“Macbeth” is one of the four tragedies of Shakespeare, which describes the story of a Scotland, driven by evil ambitions, killing the power of the king, destroying the innocent, and eventually going to the road of destruction. This article will compare and contrast the development of Macbeth and lady Macbeth in the play, and analyze their performance from their character.
As a tragic hero, Macbeth’s character is extremely contradictory and complex. First of all, although Macbeth finally fell into a tyrant of the evil nation, he was not a born bad or despicable man. His great talent and extraordinary spirit were enough to show that he was a hero who coveted the throne and went on the path of crime.
Macbeth is the cousin of King Duncan. According to the inheritance system of the throne of Scotland at that time, he also has the inheritance rights of the royal family. More importantly, he has built extraordinary achievements in the battle of “exiting rebellion” and “defending the motherland”. When Macbeth hears that the three witches prophecy his fate, he was full of excitement, at the same time the desire of the heart is expanding rapidly. Of course Lady Macbeth saw his ambition.
In beginning of Macbeth’s rebellion, Macbeth’s cowardice and fear of self accusation made a strong contrast with his wife’s fierce determination and malicious cunning.
While exposing Macbeth’s bloody crimes, Shakespeare also painfully depicts the extremely painful conscience and condemnation he suffered. Before the assassination of King Duncan, Macbeth’s internal struggles, hesitation, regret, fear and hallucination showed that there is a little kind of kindness in his nature.
“We will proceed no further in this business. He hath honored me of late, and I have bought Golden opinions from all sorts of people, Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,Not cast aside so soon.” (Shakespeare 1.7.31-34)
But Lady Macbeth took the opportunity. She use love as a chip, and exasperate him with the words of “coward”, to strengthen the will and determination of his actions.
“Was the hope drunk Where in you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since? And wakes it now, to look so green and pale At what it did so freely? 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?.”(shakespeare 1.7.35-44)
Lady Macbeth’s calmness and extraordinary courage were impressive in assisting her husband in the murder of Duncan. After Macbeth killed Duncan, he still took the dagger in his hands in a hurry. When Lady Macbeth saw it, she reminded Macbeth that he should leave the dagger in Duncan’s room and smear the blood on the face of the guard to cover the eyes of the world and cause a false image of a guard killing the king. When Macbeth showed no courage to return to the scene, Lady Macbeth sent the dagger back to the false scene.
Macbeth believed in worldly punishment, and this belief made him extremely afraid of exposing his guilt and losing his throne. Even so, Macbeth was ambitious after usurping the throne and provoked his greater power. He believed that only Banquo and his son could be eliminated. Therefore, even if the rebuke of the remnants of conscience flashes, it is still the unending desire, the endless fear and the indignation of the inderentability of his spiritual pain.
In the late development of the story, Macbeth’s cunning and malevolent and lady Macbeth’s painful self accusation are in sharp contrast. The character is completely reversed. Because Lady Macbeth was originally just a reflection of Macbeth’s psychological ambition and desire.
It should be seen that Macbeth’s method of killing his father and son was more cunning and relaxed. He deceives himself that borrowing a knife and killing is not his own crime, and the aggressive outlook on life he proclaimed to the assassin has been exactly the same as the absurd logic of Lady Macbeth. Moreover, it was Macbeth’s own idea of a thorough deployment of a knife and murder. He did not need not only Lady Macbeth’s instigation and stimulation, but not even Lady Macbeth’s participation. At this point, Macbeth has completely fallen into a bloodthirsty tyrant.
Most people think that Lady Macbeth is a cruel and vicious woman. In fact, it is because, as a woman, a wife, she sees the desire and ambition of her husband, and does his best to achieve her husband’s aspirations and aspirations and even become his accomplice. Love is the starting point of all Lady Macbeth’s evil deeds.
Looking back from her sleepwalking, it can be found that the storm in Lady Macbeth’s heart is not as calm as the description of the script. In fact, the storm in her heart has been intense, but she has to repress her inner storm in order to comfort Macbeth.When Lady Macbeth was alone, the monologue said:
“Naught’s had, all’s spent, Where our desire is got without content. ‘Tis safer to be that which we destroy Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.” (shakespeare 3.2.6-9)
The pain and conflict in her heart were deep, but when Macbeth came up, she immediately concealed her emotions and turned to comfort Macbeth.
“How now, my lord! Why do you keep alone,Of sorriest fancies your companions making,Using those thoughts which should indeed have died With them they think on? Things without all remedy Should be without regard. What’s done is done.” (Shakespeare 3.2.10-14)
The difference in tone between the two paragraphs is so great that it is because of concern for Macbeth. From this point of view, the conflict in Lady Macbeth’s heart is bound to have a certain way of venting, and Lady Macbeth constantly represses the result of her own inner conflict, which leads to her sleepwalking and a comprehensive collapse. Thus, compared to the storm of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth’s inner storm is like ocean currents, calm and turbulent inside.
Although lady Macbeth was a woman of strong will, she was more easily condemned than Macbeth, more likely to feel the mental pressure of guilt. Soon, her heart was in disorder, and in the “sleepwalking”, she told her crime: “Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, Oh, Oh!” (shakespeare 5.1.32-34) shows that tough and cruel is not Lady Macbeth’s nature.
What is more surprising is the relationship between Mr. and Lady Macbeth. In the original work, the feelings of the two people showed a gradual decline. With the deepening of fear and the expansion of the killing, Macbeth, who had been so loved and dependent on her wife, became more and more alienated from her and even indifferent to her death.Lady Macbeth changed her husband from fanatical agitation to disappointing comfort.
His current situation has shown that he has deprived himself of his life by killing. Macbeth’s final understanding of his own ending deepened the tragedy of his situation. Even after hearing the death of Lady Macbeth, Macbeth was so indifferent, because life was a nihility to him.
There is no doubt that this is the destruction of the spirit, the absolute negation of the extreme individualist in the despair of life! This is also a despot’s nihilistic outlook on life! Shakespeare profoundly revealed that before the end of life, Macbeth’s faith in the meaning of life had collapsed and died in spirit.