Lady Macbeth is the Parasite and Macbeth is the Host

Last Updated: 28 Feb 2023
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In a few cases, a successful but vengeful man or king is influenced and controlled by a power hungry and treacherous woman. This idea can be related to William Shakespeare's tragic hero, Macbeth, and his wife, Lady Macbeth. The relationship between these two can barely be called a marriage; although, it seems to be apparent that they have some sort of attraction to each other because of the scene when he returns from the first war. Never the less their relationship is very similar to a relationship between the playground bully and the school nerd, or a parasite to its host.

Lady Macbeth, in the beginning of the play, holds a power that influences and controls Macbeth. She persuades him to kill King Duncan. She constantly is insulting and belittling her husband to do thing for her advancement and then sweetly speaks of the future of her being queen and him as king. She may appear to want to get the best for her husband but is secretly thinking of plans to create a better position for herself. Lady Macbeth does know that she cannot achieve this herself, but uses Macbeth as a pawn in her plan to gain personal power. It is a direct assent of Lady Macbeth's wishings to become a powerful queen that Macbeth murders King Duncan. The first instance the reader sees of Lady Macbeth's hunger for power is when she receives the letter from her husband, which describes his meeting with the witches. Immediately after putting down his letter, she is driven to achieve the goal of becoming queen. The first thing that Lady Macbeth says in reply to the news is that she fears that Macbeth will not be able be cruel and treacherous enough to become king. She says, "Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be/ What thou art promis'd. Yet I do fear thy nature/ It is too full o'th'milk of human kindness,/ To catch the nearest way? (I.v.15-18)." This is the first inclination that the reader receives that Lady Macbeth has ambition for the throne and perceives to acquire it as quickly as possible.

Lady Macbeth's power reaches out to deciding when the evil deed is to be done. When she believes it is the right moment to take out the king and advance in her personal power, she immediately manipulates and controls Macbeth to kill the king. Even though Macbeth may have second thoughts she changes him enough and persuades him to kill Duncan anyways for his, or hers, own personal advancement. She still is uncertain of what he will do, because she continuously questions his manhood and if he is brave enough to finish the job. Therefore, she continuously insults him so he works up enough courage to complete the task she has placed in front of him.

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However, she does have a significant reason for her yearning to gain power and to control not only in a political sense but also over Macbeth. At the beginning of the story, Macbeth is pictured as a brave magnificent warrior who ever one loves and has the utmost respect for, but Lady Macbeth is in the shadows due to the status of women in her time. She wants to gain this power of Macbeth because of his status and she knows that if she can control him she can control all of the people who follow and respect him. She yearns for this power because she has never seen it before or even has had an opportunity of obtaining it. She also wishes that one day she too might be able to be given the same respect as Macbeth.

One last reason of this take on Lady Macbeth's character is what happens to her at the end of the novel. When she begins to realize that she has created a monster in Macbeth, she slowly begins to deteriorate and become ill. Lady Macbeth begins to sleepwalk and talk about the plans she had to gain power. She feels so guilty of creating this monster and manipulating Macbeth, she cannot hold all of it in and releases this guilt when she cannot help it. Eventually she has concluded that there is no way to escape the vengeance of those who she has galloped upon to obtain her success and knows she no longer can control the now insane Macbeth, she kills herself in attempt to ease the pain of knowing she created all of this chaos.

In some cases, men are influenced by the women that side by them and are always there for them. In this case, the woman was power hungry, but this is not true. The main point is that this person, Lady Macbeth, caused the insanity of Macbeth and is responsible for the destruction of her and her husband.

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Lady Macbeth is the Parasite and Macbeth is the Host. (2023, Feb 23). Retrieved from

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