Quarter 1 Benchmark: Macbeth Character Analysis

For our Quarter one benchmark, Red stream did a character analysis on either Lady Macbeth or Macbeth from the book Macbeth written by Shakespeare. Our mission for this benchmark was to create a piece that demonstrates one character's development and growth through out the play Macbeth. We did this by using quotes from the play to illustrate the transformation of Macbeth or Lady Macbeth. We also had to include a Thesis statement that was proven to be correct by looking at the quotes through out our benchmark. Finally, we made a concluding paragraph which is a summary.

Thesis statement: In beginning, Lady Macbeth is fraught with greed and wanted wealth and power, but towards the end, she starts feeling the guilt and regrets all of the deaths she and her husband caused.


In Act 1 scene 5, Macbeth sends Lady Macbeth a letter that explains to her that three witches hailed him as Thane of Cawdor and that he will be king. She doesn’t think Macbeth has the strength and great will and that he would just wait for the day to come instead of making his move now. So she is impatient and waiting for him to come home so she can convince him to do everything he can to get those roles as king and Thane of Cawdor. “Hie thee hither, that I may pour in spirits in thine ear and chastise with the valor of my tongue all that impedes thee from the golden round….” –Lady Macbeth 1.5.24-27. What she means here is she is talking to herself and trying to rush Macbeth to get home so she can encourage him to accomplish the roles that the witches predicted for him in his future. She wants to make a move now rather than just wait for the moment to come. This reveals that she is impatient and wants things to happen when she wants it, how she want it, and as soon as possible. However, she does not know if Macbeth will go along with her plans for him to become Thane of Cawdor and the King.


During Act 1 scene 7: Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth about her plan to gain the role of being the king. Macbeth is skeptical about her idea, he thinks the plan will fail and they will get caught or someone will put the puzzle together and get suspicious. “But screw your courage to the sticking place and we’ll not fail.” –Lady Macbeth 1.7.61-62. What she means by this is, basically if you believe then you can achieve; don’t think you can’t do something you didn’t try.  She is trying to convince Macbeth to join her in her plan, but Macbeth doesn’t think it will go as planned and work how she expects it to. Macbeth is still debating in his head weather or not he should go along with the plan and thinks it may fail.


Act 2 scene 2: Lady Macbeth and Macbeth have invited the Thanes and King Duncan over for dinner. Lady Macbeth has convinced Macbeth in killing King Duncan. The first part of her plan was to get the guards, which was guarding King Duncan’s bedroom, drunk and poisons their drinks so it will seem as if they are dead. Now that the guards are drunk and everyone is asleep, they can make their move. Aside Lady Macbeth says to herself  “That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold.” –Lady Macbeth 2.2.1. What she means by this is now that the guards are drunk she has gotten bolder and has faith that her plan to kill Duncan will work for sure. What this says about her character is that she is very selfish and only thinks about herself. She also would do anything to get her goals accomplished. However, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth still have to cover each other up so they will not get caught, and how much longer is it until everyone finds out what they have done.


Act 2 scene 3: Macduff is the first of the other Thanes to find out that Duncan is dead. He wakes up everyone in the castle and delivers the news that King Duncan is dead. Lady Macbeth exclaims, “What in our house?” When she finds out about Duncan. Lady Macbeth is trying to act as if she has the same impression as everyone else does, which is why she says this. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth doesn’t want anyone to get suspicious and think they killed him so they have to act as if they would if they didn’t kill him. At this point, Lady Macbeth doesn’t regret killing the king, and she is still focused on the wealth. Will she feel that she has accomplished something or did she just become insane?


Act 3 scene 2: Macbeth is now the king so Lady Macbeth has finally gotten what she wanted. Unfortunately, Macbeth is keeping a secret from her and she is scared of what he did because she doesn’t know what it is. Lady Macbeth says to herself “Tis safer to be that which we destroy than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.” –line 83. What she means when she says this is she would rather be the person that gets killed than is the killer with nervousness.  Lady Macbeth isn’t happy with the outcome of killing Duncan and becoming queen. She is beginning to show regret. Will she remain sane and return back to normal?


