In act 2 scene 2 Lady Macbeth is presented as commanding, unsympathetic and harsh. Shakespeare uses a variety of punctuation, sentence structure and language devices to show characteristics of Lady Macbeth’s personality.
This is shown in act 2 scene 2 when Macbeth return with his bloody hands and bloody daggers saying ‘This is a sorry sight,’ he clearly feeling guilty so instead comforting him and showing support Lady Macbeth scolds him saying ‘A foolish sight, to say a sorry one.’ The word foolish connotes that Lady Macbeth is not viewing Macbeth as equal in their relationship and expects no more soft feeling.
Also in act 1 scene 7 Lady Macbeth insults Macbeth’s manhood to get him to do her bidding ‘But screw your courage to your sticking place,’ Lady Macbeth is saying Macbeth has not got enough courage to kill Duncan.
This characterisation of Lady Macbeth is not as obvious in act 3 scene 2 but is still recognisable. the scene is when Macbeth starts to use his initiative and starts to take charge ‘You must leave this’ said by Lady Macbeth shows she is still in command this language used by Shakespeare is directive.
Shakespeare also uses punctuation to enforce the portrait of Lady Macbeth. This is shown in act 3 scene 1 where Macbeth says’Prithee, see there! Behold, look, lo! How say you’ this implies he is going paranoid and is clearly distressed about seeing something unusual. To this Lady Macbeth replies ‘What, quick unmanned in folly?’ what the audience then gather from this is that Lady Macbeth is still uncompassionate towards Macbeth. Throughout act 2 scene 2 Lady Macbeth is seen as powerful, evil and uncaring for anyone around her, and at the time the play was written this was most uncommon for a woman to possess such qualities.
In the Jacobean Era women were supposed to have kind, obedient qualities so they could look after children and their husbands. If they didn’t ‘follow’ the stereotype they would be shunned from the high society however in the play Lady Macbeth doesn’t follow the stereotypical woman but wasn’t shunned from society this shows that Lady Macbeth was a very powerful woman.
I think Shakespeare purposely made Lady Macbeth powerful to question thinking and to bring a fresh perspective so a wider variety of audience will come and view the show.