Lady Macbeth – and why life would be so much better without her.

Shakespeare is excellent at creating characters with depth and feeling, characters who are relatable to both to us and humanity at large. Characters that are driven by greed, anger, love, and a million different emotions that make humans human. This is why Shakespeare is so relatable. This is why (once we get over the old English and confusing vocabulary), we can put down a play of his and say that the characters are so understandable. It is this exact quality of Shakespeare’s writing that makes his plays so unforgettable. Take Richard III for example – Richard is a character who touches the worst part of everybody, that greedy and selfish chunk of us that is all about the ‘Me, me, me!’. You could be the most selfless person alive, think nothing of personal gain at the cost of others, and there’s still something, something that speaks to you. Something that draws you into Richard and makes you brand him as the guy you love to hate. Similar stories follow for any Shakespearean character.


…And then we have Lady Macbeth.


There are bad words aplenty that I would use to describe her. But, this being a class of strict and sophisticated literature (Quick nod to Why has God Abandoned us?), I will do my best to restrain myself. Why, you may be asking. It’s because the entire plot of Macbeth was set in motion by the least lovable character of them all – Lady Macbeth. This woman has some serious nerve.


First of all, she has not a single shred of care to what happens to other characters in this play. Now, from the way the play started, Macbeth and his wife clearly had something going right. They were affectionate to one another, kind to one another, and generally seemed to enjoy the others’ presence. Macbeth is the Thane of Glamis already. Being married to a thane basically means that you are the wife of the second ruler of a rather large chunk of area. Just saying that is enough to make people wish that they were her. So she is already living a great life. Given the fact that she is unable to bear any (Living) children, she should honestly feel blessed that Macbeth hasn’t abandoned her in favor of another wife. That wasn’t very uncommon, if you, as a wife, were unable to do the most basic job being being a wife of that time – having a child-  you really had no place in the kingdom. But Macbeth lets her stick around, reinforcing the idea that something has been going right in their relationship. He clearly loves her.


And as though life hasn’t been great enough to her already, Macbeth gains another title – this time he is to be declared the Thane of Cawdor. This makes Lady Macbeth not only the wife of the second ruler of a rather large chunk of area, it makes her the wife of the second ruler of two rather large chunk of area. At this point, most woman in royalty would be lining up to take her spot gladly, because she has become the wife of the second most powerful man in the kingdom. But alas! This clearly is not enough for someone as stupidly ambitious as Lady Macbeth! She just has to be the most powerful lady in the kingdom. Honestly, what else did she want at his point? It’s like baking two cakes for your mothers birthday, and she demands a third. Gratefulness people! Surprise, Lady Macbeth! You’re the second most powerful woman in the kingdom! Aren’t you happ- Oh. Ah, of course you have to be the most powerful woman in the kingdom, now don’t you? You don’t like doing things in part, apparently.


I think my final issue with her is that when the time for action comes, she is horrifically squeamish around the idea of blood. Now we have a problem. We have a lady who wants to rise to power though unjust means – and yet has no intention of actually doing anything herself, and literally goes insane from one act of violence. So what does she do? The only logical thing a loving and caring wife would! Force your husband to do the dirty work instead! Excellent idea! And by doing that, force him to keep on killing so nobody figures out about what you made him do! Then, because all of a sudden this woman feels sorry for herself, it is totally okay for her to go insane (Which I personally believe is just an act to pin the blame on her husband when everything does not go as expected) and leave it up to her husband to figure it out. Way to go lady, and once you finish with one of your (many) temper tantrums, you decide that that is the ideal moment to kill yourself, because you just feel so bad about everything not going your way… as it always has in your life. You greedy, selfish and manipulative woman. You twisted your husband so far from who he was that he did not even acknowledge your own death with any sadness. How does that make you feel, little miss I-can’t-deal-with-the-mess-I-made-so-I’m-going-to-kill-myself-for-the-easy-way-out?


And with that anger rant subsiding, I really think that of all of Shakespeare’s characters that I know of – Lady Macbeth has by far been my least favorite, because she does nothing but ask for more, hate to do any work herself, and basically whines about how much her life sucks now that everything didn’t go her way for the first time. She can really be compared to some high ranking politicians of nowadays. They’re all for doing anything that gets them more money, but never do they have to work for it, just sit up top and benefit from the terrible things they’re making other people do. When things don’t work out, there’s always someone else to blame. And while people go out and fight their wars for them, they get to sit at home and figure out which country they invade next will earn them more money. People like this do an excellent job sickening me, as they do nothing but leech upon the work of others, granting them little or no benefits from the millions of dollars that they are raking in, for the work of others.


