Lady Macbeth is depicted as an extremely determined, callous woman who is highly motivated to convince her husband to commit regicide. Similar to Macbeth, Lady Macbeth shares his ambitious nature and desires to become the queen of Scotland. After Lady Macbeth receives the news regarding the witches ' seemingly...
Lady Macbeth is depicted as an extremely determined, callous woman who is highly motivated to convince her husband to commit regicide. Similar to Macbeth, Lady Macbeth shares his ambitious nature and desires to become the queen of Scotland. After Lady Macbeth receives the news regarding the witches' seemingly favorable prophecy, she says,
Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be
What thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great,
Art not without ambition, but without
The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst highly,
That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false,
And yet wouldst wrongly win. Thou'ld’st have, great Glamis,
That which cries, “Thus thou must do,” if thou have it,
And that which rather thou dost fear to do,
Than wishest should be undone. (1.5.14–24)
Lady Macbeth is essentially acknowledging her husband's compassionate, sensitive nature and believes that he is too kind to follow through with such a bloody crime. In order to plan Duncan's murder and take part in the assassination, Lady Macbeth calls upon evil spirits to fill her soul and make her cruel. Her willingness to transform into a malevolent, violent person emphasizes her motivation to become queen.
In act 1, scene 7, Lady Macbeth once again demonstrates her ambitious nature by persuading Macbeth to assassinate King Duncan. When Macbeth reveals that he is reluctant to commit regicide and has decided against killing the king, Lady Macbeth ridicules his masculinity by saying,
From this time
Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard
To be the same in thine own act and valor
As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that
Which thou esteem’st the ornament of life,
And live a coward in thine own esteem,
Letting "I dare not” wait upon "I would,"
Like the poor cat i' th' adage? (1.7.38–45)
Lady Macbeth successfully peer pressures Macbeth into following her instructions and even participates in the assassination by returning the bloody daggers to King Duncan's chamber. Overall, Lady Macbeth's primary motivation for convincing her husband to commit regicide concerns her desire to become the queen of Scotland. Shortly after becoming queen, Lady Macbeth becomes overwhelmed with guilt and gradually begins to lose her mind before finally committing suicide.