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Discuss the role of Lady Macbeth paying particular attention to Act 1 Scene 5 and 7

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Introduction

Discuss the role of Lady Macbeth paying particular attention to Act 1 Scene 5 and 7 'Macbeth,' which was written by written by William Shakespeare, was a tragedy. Lady Macbeth was not one of the main characters but she played an important role. Lady Macbeth did not have the most spoken pieces but the ones that she had were powerful. This was unlike the women of Shakespearean time. 'Macbeth' was split into five acts but Lady Macbeth's main appearances were in Act 1 Scene 5 and 7. She was more important at the beginning and ends of the play not the middle. The witches were featured at the beginning of the play, which was of great significance because they were associated with evil. From this, the Shakespearean audience would have known that evil doings were to follow. They would not have questioned this belief because it was widely used. Shakespeare used witches because James 1, who the play was written for, believed in them. Shakespeare would have wanted to please James because he was Shakespeare's patron so he would have wanted to please James. Lady Macbeth first appeared alone in Act 1 scene 5 and entered reading a letter from Macbeth, her husband. In my favourite performance of the play, Lady Macbeth was wearing a long dark coloured dress that was similar to that of the witches. ...read more.

Middle

On the last line of Act 1 scene 5, "Leave all the rest to me" the audience would have known that Lady Macbeth had planned and was controlling the murder. Lady Macbeth's next main appearance is in Act 1 scene 7 although she does appear briefly when greeting King Duncan. Macbeth did not greet him, which was of great significance showing the audience that he was unsure about what to do about the murder. Lady Macbeth greeted King Duncan by saying, "all our service, in every point done twice." She was acting like the honourable hostess and is being two faced as she had asked Macbeth to be. The beginning of Act 1 scene 7 is a soliloquy by Macbeth this balanced with Act 1 scene 5 as that began with Lady Macbeths. Macbeth is not sure about killing the king. His first line was "if it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twere well." This showed that he was thinking that if he was going to kill the king then he should get it over with. His reason for killing the king is his "vaulting ambition." He is struggling with his thoughts saying that Duncan "is here in double trust" and he should look after his guest. He also said that he could not kill him " as I am his kinsman." ...read more.

Conclusion

She was in control. He was just a pawn in her plan. This would have shown the Shakespearean audience that she was the stronger in their relationship. Macbeth said that he was "settled " he was no longer worried and confused. In his last line in this scene "false face must hide what the false heart doth know." This means that he wanted her to act normal so that nobody would suspect anything and nobody would have known what they were really thinking. After Lady Macbeth's two main scenes that I have mentioned Lady Macbeth goes made. She talked in her sleep and relives the murder, eventually this gets too much for her, and she takes her own life. This is unexpected as she seemed the strongest and most stable at the beginning of the play and you would have expected Macbeth to go mad, as he seems the weakest mentally. When Macbeth heard about his wives death he showed no emotion and seemed numb, he no longer expected anything good in his life. Before Lady Macbeth's death her relationship with Macbeth seemed to gradually grow distant until almost none existent at the end of her life. Overall, Lady Macbeth's personality changed throughout the play at the beginning she was strong and dominant. Then she became weak and mentally unstable. Lady Macbeth was not purely evil when she persuaded Macbeth to kill King Duncan. She just wanted him to achieve something. She knew what he could be and pushed him to achieve it. ...read more.

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