Thinking about this further, the connections between some leaders and Lady Macbeth really do stretch endlessly.

Thanks for reading!


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2 thoughts on “Lady Macbeth – and why life would be so much better without her.

  1. Areeb,

    Firstly I just want to say that it was really funny, because your voice was really strong in this piece, so literally the whole time I was reading, I was hearing you reading it to me.

    Secondly, I find it so interesting that Lady Macbeth is your least favourite Shakespearean character, because she is undoubtedly my favourite–so, I found it very interesting to read what you wrote, because the things I love about her are the things you hate.

    This piece was incredibly well-written, and there are several points that I could dispute (all in good humour, of course, it’s just because I love the character) but the biggest thing I’d like to point out is this:

    “. . .and basically whines about how much her life sucks now that everything didn’t go her way for the first time. ”

    But what about Romeo? (Different play, I know, but still.) To me, Lady Macbeth was the epitome of female strength–she was the mastermind behind everything, and upon realizing what a terrible thing she has done, she goes insane because she doesn’t know how to fix it. In my opinion, she didn’t whine at all. But Romeo, oh dear lord. That boy needed to sort out his prioities–moping around because Rosaline didn’t love him, then moping some more because Juliet was a Capulet, and then moping even more when he got exiled, and then–Oh! Whaddya know? More moping and whining and complaining when he thinks Juliet is dead and so he kills himself. But I digress. It’s just interesting to see how different people view characters differently.

    In terms of improvement, the only thing I have to offer is watch for a few grammatical issues, but other than that, this piece is pretty perfect.


  2. Dear Areeb,
    You have true talent in the department of humour. This is one of the few times where I had to take a break from my reading of this marvellous piece because of my desire to laugh out loud at your humour. In light of our looming examinations, this is a gift that I will cherish, probably for until the time until I write my last exam, at which point I will thank you for such a blessing that you have provided. Most importantly, not only was your piece humorously entertaining, it also served as an analysis for me; I was able to look at Lady Macbeth through the lens of your perception of her, which brought Lady Macbeth into focus for me. From reading this piece, I’ve come to the deduction that you have innate talent in writing along with humour (both of which are invaluable), as even when you are venting your frustrations your writing has style, a convincing voice, topped with your most-excellent manipulation of diction.

    Your introduction (along with your title) succeeded to reel me in like the sucker I am for satirical pieces, but it was your strong voice that made me stay. The twist you added at the end of the introduction left me with no choice other than to continue reading, so I must commend you on the placement of that line,”…And then we have Lady Macbeth”. Your writing always has a sense of flow which I’ve come to envy (in the most positive way possible).

    Use of syntax, along with usage of punctuation to timely convey emotion, makes your peace very understandable, and even causes great shifts in my perspective of Lady Macbeth. The sentences you write (or rather, type) are structured in such a way that they are easy to read (my favourite two lines are “Aren’t you happ- Oh. Ah… now don’t you?”). You’ve definitely succeeded in making your piece relatable, as I feel that I have a strong understanding of your current point of view on Lady Macbeth, while also being able to laugh at your delightful expressions! The analogy you utilised (baking cakes for your mother’s birthday-how sweet!) was really, and I mean really, well positioned so that it would efficiently convey your emotions. These aspects made your piece enjoyable to an extreme, and I truly admire your ability to integrate them so seamlessly.

    For an improvement, I’d want to suggest (out of the sheer greediness in my heart) that you add a piece on what you felt about Lady Macbeth’s role in the entirety of the play (outside of her role as the orchestrator of the majority of murders in the play). What do you think of the actor for Lady Macbeth also being cast as one of the witches? In my own opinion, I feel that Macbeth’s inaction fueled Lady Macbeth’s ambition; with her productive nature (she is quite the productive individual, I feel), she makes the idea to kill Duncan into an actual plan that Macbeth will act out.

    It’s always a joy to read your blog posts; regardless of how my expectation of your writing rises, your blog posts are always able to transcend those expectations. From my reading of this blog post, I’ve developed a desire to learn how to write humorously, as you have done (I’m secretly going to be emulating your blog posts now). You make it seem as if it’s great fun to write satirical pieces!

    Thank you so much for allowing me to learn, and laugh while doing so.

    Sincerely Yours,

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