Lady Macbeth has got Macbeth’s World “On a String”


“Whether one trusts a specific other commonly depends on whether one thinks the other is trustworthy in the relevant circumstances.”—Oxford Companion To Philosophy. Why does Macbeth end up surrendering to his wife’s machinations, when his better judgement tells him contrarily, “if chance will have me King, why chance may crown me without my stir.” Macbeth acts as a slave to his wife. After all she perpetuates him to action, but he does the murder although certainly commingled with cowardice. In a domestic sense, the masculine and feminine roles are reversed. Macbeth doesn’t trust Lady Macbeth’s treacherous plans and is aware of her thirstiness for regality, but he can’t take a manly stand against her because she has his “world on a string.” It is the weak modus operandi of Macbeth which she designates as “the milk of human kindness.” He puts his wife’s contentment above what is right. Arguably this is his tragic flaw. His idea of trusting her is based on his perception of her love for him; not her own superfluously gormandized ambition to become queen which to a certain extent is unbeknownst to Macbeth. He succumbs to her lust for her delusional paradise of “solely sovereign sway and masterdom,” and perhaps Macbeth succumbs to actual lust itself, but this is one evil wife, and her end does not play out prettily.

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