Shakespeare makes Lady Macbeth more dramatic and interesting by making her seem unlike the average woman of the Elizabethan era and giving her the opinion that she is physically and mentally stronger than Macbeth.
Lady Macbeth claims that Macbeth doesn’t know what he is talking about and that he was acting as if he was drunk when they agreed to the murder, and as such she is insulting his intelligence and loyalty. “Was the hope drunk wherein you dressed yourself? This shows that once Macbeth had changed his mind, and Lady Macbeth didn’t like it, she was capable of insulting his self-belief and generally degrading him hoping to make him feel weak and powerless. This would have shocked an Elizabethan audience because of her lack of respect and loyalty to her husband which would have been very unusual and frowned upon by the people of the era. Lady Macbeth also implies that Macbeth has made his decision and must stay bound to it at any cost or lose his honour.Lady Macbeths determination to kill for greed, not only a normal person, but a King would have seemed a very alien opinion for the Elizabethans who also based a lot of opinions of people on how honourable they were.
Her determination to uphold her honour and loyalty is shown by her claiming that if she had promised so, she would kill her own newborn child, this is shown in phrases like “I would while it was smiling in my face” and “dashed the brains out, had I so sworn” by Lady Macbeth.This shows Lady Macbeth to be a ruthless and particularly unstable person who sees death as the only way to further herself and prove a point. On the other hand, it also shows Lady Macbeth to be a very loyal; determined person with a strong personality, which are very redeemable qualities compared with her greedy, power-hungry and insane nature.
Shakespeare also shows how cunning Lady Macbeth is by showing her using flattery towards the end of her argument with Macbeth to help reassure him that they are doing the right thing, “And we’ll not fail….What cannot you and I perform upon th’unguarded Duncan? ” Phrases like “We’ll not fail” show that Lady Macbeth herself believes that they are completely capable of the murder and she has no qualms about killing anybody to make herself more important.
Also, words like “Th’unguarded” shows that Lady Macbeth has planned the murder to go ahead with or without Macbeths help and she needs Macbeth to understand that she has opened the door for him to make himself King. Shakespeare highlights further Lady Macbeth’s ambition and cruelty as well as the confidence in her abilities during Act 2 Scene 2.After Duncan has been murdered, Lady Macbeth grows into an even more arrogant and extremely selfish person, “Infirm of purpose! Give me the daggers. The sleeping and the dead are but as pictures”. This shows that Lady Macbeth holds contempt and impatience for Macbeth’s guilt and science and it is especially show through phrase like “Infirm of Purpose! ” Her arrogance is shown by her claiming that the dead are nothing to her and they are just something for her to hang on a wall and something that she recognises but has no feelings or emotions about.Lady Macbeth uses short orders because she believes herself to be much better and overall more significant and mentally powerful than Macbeth.
This is dramatic because she can openly speak about the dead without remorse for the actions and this would have deeply shocked a near devoted Christian audience because of the fact that she shows nothing but arrogance and greed for the killing of King Duncan. The murder of a King would also have been seen as a very evil act to the Christian audience because of the King would mean that she had just helped kill a person of royal blood who had been appointed to the throne by God.It may be fair to say that Shakespeare also did similar crimes in some of his other plays so that would have shocked his audience and therefore he would become more widely known and his plays not easily copied out of fear of God’s wrath. To a modern audience, we would be much less shocked by her lack of guilt because of the murder but that doesn’t mean that a modern audience wouldn’t be shocked by her complete ruthlessness to get what she wants.