Act 3 scene 4: Macbeth hired two murderers to kill Banquo because he didn’t want Banquo to start getting suspicious about the murder of King Duncan. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth invited all of the Thanes over for dinner. Suddenly Macbeth starts to see Banquo’s ghost and he is talking to him. Macbeth seems crazy because nobody else can see Banquo but Macbeth. “Sit, worthy friends. My lord is often thus, and hath been from his youth.” –Lady Macbeth 3.4.54-55. What she means is sit back down Macbeth has had these problems since he was a child. When Lady Macbeth says this, she is trying to cover up for Macbeth. I think that she is starting to think that Macbeth is becoming insane.


Act 3 scene 4: They are at dinner and Macbeth is still talking to Banquo’s ghost that only he sees. So Lady Macbeth is trying to cover up Macbeth so he won’t seem so insane. “What, quite unmanned in folly.” –Lady Macbeth 3.4.75. What she means when she says this is to snap back to reality. Also that he is at a dinner with his friends so he can’t act so suspicious about their killings. However, with Macbeth talking to this spirit, hopefully he won’t say anything to reveal their murdering of King Duncan or Banquo.


Act 5 scene1: The Gentlewoman is talking to the doctor about Lady Macbeth’s strange sleepwalking at night. They are inside of her bathroom and talking about her. Then she walks into the bathroom and starts to talk. The gentlewoman tells the doctor that she is sleeping but it seems as if she isn’t. “A great perturbation in nature, to receive at once the benefit of sleep and do the effects of watching” –Doctor 5.1.9-10 What the doctor mean when he says this is, it isn’t normal to be sleep and able to do things you do when you’re awake.  However, the Doctor and the gentlewoman have learned a lot about Lady Macbeth because of her sleepwalking incident.


Act 5 scene 1: Lady Macbeth is sleeping walking and she is in the bathroom and thinks that she is washing her hands. She realizes that the blood isn’t coming off of her hands and there is nothing to make it come off; it is permanently on her hands. She doesn’t know that the doctor and the gentlewoman are listening to her in the bathroom. “Here’s the smell of the blood still” –Lady Macbeth 5.1.50. When Lady Macbeth says this, she is saying that the blood she is seeing in her sleep on her hands isn’t coming off. Lady Macbeth is really feeling the guilt for what Macbeth did which was killing Banquo also I believe because of the killing of King Duncan. She is sleeping walking and she is revealing everything to the doctor and the gentlewoman without even knowing. She is trying to wash the guilt away by washing the blood off her hands in her sleep, but it just won’t go away. However, now that the doctor and the gentlewoman know about Banquo’s killing they may go and tell someone.


Act 5 scene 2: Lady Macbeth has just gone back to bed and the doctor is about to leave. He tells the gentlewoman to remove any or everything that Lady Macbeth may use to hurt herself. He thinks that Lady Macbeth’s sleep walking is unnatural. “My mind she has mated, and amazed my sight.” –Doctor 5.2.77. What the doctor means is, that the he has comments of his own that he doesn’t say to the gentlewoman. The doctor has saw what Lady Macbeth was doing while she sleep walks and he has heard what she was saying. As a result, of this the doctor and the gentlewoman have realized how crazy Lady Macbeth is.


Lady Macbeth is a very confusing character in the story Macbeth. In the beginning, she is very fierce and only care about what she wants. Once she starts to get what she wants, she does not appreciate it and starts regretting the things she has done to get what she wants. The quotes in this report supports the thesis statement made by, stating what Lady Macbeth says. This also supports how she evolved in her attitude and the way she thinks about herself throughout the story. Shakespeare’s message to us about life and how we live it to me is, to there are no cheat codes, short cuts, or easy pathways to life. I got this message by knowing that Lady Macbeth wanted to be on top badly, she took all types of short cuts. Some of which were killing people, seducing people, and tricking people in her own little way. In the end, she regretted everything she ever did and she killed herself unfortunately. She drove her self to the max and could not handle the pain and suffering she was going through.