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How does Shakespeare develop the character of Lady Macbeth?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare develop the character of Lady Macbeth? "Macbeth" or "The Scottish Play" as some people call it, was written by Shakespeare in seventeenth century. It entails a Scottish army general called Macbeth on a series of murders for power and status. However, Macbeth is not alone in these acts of violence, his wife Lady Macbeth, manipulates him to do it. Lady Macbeth drives Macbeth to murder certain people because she craves power and control. The hierarchy of the time when Shakespeare was writing Macbeth was simple but very rigid. There was God at the top, then the king, then all the noblemen, then the citizens and then finally at the very bottom was the devil. In Macbeth this structure is broken because Lady Macbeth plays in between the ranks and disturbs the order to achieve her greatest ambition of being Queen of England. James I was the king of England when Shakespeare was writing Macbeth. James I was especially interested in witches and magic; this is why Shakespeare chooses to put the three witches in Macbeth to please James I. In addition some of the events that happen throughout the play Macbeth are there to satisfy James I. ...read more.

Middle

The quote illustrates to the audience that Lady Macbeth's sanity is slowly declining because she is going insane over power and control. The phrase "my women's" emphasises that Lady Macbeth believes that her breasts are not part of her because she say's "women's". In addition, the use of the word "gall" emphasises the dirty and disgusting thoughts that Lady Macbeth shows. This would scare the audience of Shakespeare's time because this vile imagery would not be displayed by a woman. In Act 2, Scene 2, Lady Macbeth helps Macbeth in the murder of King Duncan. Lady Macbeth is shown to have great power, "hath made me bold." The audience recognises that Lady Macbeth has come to power. Use of the personal pronoun "me" emphasises the amount of power and control Lady Macbeth has. This would jolt the audience of Shakespeare's time because women would not have power or control for the reason that the society in Shakespeare's time was a patriarchal society. This is when men took full responsibility and women would not have any control over the situation. Shakespeare creates tension throughout this extract, "Whether they live or die." From this cliff hanger, the audience senses a feeling of tension because someone's life hangs in the balance. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Doctor is confused because he has not got an understanding of psychological problems, "What is it she does now?" This quote illustrates the spectators that the Doctor is very ignorant and has no educational backing to support his views on Lady Macbeth's mental state. Later on in the scene the doctor believes "This disease is beyond my practice", this further shows his deficiency in psychological disorders. This links to the heaven and hell theme because the audience of Shakespeare's time considers the unknown to be related with the devil. As the play comes to an end, the audience realises that Lady Macbeth's has developed dramatically throughout the play of "Macbeth". First of all, the viewer's see Lady Macbeth's rise in masculinity when she receives the letter form Macbeth, but as the play moves on, the audience can spot Lady Macbeth's sanity slowly deteriorating. Then as the play reaches the closing stages the audience distinguishes Lady Macbeth has a disturbed mind and then finally Lady Macbeth commits suicide. The audience's response to the events that unfold as the play goes on is continuously shock; this is because women of Shakespeare's time would be docile rather than commanding. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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