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How does Shakespeare present the character of Macbeth, compared to the character of his wife Lady Macbeth, in Act I, Scene V, VI and VII?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare present the character of Macbeth, compared to the character of his wife Lady Macbeth, in Act I, Scene V, VI and VII? Shakespeare presents the character of Macbeth very differently compared to the character of his wife, Lady Macbeth, in Act I, Scene V, VI and VII. Shakespeare has seemed to swap the genders of these two characters; Lady Macbeth appears to control her husband and is very manipulative. Macbeth on the other hand, does whatever his wife wants as he appears to be very weak. Lady Macbeth is a very strong character. She often orders everything and people obey. For example, she says to the messenger, "Give him tending." The word, "Give," is an imperative verb, and Shakespeare has used it to show the audience her power. If I were directing an actress (or actor) playing Lady Macbeth, I would tell them to say this kindly, but with a hint of order; this would show the audience her authority. An ordinary woman with authority in the 16th century, would be seen as very strange and not normally accepted, consequently displaying Lady Macbeth's importance. Lady Macbeth's power would easily explain how effortlessly she can manipulate her husband. ...read more.

Middle

This quote proves that Lady Macbeth has once loved a child and cared for it. She describes the experience very vividly, which in my mind, shows that she misses the feeling of having a child. However, Shakespeare does not want the audience to feel sorry for Lady Macbeth, instead he has used this quote to show how manipulative Lady Macbeth is. Macbeth is probably the father of this child, and therefore Lady Macbeth is attacking his memory, and breaking him down, in order to persuade him to kill Duncan. The sentence after this quote can be seen as very controversial. "And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done to this."This could be seen as evidence that proves Lady Macbeth is more than evil. The fact that Lady Macbeth would be prepared to do such an awful thing for power shows the true side of her. She describes this depiction of infanticide so vividly to as not acceptable; to commit an act such as this is everything against humanity. Someone wanting to kill their own flesh and blood would not be accepted in today's society, let alone in the 16th or 17th century, or the 11th century when Macbeth existed. ...read more.

Conclusion

The weakness of Macbeth's character begins to show. "If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well done quickly." Macbeth appears to be very indecisive. He keeps questioning everything. The word, "quickly" shows that Macbeth just wants to get it over and done with; this backs up the fact that he worrying and becoming weaker and weaker. Macbeth says, "If it" which shows the audience that he does not know whether or not to carry out this act and is very uncertain. He is meant to be the stronger one out of him and his wife, and tell his wife what to do, rather than being the one being told what to do. In conclusion, I think Shakespeare has presented the Lady Macbeth and Macbeth very differently. He has done this by using manipulative techniques for Lady Macbeth, and making Macbeth seem weak by being persuaded by his wife. The fact that Macbeth was convinced by his wife to carry out a murder, even after he decided not to go ahead with it, and listed a number of reasons for this, makes me think that Macbeth really is a weak character. Macbeth should be the stronger person out of the two, yet Lady Macbeth appears to take his place. Lady Macbeth and her husband, Macbeth, are very different characters. ...read more.

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