Lady Macbeth's use of power

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  • How does Shakespeare present Lady Macbeth's use of power?
    • From the start,  it is evident that Lady Macbeth is the real power behind the throne.
      • As soon as Lady Macbeth realises that Macbeth is too 'full o'th'milk of human kindness', she takes it upon herself to make decisions and says, 'leave all the rest to me'.
    • Lady Macbeth admits her equal role in the murder and this is why she hallucinates the blood on her hands; 'out damned spot. Out I say!
    • Arguably, Lady Macbeth's power comes from the fact that she was defeminized when she asked the spirits to 'unsex' her.
    • Arguably, Lady Macbeth has equal power to Macbeth, if not more.
      • Macbeth admits this himself when saying, 'My dearest partner of greatness'
    • Although she has power as she becomes queen, her mental state and power starts to suffer, resulting in her death.
    • Lady Macbeth uses her power for status, unlike Macbeth who uses his power as an excuse to execute the public.
    • Lady Macbeth regrets her thirst for power as she had a better, happier life without it.
    • Lady Macbeth increases in importance as the play develops.As there is no mention of king Duncan having a wife, a Scottish queen is new to the public.


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