I have an essay to write about how Shakespeare presents ideas about evil through the strong emotions of Lady Macbeth. Please help me find quotations and analytical points that I could include in this essay, mainly about her evil and how the ambition to become queen makes her evil, which then turns into guilt, resulting in her going mad and killing herself.

Lady Macbeth is the more ambitious of the two. She wills herself to persuade Macbeth to murder, asking the "spirits" in act I to fill her with "direst cruelty." Yet for all her ruthless talk, she, not Macbeth, cracks from guilt. By act V, she is sleepwalking, trying to wash the guilty blood from her hands. The guilt drives her to suicide. She is a portrait being blinded by ambition to the consequences of evil.

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Lady Macbeth is even more ambitious than her husband for the crown. Her greatest worry in the early part of the play is that her husband won't go through with murdering Duncan. She states to herself about Macbeth:

I fear thy nature;
It is too full o' the milk of human kindness. (1.5.3–4)

She also calls on evil spirits to steel her and fill her with ruthless cruelty so that she can push her husband to murder the king:

Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty! (1.5.30–33)

She says as well:

Come to my woman's breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers. (1.5.37–38)

Lady Macbeth's ambitions come to the forefront in her willingness to say anything to shame her husband into murdering Duncan. She says she would have pulled her baby from its breast and "dash'd the brains out" if she had promised to do so.

Lady Macbeth's bold, bloodthirsty and relentlessly evil talk is successful in backing Macbeth into...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1063 words.)

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