had the witches to thank for that though. They bestowed the prophecies upon him that gave him that false sense of security. He felt unbeatable while lady Macbeth was beginning to feel the onslaught of the feelings of guilt that she had been trying to bury behind that false mask that she wore upon her worried brow.
Her feelings of guilt came to an abrupt end with the loss of her life. She was so plagued with guilt that she killed herself. The same scrupulous hand that burdened her with all that grief was the same hand that took it all away.