Pick either Macbeth or Lady Macbeth and chronicle their change of character from the initial stages,to the end of the play.List three main reasons for the change in character.   Your help is...

Pick either Macbeth or Lady Macbeth and chronicle their change of character from the initial stages,to the end of the play.

List three main reasons for the change in character.

 

Your help is greatly appreciated.

Expert Answers
accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When we first meet Lady Macbeth in Act I Scene 5 we are presented with a woman who is in every way harder, harsher and firmer than her husband, who she sees as being "too full o'the milk of human kindness" - a definite negative in her eyes. She sees it as her role to use the "valour of [her] tongue" to persuade him, and in dramatic language mobilises her whole being, even sacrificing her femininity, to achieve this purpose.

Publicly she acts innocently, but in private we see her for the evil, manipulative character that she is. She has total control of the situation and Macbeth stands in awe at her discipline and force of will. Look at Act I Scene 7 for an example of Lady Macbeth forcing her husband to accomplish her ends.

This control is not indefinite though - in Act III scene 2 she says:

Naught's had, all's spent,

Where our desire is got without content.

'Tis safer to be that which we destroy

Than by destruction dwell in doubtfull joy.

This also marks the beginning of the ownership of the plotting by Macbeth - plotting has passed into his hands, and Lady Macbeth knows nothing of his plans for Banquo.

She is presented at the beginning of Act V sleepwalking, where all of her firmness has collapsed and her resolution is nothing. It appears her very self-discipline and then her realisation that she has not achieved what she has desired has led her to be tortured by her acts. Her suicide in this light can be seen as a final desperate act to make amends.