Lady Macbeth as a strong woman

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  • How far does Shakespeare present Lady Macbeth as a strong woman?
    • Is a strong woman
      • Lady Macbeth is quick on her feet.
        • When Lady Macbeth 'hears' that Duncan has been murdered, she is quick to faint so that others would not suspect her of murder.
          • Here, Lady Macbeth is taking advantage of the stereotype of women at the time and she is portraying herself as weak to hide her cold-hearted nature
        • When Lady Macbeth receives the letter that Macbeth will become King, she quickly makes the link that Duncan will be staying the night and plots to murder him. 'O never shall sun that morrow see'
        • Lady Macbeth covers up Macbeth's strange behaviour when he thinks that he sees Banquo's ghost
      • Lady Macbeth takes advantage of the fact that Macbeth is not a very strong man. She calls him 'cowardly' without being afraid of the consequence.
      • Lady Macbeth is not a weak woman, as they were viewed at this time. She is not afraid to go to Duncan's room and smear blood upon the faces of the servants.
      • Lady Macbeth realises that if she is to go ahead with the murder, she must gain the traits of a strong male figure. This is why she results in saying 'unsex me here'
      • Lady Macbeth gets everything that she wants from Macbeth. She continues to push him and manipulate him until he does what she says.
    • Is not a strong woman
      • Her own evil ends up consuming her as she commits suicide towards the end of the play, showing that she was not able to take the pressure anymore. 'to bed, to bed, to bed'
      • Lady Macbeth regrets what she has done and says, 'What's done cannot be undone'.
      • Lady Macbeth crumbles under the pressure of being queen as she turns mad, something that she warned Macbeth of becoming. 'these deeds must not be thought...it will make us mad'
      • She is not strong in the physical sense, she is able to do the persuading and the convincing, but she is not capable of doing any of the physical murders, making excuses; 'had he not resembled my father...I had done't'

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