• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month


Extracts from this document...


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.

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 Shakespeare present Lady Macbeth in Act 1 Scene 5 and Act 1 ...

    Alliteration is used to make the sentence flow, in addition 'gall' was thought to promote rage or malice, not a conventional desire from a woman, this adds to the complexity of the character. Moreover this segment relates back to the invocation of the spirits, Lady Macbeth gives the impression of

  2. Explore the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in the early scenes of Shakespeare's ...

    Lady Macbeth again shows her cunning in the matter and points out to Macbeth that he can look innocent but still commit this terrible crime. She seems to think this is perfectly all right and encourages him to, ".............look like th' innocent flower But be the serpent under't."

  1. Look at Act 1, Scene 5, Act 1, Scene 7, Act 2, Scene 2, ...

    kill Duncan, and that his goodness will be 'like angels, trumpet-tongued' if he is murdered and Macbeth will be condemned to 'deep damnation'. Shakespeare uses a lot of imagery of heaven and hell are linked to the action of the play, as in Shakespeare's time the audience would believe strongly in the idea of divine right.

  2. Comparing Lady Macbeth in Act 1 & Act 5

    In this scene, goodness loses to evil. The appearance to the audience is that Lady Macbeth is a gentle, mild female married to a strong, unswerving warrior. In reality, it is Lady Macbeth who is the stronger one, but stronger in evil and greed.

  1. How is the character Macbeth presented in Shakespeares' play Macbeth

    "Who wear our health but sickly in his life which in his death were perfect." it shows that he regrets ordering his death but without Banquo dead his guilt will taint Macbeth's conscious. Moreover, Macbeth is presented as a man that is desperately searching for his destiny.

  2. Analyse Shakespeares presentation of Lady Macbeth in Act 2 Scene 2 and Act 5 ...

    Lady Macbeth still see's her self as an evil character although she couldn't kill Duncan because he looked like her father which shows she is not as evil as she thinks she is. Lady Macbeth sees herself as an evil character that has set up this whole plan and has pushed Macbeth until the point where he kills Duncan.

  1. Discuss Shakespeare's presentation of Duncan's character in Macbeth

    So as well as being loyal, he is also patriotic and behaves like a leader and how a king should act. Duncan say's he will give more praise, more land, and also more glory to Macbeth and Banquo. He uses language containing full of images from nature, full of life and fertility and growth to express this.

  2. Examine Shakespeare's Presentation of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in Act 3 Scene 2.

    Lady Macbeth's dominance over Macbeth is asserted once more when Lady Macbeth orders the servant, "Say to the King, I would attend his leisure / For a few words." This demonstrates that although Macbeth tries to appear brave and courageous he still succumbs to the dominance of his wife and is almost unable to disobey her.

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