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How does Shakespeare make Lady Macbeth into such a Dramatic CharacterHow does Shakespeare make Lady Macbeth into such a Dramatic Character

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Introduction

How Does Shakespeare make Lady Macbeth into such a Dramatic Character? Creating a character like Lady Macbeth who is ahead of her time, domineering and so far away from the 16th and17th century stereotypical women, is a fantastic achievement for Shakespeare. Lady Macbeth's character is not too dissimilar to that of a witch as many aspects of the things she does and the language and imagery she uses have led me to believe that she may well be one. This could well have been the response if a Jacobean audience, There are also frequent times when she appears to call on spirits. At the time when Macbeth was written the public were becoming increasingly pre-occupied with witchcraft. A law was even put in place to ban it. It was also estimated that at least a staggering 8,000 witches were burned at the stake just in Scotland between 1564 and 1603 (which would have supported the Jacobean view at the time). As witches were used in the play it would have made it all the more intriguing to the audience and to James I. Another point of attraction is the fact that Lady Macbeth appears to have some witchlike features, or that she could be working in sync with them. This only adds another fascinating dimension to her character and so would have broadened her appeal as a dramatic character at the time. ...read more.

Middle

In other words it would make him unnatural as it could almost be construed that Lady Macbeth is trying to mould Macbeth and make him into a somewhat supernatural character. Although we know Macbeth kills Duncan, he may not have done so if it had not been for his love and affection for his wife, as in the letter he wrote to her he called her "My dearest partner of greatness". We also know that he trusted her with his life, as if the letter he had written to her had been seen by anybody else; it may have been seen as treasonous. Without Macbeth's love and trust for his wife Lady Macbeth may not have been able to persuade him to commit the murder. In act 1 scene 7 Lady Macbeth hits her husband where she knows it will hurt by making him feel like a coward when she continues to "Pour my spirits into thine ear" and she says mockingly "Poor cat". The image of the cat is designed in to re-inforce the fact that Macbeth is being cowardly for having second thoughts over the murder of Duncan. Another even more damaging persuasive technique Lady Macbeth uses is to insult Macbeth's manhood. When Lady Macbeth says "When you dur'st do it, then you were a man" it appears to demolish Macbeths futile attempts to convince himself that he shouldn't murder Duncan by mocking his masculinity and contrasting it to her commitment to him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lady Macbeth's death could almost be viewed as a sacrifice for Macbeth. She may have felt that she was becoming a burden for him and that he would do better without her. Furthermore she could have killed herself as she had lost control over herself and more importantly over Macbeth, who seemed to be acting spontaneously without her dramatic impact over him. Macbeth's reaction may also come as a surprise to the audience as when he says "She should have died hereafter" it feels like he is being offhand and has more important things to worry about than his wife's death. Or does the word hereafter suggest he may dwell and mourn over the matter later? In conclusion the dramatic power of Lady Macbeth is at first influential and rewarding to her and her husband, but then spirals out of control. Shakespeare has created an iconic and revolutionary character and one who seems to have numerous personalities on-the-go at once. At first she seems supernatural with her uncompromising desire for her husband to take the throne, but then she shows aspects of humanity- she would have killed Duncan herself if he hadn't have reminded her of her father. Finally, it seems that Shakespeare created the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to compliment each other. As when Macbeth is weak and hesitant, Lady Macbeth is strong and dynamic; when Macbeth is diligent and determined, Lady Macbeth is tormented and slowly disintegrates. Without the relationship they provide for each other they wouldn't have got to the stage of their downfall. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sam Hayes 10ADM 1 ...read more.

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