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Examine the Role of Lady Macbeth in Act 1, Scene 5 and Act 5, Scene 1

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Introduction

Examine the Role of Lady Macbeth in Act 1, Scene 5 and Act 5, Scene 1 William Shakespeare's 'Macbeth', was the last of the four tragedies written by Shakespeare. It is thought that the play was written at a time somewhere between 1603 - 1611.Upon the introduction of Act 1 Scene 5, Lady Macbeth is brought into the plot of the play. In this soliloquy, Lady Macbeth comments on her thoughts after having read a letter from her husband, Macbeth, informing her about the witches' prophecies on the possibility of Kingship. A variety of well-known topics are explored, including the revelation of the true traits of characters such as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Act I scene V is set at Macbeth's castle in Inverness where Lady Macbeth reads a letter received from her husband concerning his meeting with the witches. She is instantly aware of the importance of the predictions made by the sisters, and as the King will be paying a royal visit soon, this will give them the opportunity to hasten the prophecy. She is clearly the driving force of the marriage and she describes her husband as weak, having "the milk of human kindness". ...read more.

Middle

Her doctor and maid overhear her incriminating words. During this scene, the audience are now witness to a dramatic change in Lady Macbeth from the early scenes of the play. She is now truly mad and her mind flits from one subject to the next. She can still see the blood on her hands and however much she washes, she cannot get rid of the stain: "Out damned spot: out I say. The Thane of Fife had a wife: where is she now? What will these hands never be clean? ......................... Here's the smell of blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand". For the audience it is sad to see this once confident woman turned into an unsettled creature, muttering incoherently. Those who attend her, the doctor and maid, are clearly suspicious of her and the part she played in the recent murders. The doctor is unable to bring about a cure and suggests that some divine intervention is required, and she would be better seeing a priest. Shakespeare creates a black atmosphere through the words and the fact that this scene is played in complete darkness with the exception of one candle, which Lady Macbeth keeps close by her. ...read more.

Conclusion

He is his ruler and kinsman, his guest, and a virtuous king. With this list of reasons Macbeth slowly convinces himself not to commit the murder. He then informs Lady Macbeth of his decision to "proceed no further in this business". Lady Macbeth challenges that and brands him a coward, not a man. She accuses him of retreating on his sworn word to her, and with violent language declares that she would dash out the brains of her own baby, had she promised to as Macbeth had promised to kill Duncan. She then assures Macbeth that failure is impossible, at which point Macbeth is convinced once again to kill the king. Macbeth had resolved not to kill the king after much thinking about it, but Lady Macbeth persuaded him to do it. Not only did Lady Macbeth convince her husband to murder King Duncan, but she also made the arrangements to make it possible. At the beginning of Act II, scene II, Lady Macbeth informs us that the guards are thoroughly intoxicated. She then continues to say; "I laid their daggers ready; He could not miss them.. Lady Macbeth made all the arrangements necessary for the murder of King Duncan, so that all Macbeth had to do was perform the act. ...read more.

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