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EXPLORE SHAKESPEARE'S PRESENTATION OF LADY MACBETH IN ACT 1 SCENES 5 AND 7 Presentation of the characters in the play Macbeth is vital. There are many ways of being presented, such as through language, actions, emotions etc. Shakespeare uses these features to present to us his character of Lady Macbeth on Act 1 scenes 5 and 7. Lady Macbeth is one of the most powerful characters in Shakespeare's plays. Shakespeare first introduces Lady Macbeth alone in stage which allows us to pry into her innermost thoughts which are filled with death and destruction. In her opening scene of Act 1 Scene 5 we see her reiterating the witches prophesy in Macbeth's letter and we see how immediately her mind goes to work. Immediately she knows of what must be done for Macbeth to hustle the crown, and immediately her thoughts turn to possible failings in her husband. He is "too full o' the milk of human kindness" to commit murder. This shows how cold Lady Macbeth is, as milk is the food of children, she is implying that Macbeth is too much like a kind child to murder anyone. Her coldness is again shown when she asks the evil spirits to come to her "woman's breasts" and convert her nurturing mother's milk to "gall", bitterness. ...read more.


Women were expected to do household chores, raise children, and remain faithful to their husband. Women were inferior to men. However Lady Macbeth's main priority is not the wellbeing of her children which she very clearly stated in this scene. Her main priority is not the safety of her husband or else she would not be driving him towards the path of a bloody sin. And lastly Lady Macbeth is beyond doubt superior to Macbeth. In their relationship it is she who gets the last word and it is she who gets her way. This character of Shakespeare's really shocks us because it very unladylike but then we realise that he has in fact portrayed Lady Macbeth to be no lady at all, making it ironic that her name is 'Lady' Macbeth. In Act 1 scenes 5 and 7 Shakespeare has very clearly presented Lady Macbeth to us, and as an audience, our first impressions of Lady Macbeth would be our lasting impressions of Lady Macbeth. And there is one very simple word I think of to summarise her character: wicked. The immense imagery of darkness used in Act 1 Scene 5, "pour my spirits", "come, thick night", suggests that Lady Macbeth is no different from the three weird witches we meet at the beginning of the play, and is herself a very dark person. ...read more.


Of course, because, like I mentioned earlier, Lady Macbeth tries to be evil to get what she wants but isn't actually evil to do it herself. But couldn't Macbeth just refuse to do such a horrible sin? Never, because although Lady Macbeth may not actually be evil, the 'act' she occupies makes her a woman you can't say no to, especially when her act is for one particular goal. This leads me onto her ambitious aspect. Lady Macbeth only ever wanted to be Queen, which is why after she got this title she no longer pushed nor supported Macbeth in his plot to commit further murders. After Lady Macbeth becomes Queen we see a reversal of role in hers and Macbeth's relationship. We see how Macbeth manages to conjure up his own dark plans without Lady Macbeth spitting venom in his ear. We see how Macbeth no longer suffers from sleepless nights but Lady Macbeth does. So overall I believe that Shakespeare has very skilfully presented Lady Macbeth in the play Macbeth. In Act 1 scenes 5 and 7 she is presented as no 'Lady' at all through her manipulative comments and dark language, but by the end of the play we discover the 'Lady' in her as she seems to cower in Act 5 scene 1. This intricate character of Shakespeare's is hugely effective and is practically the spine of the play. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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