• 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. macbeth- appearance vs reality

    It provides an interesting twist in the beginning of the play when the three witches are doing spells and things. The first ever Macbeth play to be performed was in Hampton's Court in 1605. There were many superstitions that people believed in such as, in the theatres audience were not

  1. Macbeth Act One

    She has also decided that nothing will stand between him (or her?) and the 'golden crown' ( a metonym for the throne). Lady Macbeth greets her husband like the Witches, which subconsciously links her to evil and believes that her call to the 'murdering ministers' has been answered.

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

    "Are you not a man" - Here lady Macbeth repeatedly questions Macbeth's manhood when he hesitates to murder Duncan. The way she manipulates her husband is remarkably effective. She manages to plant he lacks manhood in his head if he doesn't continue with the murder.

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

    the King, and then "leave all the rest to me" shows her cool control over the matter. This advice she gives Macbeth is advice given by an expert. The way Lady Macbeth acts like a perfectly welcoming hostess in front of King Duncan will make anyone deflect the fact that she is the mastermind behind it all.

  2. 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.

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

    The audience respond to this extraordinary speech with great amazement. She wants none of her female characteristics to prevent her from becoming evil. She pleads for the worst kind of cruelty possible and wants to be made insensitive to stop her from feeling guilty or from having any second thoughts that might interrupt with her murderous plan, "Unsex me here...

  2. The audience first encounters the character of Lady Macbeth in act1, scene 5,

    audience, this is known as a soliloquy, an example of this is at the start of her speech, beckoning the evil spirits to come forth she says; "That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan Under my battlements" Macbeth, then arrives home, when he does so, we find out how close

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