• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Comparing Lady Macbeth in Act 1 & Act 5

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Comparing Lady Macbeth in Act 1 & Act 5 The Task: Discuss Shakespeare's presentation of Lady Macbeth in Act 1 Scene 5 and Act 5 Scene 1 of 'Macbeth.' Account for the changes and differences you notice and suggest how a contemporary as well as a modern audience might respond to these scenes. Shakespeare's shortest and bloodiest tragedy, Macbeth tells the story of a brave Scottish general (Macbeth) who receives a prophecy from a trio of sinister witches that one day he will become king of Scotland. Consumed with ambitious thoughts and urged to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and seizes the throne for himself. He begins his reign wracked with guilt and fear and soon becomes a dictatorial ruler, as he is forced to commit more and more murders to protect him from hate and suspicion. The bloodbath swiftly propels Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to arrogance, madness, and death. Macbeth's wife is a deeply ambitious woman who desires for power and position. Early in the play she seems to be the stronger and more ruthless of the two, as she urges her husband to kill Duncan and seize the crown. ...read more.

Middle

This line tells us that she wants Macbeth to deceive the King; pretend to be his friends but then kill him when he is not ready. Lady Macbeth uses a metaphor in this quote. This phrase illustrates to the audience that Lady Macbeth is a traitor and a conspirator to the King. This quote also has a result to the Adam and Eve story, where Eve entices Adam into eating the forbidden fruit. Lady Macbeth undertakes the role of Eve by alluring Macbeth into killing the King. In Act 1 Scene 7 we see that Macbeth is still two minded in killing King Duncan. Lady Macbeth, on the other hand, displays no virtue or goodness, but becomes the personification of evil and greed in this scene. Lady Macbeth's superior strength and mental courage dissolves when she is in Act 5. This shows the effect of ignoring both moral and religious principles. The fact that her audience changes from everyone else, in Act 1 to just herself in Act 5 also justify the effects of such a crime. When Lady Macbeth hears of her husband's decision to call off the murder, she attacks his masculine ego, calling him weak and unmanly. ...read more.

Conclusion

Only a priest (a symbol of goodness, forgiveness, and God) can help her now. Once the sense of guilt comes home to roost, Lady Macbeth's sensitivity becomes a weakness, and she is unable to cope. Significantly, she kills herself by suicide. In conclusion Macbeth was carrying the guilt from the beginning, but as the play concluded Lady Macbeth had gained that same guilt, resulting in her sleepwalking with her eyes wide open. Shakespeare uses constant reference to act 1 in act 5. As Lady Macbeth washes away an imperceptible spot, this signifies to the audience what happened in act 1 when she tells Macbeth to wash as bloodstain. Additionally Lady Macbeth is thought to be the more corrupting character through the play as she is confident to murder the king, but as the play ends she is identified to be more ruined than Macbeth and is driven into insanity. Shakespeare uses Lady Macbeth to portray a strong message to the audience. Lady Macbeth is exposed as a manly character, who wishes to have masculine features. She was driven to kill herself by guilt and we think that she executes herself by suicide. The play reveals many moral and religious issues; there is comparison and reference to biblical stories. ?? ?? ?? ?? Vimal Arumugam 10P English Coursework 28/04/2007 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. How does Lady Macbeth's language in Act 1 Scene 5 and Act 5 Scene ...

    home, as she does not think a curse or perhaps the ghost of King Duncan haunting her home. For only killing a soul is nothing but killing the king is a 'prize' for Lady Macbeth and Macbeth shall become leaders of Scotland.

  2. EXPLORE SHAKESPEARES PRESENTATION OF LADY MACBETH IN ACT 1 SCENES 5 AND 7

    And indeed she is aware that she will get her way as Macbeth is very obedient and will do anything with her little nudge. And straight away, once her mockery of Macbeth had cleared, Lady Macbeth shifts her tone as her attention switches to the details of the murder itself.

  1. macbeth- appearance vs reality

    Witchcraft was a major issue at the time and anyone who was suspected would be tortured and executed. Due to this hundreds and thousands of women were executed for being caught doing suspicious acts of witchcraft. This is one of the many ideas Shakespeare has used in his play to deceive the audience and characters.

  2. How does the audience respond to the development of the character of Lady Macbeth?

    This causes contrasts in their conversation, Macbeth says, "But they did say their prayers, and address'd them Again to sleep" This contrasts with Lady Macbeth's reply, "There are two lodg'd together" She makes the ironic comment, "These deeds must not be thought After these ways, so, it will make mad."

  1. Macbeth - Discuss if the impact on the audience of Lady Macbeth is greater ...

    Here not only is she depicted as in control of her husband but also her words reflect on her evil mentality. She is telling her husband to present himself good to people, but to secretly share the qualities of a snake - evil, cunning, sly etc.

  2. What influences Macbeth to make the decision to kill Duncan in Act 1?

    the previous Thane of Cawdor was a gentleman upon which the King built an absolute trust. Now Macbeth learns of Duncan's plans to make Malcolm his heir 'our eldest, Macbeth, whom we name hereafter the Prince of Cumberland'. Macbeth doesn't threat much he see 'The Prince of Cumberland, That is

  1. Discuss Shakespeare's Presentation Of Lady Macbeth In Act 1 Scene 5 and Act 5 ...

    In that soliloquy you can see that Lady Macbeth is determined to be queen and will do anything she can to persuade Macbeth to be king by any means. A messenger then enters and brings good news for Lady Macbeth.

  2. Write an essay, which focuses on the character of Lady Macbeth as presented in ...

    At first she ponders on the murder of Duncan, "One, two. Why then 'tis time to do't." Which is referring to what Macbeth says to her in act two scene two, just before he goes to carry out the murder, "I go and it is done. The bell invites me."

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work