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Analysis of Lady Macbeth

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Guillaume Wright 10C2 GCSE English Coursework C/W Shakespeare Assignment - Analysis of Lady Macbeth 10/6/01 The Essay: This essay is composed of an imaginary meeting between the director of a production of the play: Macbeth, and the actor who is playing Lady Macbeth. The stage manager is also present to offer compromises and suggestions for conflicting views arising in the dialogue. The dialogue will consist of a discussion about the portrayal of Lady Macbeth in the play: what her motives and consequential actions are and how her mental state deteriorates due to the play's events and Lady Macbeth's society, in the 1000's. The discussion is based around three separate scenes; Act 1 Scene 5, Act 2 Scene 2 and Act 5 Scene 1 and several topics need to be addressed to ensure an effective and original version of the play is produced. The Play and Lady Macbeth: Shakespeare's great Scottish tragedy is set in the 1000's and is about the courageous warrior, Macbeth and his malicious rise to power (including the brutal murder of the Scottish king, Duncan) through evil deeds that further induced even more evil deeds. Both Lady Macbeth and her husband's ambition for power and supremacy lead them into a disastrous, unnatural realm of insomnia and madness. Guilt and worry finally overcome Lady Macbeth and her insanity leads to an inescapable suicide. Lady Macbeth is honourable and loyal to her husband, shown in the play by her demand to the spirits to be transformed into an unnatural, defeminized, evil person in order to aid Macbeth to achieve the power that both he and she desires so much. The play itself is based around the theme of tragedy, like so many of Shakespeare's plays, but essentially; Macbeth relies on its major sub-plot and different themes such as sleep and kingship to help convey the meaning of the play. Some of the themes such as kingship, are beneficial and in some cases essential in explaining and analysing the character of Lady Macbeth, and therefore themes will play a part in the discussion. ...read more.


that it would just dissipate, and as a result, it led her to a one-way road to insanity due to her inability to explain her feeling and worries. As she learns of the fact that Macbeth has returned with the daggers she immediately takes control. She says 'Infirm of purpose! Give me the daggers. The sleeping and the deed are but as pictures' and I feel that it is not the ambition that had previously fuelled her drive to carry out the murder, that gives her the incentive to take control, but pure panic and fear as she realises the morality and consequences of their actions. As a result she would speak these words in disbelief or anxiety, and instead of tearing the daggers away from Macbeth, I think she would use her shaking hands to snatch the daggers, very gingerly and rise slowly to her feet." "I think also, that she would show worried concern over Macbeth's state of mind and as she says 'you unbend your noble strength to think so brainsickly things' she is using lots of body and eye contact to assure Macbeth and appear confident, but at the same time, real iterating this change due to the morality of the issue, and shown by a shaking body and a quivering voice." "She could be saying these words angrily and imposing on Macbeth as she towers over him as a sign of her evil and dominance in the relationship." "No, I definitely agree with Steve. Not many people have taken his view of Lady Macbeth, so it's original and I think it would be interesting to see how it works." "I think that when she is isolated and talking about 'the owl that shrieked' and 'the fatal bellman' she is showing herself to the audience to be extremely vulnerable, as she is easily affected, like her husband, by the smallest of noises. ...read more.


"Yes, we want to portray her to the audience so that she is still creating sympathy for herself right until the end and also keep the audience's respect for her. The audience will see her as a different person, but will feel a sense of relief and accomplishment that she died knowing her fate and having faced up to her guilt." "Any comments on the language?" "Well, for a start she is speaking in prones and not in verse, like the rest of the play to signify disorientation and confusion in her mind and to show the scene as different compared to the rest of the play. The fragmentation of the speech signifies the fragmentation of her sanity and of her relationship with Macbeth that is now in ruins. Overall her language is quite confused and this relates to her state of mind. The language is very ironic, for example the perfumes of Arabia comment and the problems that she has in washing the blood off her hands showing her to be fickle and terrified of the truth and her fears." "And staging?" "Well, the whole scene will again bi shot in the dark to show the death of Lady Macbeth's soul and with no background noises to promote the fact that she is isolated with her thoughts. Only one candle will be lit to symbolise the lat flicker of sanity left in her and her relationship with Macbeth. The light would slowly fade with her madness to symbolise death." "Well, I think we've all done extremely well today and we've come up with a suitable plan of action for the portrayal of Lady Macbeth. I think we can all agree that she is a memorable character who is driven to insanity by her religious and social beliefs which prevented her from trying to rid herself of her own conscience and I can only hope that are version will stay in people's memories for a long time. Thank you." 2 1 ...read more.

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