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Discuss how Shakespeare presents evil through the character of Lady Macbeth.

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Discuss how Shakespeare presents evil through the character of Lady Macbeth We are first introduced to Lady Macbeth in act 1 scene5. She is reading a letter sent to her by her husband Macbeth. She reads it aloud, so that the audience knows what it contains. This is a dramatic device used by Shakespeare and the only way the audience can gain information about what it is about. It tells of the witch's predictions about Macbeth's promotion to 'Thane of Cawdor'. Macbeth also hints that he could gain promotion quicker by other means than victory in battle. He states that Lady Macbeth is "Too full o' th' milk of human kindness, to catch the nearest way. Act 1 scene 5, The soliloquy she makes after she has read the letter confirms her intentions. She calls upon the 'spirits' to 'unsex' her, to make her neither male nor female, but a figment of evil like the witches, so she can murder Duncan. She asks that the 'spirits' "take my milk for gall, change it to bitterness, "Come thick night and pall thee in the ...read more.


She pounces on him and rains a torrent of scornful words on him. She accuses him as being a 'coward' clearly an insult to a brave, victorious soldier, and states she would have "dashed the brains out" of the babe she was breast feeding if she had known he was going to change his mind. Again reference to being brutal and destroying innocent baby is an evil act. She asks Macbeth to "screw his courage to the sticking place", and we will not fail. "The idea of 'screwing' to a sticking place" is a metaphor, Shakespeare uses to give us the image of a crossbow tightened so it effectively hits the target, it is aiming for success. The use of the word 'we' by Shakespeare, also shows us that Lady Macbeth is prepared to be involved in the evil murder, and determined to see it thorough. To argue about doing the murder at this stage is Shakespeare's way of showing us how people thought about murder of a king. ...read more.


of the way so he could not show how guilty he felt, because he does not seem as clever as she is at hiding his feelings. In Act 5 scene 1, lady Macbeths Lady-in-waiting has called the doctor to watch her mistress's sleepwalking. At this point in the play Lady Macbeth is beginning to feel the strain of what she has been a part of, and her relationship with Macbeth has become strained since the murder. Macbeth has alienated himself from her, because he is troubled by what he has done and is in turmoil and cannot sleep. She in turn is sleepwalking and acting out her troubles in her sleep. Shakespeare uses this sleepwalking scene to give the audience an insight into her innermost thoughts. He uses 'Hand Imagery' to signify how she washes her hands to get rid of 'the damned spot', she imagines is there. He uses the word 'damned' because of the action she has been involved in, the evil action. That is part of damnation and the devil. She refers to the death of Duncan, Lady Macduff and Banquo. ...read more.

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