Characterization is the noted change or continual development of a character as a plot unfolds. In William Shakespeare’s tragedy MacBeth’s character takes a complete turn from the beginning of the play until her last seen. Lady MacBeth plays a very bold and manipulative character. She entices her husband into wrongful actions that he wouldn’t otherwise do. In return MacBeth continually becomes more evil while Lady MacBeth guilty conscience slows her down. In the beginning of the play, Lady MacBeth is full of evil ambitions. These ambitions lead her to insanity and eventually death.
In Lady MacBeth’s first seen her character is portrayed as one that has been seized with evil intentions. Lady MacBeth deceptively convinces her husband to murder Duncan so she will become queen. Evil has possessed her to the point that she provokes her husband into doing evil. This is accomplished by attacking MacBeth’s manhood. Lady MacBeth convinces him to believe he should kill MacBeth in order to prove himself of being even more of a man. Lady MacBeth said, “When you durst do it, then you were a man; and to be more than what you were, you would Be so much more the man.” Lady MacBeth appears to be overconfident in her evil plans in order to persuade MacBeth. When MacBeth questions the odds of her plans working Lady MacBeth responds by saying, “We fail? But screw your courage to the sticking place And we’ll not fail.” Lady MacBeth’s evil character has spread uncontrollable worst on MacBeth, resulting in him following her evil and treacherous footsteps.
Lady MacBeth’s character later develops into chaos and confusion consequently reaping insanity. After being so evil and immoral her conscience drove her to mental illness. The Doctor notes that she has her eyes open, however the Gentlewoman states, “Ay, but their sense are shut.” Even though Lady MacBeth is physically awake and moving around, it is as if you she is mentally not here. The Doctor says, “What is it she does now? Look how she rubs her hands.” Lady MacBeth later says, “Here’s the smell of the blood still. All of the perfumes Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.” Lady MacBeth is being haunted be the memories of the murder of Duncan. Her wickedness had begun to torment her into an incomprehensible state of mental uncertainty. Lady MacBeth could wash her hands of blood but her guilty conscience could never be erased.
Death is the final outcome that consumes Lady MacBeth. The evil she has done has lead to a path of destruction and death. Her cruel intentions at the beginning could never be eradicated nor her conscience cleared. She could not live with what she had done thus causing her to submit to eternal rest. The Doctor finally concludes that, “Such sanctity hath heaven given his hand…” Lady MacBeth is beyond help and is forced to yield to a stronger power. Even though she lessened the intensity of her evil desires, the consequences of her evil actions caught up with her.
The Characterization of Lady MacBeth is one that spans from a well thought, organized evil individual to an unstable, out of her right mind individual. The guilt of her wrongdoing was too severe for Lady MacBeth to live with. The guilt for the murder of Duncan was more than anticipate. Lady MacBeth was portrayed as a strong individual that was capable of doing anything she put her mind to. She would act as if she was bold and brave enough to get anything she wanted anyway she could get it. It was unpredictable that she would breakdown and lose her mind. Lady MacBeth once played the dominating role, but not true to the end. Lady MacBeth slowly began to break until she finally laid her head down on her eternal bed of death.