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How does Lady Macbeth's Language in Act 1 Scene 5 and Act 5 Scene 1 Reveal the Change that has Overcome Her?

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Introduction

How does Lady Macbeth's Language in Act 1 Scene 5 and Act 5 Scene 1 Reveal the Change that has Overcome Her? The difference in Lady Macbeth's language in the two scenes is so great that it is difficult to believe that it is being spoken by the same person. In Act 1, the future queen is revealed through her language in all her imperial majesty. In contrast, Act 5 reveals the utterances of a broken woman. Lady Macbeth is introduced in this play in Act 1, Scene 5. The opening lines of the scene begin with Lady Macbeth reading aloud a letter written to her my Macbeth himself. The letter does not actually address the audience, however Lady Macbeth reads aloud the letter. In his letter, Macbeth passionately expresses his thoughts whilst Lady Macbeth conjures up evil tendencies. As Lady Macbeth discovers the sequence of events following the battle, she begins speaking to herself with great certainty regarding Macbeth`s title of 'Thane of Glamis' and an absolute conviction regarding her husband's newborn title of 'Thane of Cawdor' (Act 1, Scene 5, Line 14). And again with confidence in his forthcomings, she says 'and shalt be what thou art promised' which also indicates her belief in supernatural forces even if it were to be a ludicrous idea like the proposed. ...read more.

Middle

(Line 53). But once again she immediately switches tone and begins flattering her husband 'Great Glamis Worthy Cawdor' in an attempt to persuade him into the murder of Duncan. She expresses her complete faith in his victory as she says 'o never shall the sun that morrow see.' And that she feels 'the future in the instant' (Line 57). To demonstrate her absolute supremacy over the situation and not just over her husband she dictates how he should be behaving with the arrival of the King. This might seem as if though Lady Macbeth (the mother) is telling what (her son) Macbeth should be doing. For instance she says in line 64 for him to 'look like an innocent flower' whilst being the 'serpent' lying under it. Act 1; Scene 5; Lines 47-51 shows her ultimate strength in speech as she tries to convince her husband not to give up his evil ambitions and that he wouldn't be of the man that he was before if he failed to take this ample opportunity up. It is as though the evil spirits have started acting upon her decree to unsex her already. I have used this section just to state her ambitious feelings which seem to have reached its climax as everything that was woman about her has vanished. ...read more.

Conclusion

all her problems will disappear when she wakes up, although this is not the reality of the situation. These words again indicate an end to everything Lady Macbeth was, and most of all an end to her highly sophisticated language. In these two scenes evil is seen as an illness. When given access, evil can flourish and grow inside a person's mind like it was forced to access Lady Macbeth in Act 1:Scene 5. It seems to me that Lady Macbeth`s ambition was the weakness that let evil into her. Evil, when flourishing, turns on and destroys itself taking its bearer which meant that Lady Macbeth would have to go along with it. In Act 1:Scene 5 Lady Macbeth`s instrumental language persuades Macbeth to murder King Duncan. She is ruthlessly ambitious, and is prepared to sacrifice all of what she has including her fertility (Act 1: Scene 5: Line 40) for the powers of evil. At the start of the play Lady Macbeth is stronger in will, which can be seen in her language as a result of her using fricatives, imperatives.... ect, than Macbeth. As the play moves on she exchanges roles with Macbeth finally becoming the dominant partner and Lady Macbeth failing and finally falling into suicide at the end of the play. ...read more.

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