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Ophelia and Lady Macbeth

             Although obvious polar opposites, Lady Macbeth and Ophelia are connected - their descent into insanity and eventual demise are the one linking variable.
             Lady Macbeth was a strong, ambitious manipulative woman, unafraid of the means to come by her goals. Playing her husband the king like a puppet, she forces him to murder, turning him into a pawn in her strategic game of power. Eventually her crimes catch up with her conscience, and she is driven to suicide by her guilt.
             Ophelia, on the other end of the spectrum, is a seemingly mindless young girl, all too willing to submit to the expectations of her father and brother. The stereotypical woman, submissive and eager to please, she goes insane when her idealized authority figures wrong her.
             Sleepwalking and attempting to wash invisible blood off of her hands, Lady Macbeth kills herself. Ophelia, singing songs about flowers, falls into a pool of water and drowns. .
             Although these two seem desperately different in their lives, personalities, and deaths, they are similar in their weaknesses. Both are victims to their own strengths, which turned into their eventual flaw. Lady Macbeth's ambition carried her so far that when the realization of her deeds arrived, it came in the form of insanity. Ophelia, so willing and completely involved in the desire to be what others wish of her, became a voluntary pawn in hamlet's story. She, in the process, idealized and idolized her father, brother, and hamlet so absolutely that when they deceive her, her whole world crumbles, resulting the dissolution of herself.
             Both of Shakespeare's characters were victims of their apparent strengths, which eventually turned into their fatal weaknesses. Superficially, Lady Macbeth and Ophelia seem to be complete opposites, while in reality, they are quite similar.

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