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How does Shakespeare use language to show the changes in Lady Macbeth's character?

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How does Shakespeare use language to show the changes in Lady Macbeths character Macbeth was written during a time when James 1st was interested in the supernatural and the history of Scottish Monarchs. Infact, much of society was very interested in the supernatural however the supernatural was a very taboo subject to talk about. In those days, society had very little education and therefore they were very frightened of the supernatural so they kept very quiet about it. Shakespeare had to get permission from the king to write Macbeth because Macbeth contained violence between Monarchs and brutal situations such as real life situations, ambitions and greed. The themes in Macbeth are very thoughtful because they are still used in modern day television programs. In the play Lady Macbeth is so pivotal because she commands Macbeth to do all the physical bits and pieces such as killing King Duncan and Lady Macbeth does all the concealed work.. ...read more.


From this quote Lady Macbeth is appealing to the supernatural to take her femininity away and give her the masculinity. Shakespeare is slowly making his language in the play more dark. This is shown because gradually Lady Macbeth is more emotional and most threatening, especially towards Macbeth. After killing King Duncan Lady Macbeth's and Macbeth's hands have King Duncan's blood on them, Lady Macbeth says, ' A little water clear us of this deed' this shows us how deeply Lady Macbeth has been sucked into her dedication of getting more power. This quote suggests that Lady Macbeth is very sure and calm of what she is doing. Shakespeare shocks his audience when Lady Macbeth says she once had a child, at this point Shakespeare has changed his language in such a way that some audience's might feel sorry for Lady Macbeth however Shakespeare still keeps that dark side of Lady Macbeth visible. This is shown when Lady Macbeth says, 'keen knife' and 'This nights great buisness' to Macbeth, at this point of the play, Lady Macbeth is very much in control because Shakespeare uses euphemism in her language and she talks in verse. ...read more.


Shakespeare makes the character of Lady Macbeth feel defenceless and at a point of breaking down because Lady Macbeth says, 'Here's the smell of the blood still; all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.' Shakespeare is saying through Lady Macbeth that this deed can never be cleansed away which suggests that Lady Macbeth is regretting the actions she did/ Another quote to support this is, 'What's done cannot be undone'. In act one Lady Macbeth was aggressive and cold hearted. Initially she was very euphemistic because she says to Macbeth, 'this nights great buisness' this phrase also makes her look very masculine and thuggish because this phrase is a masculine like saying. This proves the impact of change in Shakespeare's language. After Lady Macbeth's death, Macbeth reacts in a very masculine way to his wife's death, he says, 'she should have died there after' meaning that she should have died after the battle with him. Macbeth is clearly influenced by his wife's death in a way which leaves him for nothing to live for. Therefore he fights Macduff till the end. ...read more.

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Response to the question

The introduction is completely unnecessary as bolted on context paragraphs are not a good way to start an essay, and do not give a good impression, especially when the context has no relevance to the question. The candidate should not ...

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Response to the question

The introduction is completely unnecessary as bolted on context paragraphs are not a good way to start an essay, and do not give a good impression, especially when the context has no relevance to the question. The candidate should not be mentioning themes such as supernatural or greed when the question is explicitly asking about language to show development. Thankfully, the essay does focus on language throughout the essay, but it would've been nice to see a conclusion paragraph linking back all the points to the question.

Level of analysis

This essay is limited by the usage of quotes. Quotes should be embedded and flow with the sentence, not have a number of line breaks before and after. In most instances, the candidate could removes these lines and the quotes would be embedded fine. But, in a few cases, the quotes are too long. Keeping quotes short and concise, especially in an essay focusing on language, allows the analysis to focus on choice of words, placing of techniques, etc. It was pleasing to see this essay show clear understanding that Macbeth as a play is Shakespeare's construction. Once this understanding is shown, it then follows naturally that the essay goes onto explain why Shakespeare uses the language techniques, and so answers the question. It would've been nice to see some of the imagery explored, especially as it shows a clear development of Lady Macbeth's motives throughout the play.

Quality of writing

This essay is written particularly well. Sentences flow nicely, with grammar being used effectively to emphasise the arguments within. However, this is tainted by the lack of clear paragraphs due to the issue with quotations. Without clear paragraphs, it is difficult to see each individual point clearly. Clearly signposted paragraphs would make this essay more effective, especially since the question is asking for a development. A few structural changes would make this essay much stronger.

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Reviewed by groat 04/02/2012

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