Q1 Benchmark (Macbeth Character Analysis)

 Lady Macbeth


This was the first benchmark that was received and it was the hardest one. This benchmark is about looking at a character from the beginning of Macbeth to the end. I chose Lady Macbeth, I felt she was basically the only girl, and she was tougher than most the men. This benchmark required a lot of patience and time.


Thesis- Lady Macbeth is a conniving woman, let greed arrogate her body, and then her mind erupted.


In Act 1, Scene 5, Macbeth sent Lady Macbeth a letter telling her that he had been promoted to Thane of Cawdor. He had an encounter with Weird sisters, and they read a prophecy that he could become king. Lady Macbeth, showed so much excitement, she stated, “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” (Page 17, line 16 – 19, scene 5, Act 1). Lady Macbeth is questioning Macbeth’s ability to get the job of killing Duncan done; she feels he is too kind. She thinks he doesn’t have enough ambition or drive to go on with the murder. This reveals the start of a cold heart, and how she is letting her greed and ambition take charge.


The King is coming, to celebrate Macbeth becoming the Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth came home from the war greeted by the greedy Lady Macbeth, discussing with his wife when the king is coming. Lady Macbeth say very proudly, “Shall sun that morrow see your face my thane is as a book, when men may read strange matters” (Page 18, line 60-62, scene 5 Act 1). Lady Macbeth is saying that she can read Macbeth like a book, all his expression and all he wants is on his face. This reveals that Lady Macbeth and her conniving ways have grown.


Macbeth broke the news to Lady Macbeth saying that he is too loyal too the king, the plan about killing Duncan isn’t good. As anger travels through lady Macbeth body, she says harshly “Does unmake you, I given suck, and know how tender ‘tis to love the babe that milks me, have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums and dashed the brains out, had I sworn as you have done this” (Page 22, line 54-59, scene 7 Act 1). Lady Macbeth is saying she would do anything for Macbeth, and he should kill the king for her. He promised her he would be strong and kill king Duncan and she would keep a promise if he tells her to kill a baby. Her veins are running with avarice that’s how bad she yearns to be queen.


Scene 7, Act 2, Macbeth just killed Duncan and came back with the murder weapons. Lady Macbeth very worried and anxiously says “You do unbend your noble strength to think so brainsickly of things. Go get some water and wash this filthy witness from your hands”(Page 29, line 48-50, scene 7, Act 2). Lady Macbeth is a woman, who wants things done her and the right way. She said that wasn’t the plan, you did something dumb by bringing the weapons here. Wash the blood, guilt, and everything else off your hands. Her manly over coat was revealed, she had to take charge of the situation. She is willing to put her guilt and anger inside behind her, her mind is in charge of her heart.


Macbeth killed Duncan, she is telling him to man up, wipe the guilt off of your hands. Be strong, and go like nothing ever happened. He brought the murder weapons with him and she grabbed them to plant them on the guards to finish the job. Macbeth was acting like he was in shock and very guilty. Lady Macbeth had to transform into a deceitful mastermind. As her over coat of manly essence came, she had to grab hold of the situation so she stated, “My hands are of your color, but I shame to wear a heart so white”(Page 29, line 67 – 68, scene 2, Act 2). Lady Macbeth states her hands are the same color as Macbeth covered in blood, but she doesn’t care. Her heart is so cold and greedy she can just go like nothing ever happened. She is ashamed to be as weak as Macbeth, she wants him to just man up. Lady Macbeth is a woman of a manly essence and this shows so much. Her guilt is killing her but the ability to rule and be in charge is keeping her alive and well.


             Banquo and his sons found Duncan murdered, and all the thanes, and Duncan children are reacting abominable. As Macbeth and Lady Macbeth reactions are phony, acting like they don’t know what’s going on. Lady Macbeth’s sham is still in place as she is about to faint she says  “Help me hence ho!”(Page 35, line 116, scene 3, Act 2. Lady Macbeth went with the plan by acting very dramatic like she didn’t know what was going on. She plays heartbroken and very sad that there was a murder in her house. She is basically saying help me, I don’t feel well. This shows that Lady Macbeth cold heart, yearns to be queen and when she want something she will get it, even if it calls for her to act very fake.


