Seraphina OneyWRIT 146February 28, 2013A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet: Lady Macbeth is certainly human but she’s probably a Scottish thistle instead of a roseDashing baby brains and flinging insults about questionable manhood understandably make Lady Macbeth an intimidating presence. She is arguably Shakespeare’s strongest tragic female character. However, Shakespeare did not write his leading lady to be “completely inhuman”, as Edward Johnson describes. Instead, Lady Macbeth epitomizes humanity; her contrasting emotions and qualities, such as ambition, are characteristic of a mind of flesh and blood, not one of stone or steel. Johnson may have a point, finding it hard to sympathize with Lady Macbeth, but she while we may not be able to sympathize with her, we can understand where she is coming from. Rather than being inhuman, Lady Macbeth represents the fragility of human life and of the mind. Throughout the play Lady Macbeth experiences a range of emotions, from bloodlust and hunger for power and fame to depression leading to eventual insanity. Act III Scene IV is rich with tidbits of Lady Macbeth’s emotion seeping through her words. Particularly, she experiences both embarrassment and sadness. Examining the play through Lady Macbeth’s eyes, we see and understand her embarrassment as Macbeth goes through his scene with Banquo’s ghosts when Lady Macbeth says,1
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“Shame itself!/ Why do you make such faces? When all’s done,/ You look but on a stool.” (3.4.67-69).Understandably Lady Macbeth is embarrassed by Macbeth’s fit; he is ruining all her hard work, ignoring her role as the gracious hostess to commit regicide. However, we also see
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