How does the characterization of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth add to your understanding of Macbeth's themes

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Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In Shakespeare's Macbeth, the characterization of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth both establishes and reflects the themes of the play.  I'll cite two examples.

The Macbeths are shown to be ambitious.  Their ambition drives the plot and establishes the theme of ambition.

The Macbeths reverse gender roles.  He feels pity and guilt and changes his mind about killing Duncan, and has to be talked back into going ahead with it.  Lady Macbeth pleads to be unsexed and turned into a man, figuratively speaking.  The witches also suggest the theme of androgyny, though, so in this case the Macbeths contribute to and reflect the theme, though they do not initially introduce it.   


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coolrakesh619 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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macbeth and lady macbeth both are inverse with each other as we can see that in begainning we have seen macbeth as a brave soilder who have fight very bravely in the battle field and so he was rewarded as a thane of cawder and thane of glamis but macbeth is a greedy person and the witches act like a mirror of macbeth who have shown his real desire and truly macbeth want to be a king though his bravery soldier stop him for killing duncun but lady macbeth motivates him to do the act 1 we have seen that macbeth is less powerful than lady macbeth as a criminal state of mind because macbeth have desire for future kingship while lady macbeth want to be a queen as soon as possible so they killed duncan but lateron after act2 we have seen lady macbeth desires get over but macbeth still want more he wants his safety of kingship which leads him increse in the criminal character while lady macbeth goes on decreasing in the sriminal macbeth goes on killing with a full proof plan and before banquet seen macbeth have appointed some murderrers to kill banquo and motivate the murderes in such a way that banquo is the enemy of the murders also this shows the increasing villan mind of macbeth his improvement in the criminal state and not only this but he appoint one more murderers to have a watch on the other murders.this all activity shows the macbeth character is increasing day by day in villanic and he goes on killing banquo,macduff wife,sons and n ow he was fully a villan but on the scene 5 we can see lady macbeth is totally guilty for her deeds and for her husband which leads her to ill she has a very dangerous disease the disease of mind she started sllep walking and reaveled all the truth of their deed beside the doctor and then see died after that macbeth also died but we can determine that lady macbeth is much stronger state of mind compare to macbeth as during bnquet secene also how smartly lady macbeth handeled the situation when macbeth lost his state of mind by watching banquo ghost this all the prove the thought mind of lady macbeth while macbeth always remains in confusion he never been able to descide the coreect thing.

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