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Macbeth's Manipulation

Uploaded by knnb on Oct 15, 2000

When we first hear about Macbeth from the sergeant’s report, we are led to believe that he is very much a person who does only what he believes is right. Furthermore, when he first appears in the play, his fellow nobleman, Banquo, accompanies him. Given this, we would think that he does what is right, and makes all his own decisions. However this belief is proven wrong. Although Macbeth starts off as a loyal subject of Duncan, he is ambitious and this is a weakness, which allows him to be manipulated by a few factors in the play.

From the beginning of act 1 scene 5 till the murder of Duncan in act 2 scene 2, it is evident that Lady Macbeth manipulates and convinces Macbeth into murdering Duncan. This is basically the only part of the play where Lady Macbeth has control over Macbeth. After Duncan’s murder, Macbeth is partly driven by evil powers.

Proof of Lady Macbeth understanding Macbeth’s thoughts and feelings are visible in her thoughts “Thou wouldst be great, Art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it.” (1.5.19-21). From the very same speech and small implications from the letter, we can tell that Macbeth was ambitious enough to want to be the King, but would not think of murdering Duncan. Because Lady Macbeth knew this, she also knew that she would have to push Macbeth into performing the deed and she starts by telling him “Thy letters have transported me beyond this ignorant present and I feel now the future in the present” (1.5.57-59) the moment they meet. From Macbeth’s reply “We will speak further” (1.5.69) he is obviously noncommittal, but was already thinking about it. The first step of manipulation has started.

Not much further in the play, we see that Macbeth decides not to murder Duncan but rather, carry on serving as his Thane. However, Lady Macbeth starts her persuasion again, but this time she questions his manhood, saying “When you durst do it, then you were a man: And to be more then what you were you would be so much more the man.” (1.7.49-51). Had she not challenged his manhood and his love for her, he would not have usurped the throne and she would not have become a Queen. Not only did she get him to think about the murder, she even knew what to say after he had started...

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Uploaded by:   knnb

Date:   10/15/2000

Category:   Macbeth

Length:   4 pages (939 words)

Views:   1438

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