This was my first English Benchmark, which was to analyze 10 quotes out of Macbeth and make a thesis on Macbeth or Lady Macbeth. I chose Lady Macbeth and got 85 as my grade.
Lady Macbeth Examination
By Nicholas Murray
Thesis: Lady Macbeth is a strong willed and wicked woman in the beginning of the play, but in the end she was not strong enough and too fragile to live with what she has done or keep her title as queen.
In act I scene 5, page 16 Lady Macbeth has received a letter From Macbeth, containing the prophecy of being Thane of Cawdor then King. He tells her that he has already been named Thane of Cawdor, which fills Lady Macbeth with joy. She (alone) then says, “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”(lines 23-25). Basically, what Lady Macbeth is saying that there is only one-way Macbeth will be king and she does not think Macbeth is up to it. Since This is the first time seeing Lady Macbeth, a bad first impression is mad. She is pondering what must be done for Macbeth to be king, which includes sinful things. This first impression shows us that Lady Macbeth has an evil mind.
In act I scene 5, page 17 Lady Macbeth confirms what she is going to do. She has now become aware that king Duncan is coming to their home with Macbeth so she thinks more about what must be done. She says, “Come, you spirits/ That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,/ And fill me from the crown to the toe topful/ of dearest cruelty” (Lines 39-42). Lady Macbeth is asking the spirits to make her bold like a man. By “unsex me she” means she wants to be cruel like a man not kind like a woman. She knows that for Macbeth to be king Duncan must die. She does not think Macbeth is cruel enough to kill him so she wants to be the cruel one and pull the strings. This gives the reader a clearer picture of what kind of person Lady Macbeth is. It shows that she might not be as bold now, but she wants to be bolder. That fact that she wants the strength to kill somebody shows that she is already cold hearted.
In act II scene 2, page 27, Lady Macbeth waits alone for Macbeth. Macbeth is out executing king Duncan to become king after Lady Macbeth’s pleas. She quotes, “That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold;/ What hath quenched them hath given me fire. (An owl/ shrieks) Hark! Peace” (Lines 1-3). Lady is talking about the plan in this scene. The plan was to get the guards drunk, take their daggers when they pass out, then frame them for the murder of Duncan. She thinks that because she went through with the plan, she has become even bolder. The truth is that she is kind of scared. She must be if she was scared by an owl’s shriek. This shows her inner turmoil. She may put on a brave façade, but like anyone in this situation, she was kind of scared
In act II scene 3, page 35, the king is found dead in his room. When everyone realizes the king is dead they all panic, even Lady Macbeth. In her apparent “shock” Lady Macbeth says, “Help me hence, ho!” (Line 116). This simple line was enough for the lords to drop the talk of the king’s death, while throwing off any suspicion. Even though Lady Macbeth is kind of scared, she is able to put on a good act. Lady Macbeth must still be a strong willed person. In spite of her guilt she is un-phased.
In act III scene 2, Page 46, line 13, Lady Macbeth speaks as the new queen. The children of king Duncan have fled leaving no one to be king except for Macbeth. Macbeth enters and seems worried. She quotes, “What’s done is done” to Macbeth. Lady Macbeth sounds content as the new queen with all her goals accomplished. But she may just still be shaken by what she has done to the king. She must not want Macbeth to worry about anything so they can act like nothing happened and try to live as happy as they can. She has no intension of what she has done to found out so she just wants to keep everything as it is.
In act III scene 5, Page 56, line 142, Lady Macbeth is worried about Macbeth. After Macbeth kills Banquo, because it was prophesized that he will have more sons and they will be king, and leaves Lady Macbeth out the plan, and there is a party hosted by Macbeth, Banquo’s ghost appears but only Macbeth sees it. Lady Macbeth takes Macbeth aside and tells him, “You lack the season of all natures, sleep”. She is worried about her husband. She does not want things like this happening in her new life. At this point she is worried.
In act V scene 1, Page 84, line 35 Lady Macbeth begins to sleepwalk. In her sleep she says, “Out, damned spot! Out, I say!”. She must be talking about the blood she has on her hands after all those crimes. That much blood would drive someone mad. Her will is probably breaking.
In act V scene 1, Page 85, lines 70-71, the doctor hears all the deeds Lady Macbeth confesses in her sleep. Context: Lady Macbeth confessed all that has happened in her sleep. He says, “Unnatural deeds/ Do breed unnatural troubles”. He realizes that Lady Macbeth has done horrible things. These horrible things drove Lady Macbeth mad. Lady Macbeth is now a fragile woman.
In act V scene 3, Page 89, lines 39-41 the doctor tells Macbeth, Lady Macbeth’s condition and why she is sleepwalking. He says “Not so sick, my lord,/ as she is troubled with thick-coming fancies/ that keep her from her rest”. She is not sick but a mental trouble is making her sleepwalk. This proves that she is losing her will. She is currently unfit for the crown.
In act V scene 5, Page 92, line 16, a woman’s shriek is heard. Afterwards Seyton appears with bad news. He says, “The queen, my lord, is dead”. Lady Macbeth died and lost the crown because of the things she did to get the crown. This only happened because she had a change of heart. She lost her will became fragile and died.
Conclusion: Lady Macbeth was a very unstable woman in this play. From start to finish she went through many changes in her personality. First she had started out as an evil manipulative woman to become queen. After the plan to kill Duncan was formed she became nervous. After she became queen she had nothing to worry about. That is until Macbeth went mad with power. She couldn’t handle it all and went mad herself. Because of all the guilt she had she became weaker. Because of her weakness she died and lost the title of queen. Because she became weak her dreams were not fulfilled