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How does Shakespeare present the changes that take place in the character of Lady Macbeth throughout the course of the play? How are these changes presented by the actress playing the role in the Lyric Theatre, Belfast production of the play?

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Introduction

Shakespeare Coursework How does Shakespeare present the changes that take place in the character of Lady Macbeth throughout the course of the play? How are these changes presented by the actress playing the role in the Lyric Theatre, Belfast production of the play? Throughout the course of the play Shakespeare shows us many occasions where changes take place in the character of Lady Macbeth. These occasions are; when she's reading the letter and calling evil to take over her body, the banquet scene when she covers up for Macbeth and the sleepwalking scene. We first see Lady Macbeth when she appears in Act One, Scene Five. In this scene we see her reading Macbeth's letter telling her about the witches prophecies for his rise to power. This report pleases her and we see her happiness at this prediction about her husband's future. But just as we get the impression that she cares for her husband a lot we see her first change as she calls down the forces of evil to take over her body and make her evil " ...top-full of direst cruelty: make thick my blood", this quote immediately shows us that Lady Macbeth wants to be dilled up with evil. ...read more.

Middle

His wife did not know anything about this because he did not talk to her about his plans to kill Banquo. This already shows us that Lady Macbeth is already beginning to lose her control over Macbeth. We can see this by the way her orders Banquo's death without her whereas she had to orchestrate Duncan's murder. Even though the two have started to separate, Macbeth is still not able to survive without Lady Macbeth at his side. This is blatantly obvious when we see the ghost of Banquo sitting in Macbeth's place at the table. When Macbeth starts to become scared by the presence of the ghost, Lady Macbeth jumps in for him telling the lords around the table not to worry about him because it is a medical condition which he is getting cured. Once again we see Lady Macbeth's willingness to lie to anyone she needs to, to cover up the truth. "Sit worthy friends: my Lord is often thus, and hath been from his youth". This is an example of the sort of lies that Lady Macbeth is prepared to tell in order to prevent Macbeth from losing face in public. In this scene Shakespeare presents us many changes going on in the couple's relationship. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is probably meant to be very clear to the audience that Lady Macbeth is now paying for her evil deeds by going insane. The imaginary blood on her hands is perhaps the clearest symbol of this. Shakespeare has presented many changes in Lady Macbeth's character but the changes from the banquet scene to now is probably the easiest to see. Prior to going to see the production of Macbeth in the Lyric Theatre, I had already finished the play and therefore had a good image of Lady Macbeth in my head. The Lyric actress portrayed the character of Lady Macbeth in the way that I had imagined reading the play. In the first scene she came across as an evil woman out for her and Macbeth's own gain. Then during the banquet scene she seemed to be losing control of Macbeth and this was evident from her acting. In the final sleepwalking scene, she appeared in her element as she played the insane and guilty queen. It was very clear from her acting the changes that had taken place from the start of the play when we first saw her reading Macbeth's letter. In conclusion throughout the play both Shakespeare and the actress at the Lyric showed clear changes that took place in Lady Macbeth's character, ie from an all powerful and controlling woman to an insane, guilt-ridden queen on the verge of suicide. ...read more.

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