Macbeth – The Development of Lady Macbeth
In the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth is a very well respected woman – so as Macbeth. When King Duncan comes to visits, he addresses her as “the honored hostess”. She has high ambitions, but on the other hand she’s very loyal to her husband. It’s very important to her, for Macbeth to become king – shown as she helps out Macbeth covering up the murdered King Duncan. This makes her seem very cold and ambitious – but in this case, she had to call on evil spirits to “stop up th’ access and passage to remorse”, to make her bad conscience go away.
At first, Lady Macbeth doubts that her husband is able to murder Duncan – she thinks he’s too kind to be the murdering type. Lady ...view middle of the document...
Instead, she smears the grooms with Duncan’s blood so the blame is on them.
Macbeth and Lady Macbeth perhaps felt, that their bad conscience for the deed might disappear as time went by. But that is not the case. They experience problems with going to sleep and they both are having terrifying nightmares. Despite all this, Lady Macbeth maintains her sanity and composure better than her husband does. Now when he’s king, she wants him to be lighthearted and happy. But Macbeth is doing worse. Once, when he sees Banquo’s ghost by the table in front of all the lords, Lady Macbeth steps up and excuses her husbands odd behavior, and dismisses the feast. She puts a lot of energy in covering up her and her husbands secrets – but later all of this becomes a too big burden for her conscience.
Lady Macbeths mental situation gets bad. When a woman catches her sleepwalking, she immediately consults a doctor. The woman and the doctor observe her sleepwalking, watching Lady Macbeth trying to cleanse her hands from the blood of Duncan.
In her sleep she asks: “what, will these hands ne’re be clean?” meaning that she will never have a clean conscience and peace. She mumbles about events of the day of the murdering of Duncan. The doctor thinks that she needs spiritual help and not physical. When her condition gets worse, she goes in and out of sleep with delirious visions. Macbeth begs the doctor to cure her, but the doctor answers that he cures physical problems, not moral problems.
When the battle reaches Dunsinane, she chooses to commit suicide. It was no longer possible for her to bear the torments of her guilt.