Act 3, scene 4, Macbeth is alone a lot, Lady Macbeth asked for a word with her own husband. He is dropping hints that Banquo and Fleance will be murdered. Lady Macbeth very curious asks, “What’s to be done?” (Page 47, line 45, scene 4, Act 3). Lady Macbeth doesn’t know what’s going to happen, she is not included in the plan. But she is curious to know what’s going on. She asks what’s going to happen or what will you do. Now she is worried, she is not the one in charge of this murder; this reveals that now her manly essence and partnership with her husband may be fading.


Banquo was murdered, there is a dinner going on at Kings Macbeth’s house. The lords, thanes, and Queen all around the table. Then Macbeth sees Banquos ghost, no one else can see him. Macbeth is reacting horribly and has everyone worried thinking he is severely sick. Lady Macbeth pulls Macbeth aside says very firmly “O proper stuff! This is the very painting of your fear. This is the air drawn dagger, which you said led you to Duncan. O, these flaws and starts, imposture to true fear, would well become”(Page 52, line 61-65, Scene 4, Act 3). Lady Macbeth acts very strong, and tells Macbeth this is only your imagination and fear. You killed Duncan, you feel guilty don’t worry about it. She saying you are not really seeing anything, calming him down. She is taking control of the situation, making sure the secret wont be told, this reveals her greed.


Act 5, Scene 1, Doctors come to exam Lady Macbeth, she is very sick. The gentle woman shows the doctor how Lady Macbeth is acting, she is sleep walking. Lady Macbeth face is zoned out, and you can tell in the expression in her face she is angry, she says “Out, damned spot! Out, I say! One – two - why then ‘tis time to do’t. Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie! A soldier and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to accounts? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?” (Page 84, line 34-40, scene 1, Act 5). Lady Macbeth has cracked, her strong scent of manly essence has faded away, she is sleep walking. She speaks aloud about what she and Macbeth had done. She is saying get the blood and guilt off my hands, we kept it a secret, and nobody knows it, we killed Duncan. She knows so much evil things her heart has caught on fire, and now she feel like she’s in hell. Everything she done had caught up to her, she wonders why this guilt won’t wash away from her skin, her mind had erupted.


 Gentle Woman and doctor come to examine Lady Macbeth. She wants blood, and guilt to get out of her head and go away. She is sleep walking telling all of her secrets, what her and Macbeth had done. As the doctor and gentlewoman discuss what is happening to Lady Macbeth, the gentle woman states “I would not have such a heart in my bosom for the dignity of the whole body” (Page 84, line 54-55, Scene 1, Act 5,). She is saying she would not be that cold hearted and mean, she would not have such an sinful heart in her body; for the health and respect of the body.  She saying all those secrets, guilt, betrayal, greed, and evilness in one heart, can really kill you. The gentle woman feels its melicious, just gut wrenching. Lady Macbeth heart is fully charged with guilt, evilness, and deception. This conniving and greedy woman with a heart of the devil, manly scent is gone, her heart is filled with guilt and her mind is corrupted and lost.


In conclusion, Lady Macbeth has evolved because she was a woman who was strong, and wanted Macbeth to unsex her, and make her manly. She was conniving and convincing, to make Macbeth kill Duncan. Her smart plan could fulfill her dream to become queen, the greed she had running through her vain and blood stream arrogated her body and mind. But her manly essence started to fade away as the story went on. The quotes from the stories supported the thesis because it showed how this cold hearted, strong, and conniving woman that was corrupt and evil, turned brain sickly. Shakespear sent out a very interesting true message and that is if you do evil things, bad things will bound to happen to you, perfect example is Lady Macbeth. Her heart was cold and bad, and she did very evil things. But then, Her heart started to get warm and her woman appeal took over again. Her mind started to erupt and all the lies, greed, evil, betrayal and deceit killed the woman, who had a scent of a man and heart of a devil.