Shakespeare shows us that Lady Macbeth isnt the normal stereotype of a lady during the 1600’s through the way he constructs our understanding of her through act 2 scene 2 and the whole play. she is presented as controlling and then she underestimates Macbeth throughout the play.
You can see that Lady Macbeth is controlling and underestimating throughout the play as you mainly see that she has the power in the relationship. when you read the letter from Macbeth to Lady Macbeth he says “my dearest wife” then later on when he builds up the power then he says ” my dearest love”. This puts a in our minds as the audience that Lady Macbeth is power crazed and she wants all the power in the relationship. This puts a different image our heads of Lady Macbeth because, in the Jacobean era, women were thought of as being weak, obeying their husbands. Shakespeare uses this to his full advantage to create the character of Lady Macbeth, is the complete opposite of the expected stereotype of a woman of the 1600’s England. One of the ways Shakespeare shows lady Macbeth as controlling is by the way she orders Macbeth around as if she wants to be the man in the relationship.
The way Lady Macbeth orders Macbeth is through her lines throughout the play she keeps on ordering Macbeth to kill Duncan as well as her insulting Macbeth. ” infirm of purpose! give me the daggers” to me this shows that yet again Lady Macbeth is saying that he is not a man not a man anymore, and then she is then saying “give me the daggers” that if she was a man she would do a better job. this effects the power of lady Macbeth because, she is underestimating Macbeth, this can show that lady Macbeth is underestimating Macbeth. The main way she can gain power in the relationship is by putting him down by saying, ” infirm to purpose”, which basically means you are not for filling your purpose as a man. Another time you can see Lady Macbeth as controlling as later on in the play when she keeps on cutting into Macbeth’s lines, you see this when Shakespeare uses the iambic pentameter so it can feel like a argument.
Another characteristic of Lady Macbeth through the play is that she underestimates Macbeth. This builds a understatement that she thinks that she could do better as a man. You can see this mainly throughout the play. When she says “are you not a man”, this is her trying to make him weak, and bad so that she can either manipulate him to do things for her. Even when Macbeth has the power she still tries to manipulates him by saying he isn’t a man or he isn’t good enough.
Throughout the play Lady Macbeth uses these characteristics to give you a understatement on how Lady Macbeth thinks and acts on stage. The way she acts with Macbeth is completely different when the two of them are together with other people on stage. This works really well because, when they are alone together she acts more controlling, but when she is with other people she acts like the normal stereotype of a women in the Jacobean era. This puts a thought in our head that Lady Macbeth has two personalities as if she has one personality as a man and the other is of a women.
In conclusion I believe that Lady Macbeth is a controlling woman who underestimates her husband. This is because, of the way Shakespeare constructs an understanding of her, through the way she acts and speaks on stage. This would have made the audience think whether it is her trying to take control over Scotland and not Macbeth.