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Lady Macbeth is one of the most striking characters in the play

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Lady Macbeth is one of the most striking characters in the play. What are your feelings toward this character and how do they change as the play progresses? What makes Lady Macbeth so striking in her first few scenes is her manipulative, vindictive nature. She is a very controlling character yet we see her troubled mind reveal itself as the play progresses. Her most famous scene, Act 5 scene 1, allows the audience to see how she has truly been affected by the murders in which she had been involved. She is sleep walking and revealing unconsciously her emotions toward the untimely deaths of King Duncan, Banquo and the Macduff household. I have little sympathy for this character because if it were not for her driving Macbeth to the murder of Duncan, he most probably would not have become so obsessed with his infatuation of becoming king. As we see in Act 1 scene 5 she is extremely ambitious about the prospect of Macbeth's power increasing. She talks of murder without an ounce of guilt and merely worries over her husband being too gentle to actually commit the execution of the king. She refers to him being "too full o'the'milk of human kindness" and states that he is in fact 'without ambition' and so would not carry out the deed properly. Her personality could, however, be extremely ambitious regardless of the state of power that her husband is in, the situation could have brought out the most of her desire. In each of her scenes we see a new side to her personality. ...read more.


She also says rather flippantly, "A little water clears us of this deed./How easy is it then! Your constancy/Hath left you unattended." Shakespeare's intention for this scene, I think, was to show us that there is a sensitive, guilty side underneath her shell of ambition and malevolence. Act 2 scene 3 sees Macduff discovering Duncan's murder with great astonishment. He alerts the whole castle including Banquo, Malcolm and Donaldbain of the king's death and so Lady Macbeth enters. She acts very much "like th'innocent flower" by pretending to be oblivious to what had happened in the previous scene, "What's the business/That such a hideous trumpet calls to parley/The sleepers of the house?" Then with immense dramatic irony, Macduff replies calling her "gentle lady" and commenting on the fact that the talk of murderous deeds is too tender for a woman's ears. The audience would find this somewhat amusing as they know that Lady Macbeth is solely responsible for the murder of Duncan and so would not in any way find the subject too sensitive or painful. She reacts in a way similar to that when she was attending to Duncan in Act 1 scene 6, where she is very elaborate in her efforts to help, creating a suspiciously false air about her. She then dramatically faints and is carried out, she is lucky that the people around her are so affected by the murder that they do not overtly notice her over the top antics. Lady Macbeth experiences a loss of power and control in Act 3 scene 2, where Macbeth arranges his next murder without her involvement. ...read more.


She was certainly a brave character for going against the 'Chain of Being' in which God was considered to be ultimately at the top with monarchs under that and other members of society such as lords and townsfolk following after, but at the bottom were women and so she was courageous to consider herself to be above even monarchy! Though wrong it is admirable, especially considering what was said if the chain of being was to be disrupted, that chaos would arise, disrupting the natural order of life on earth and in the heavens which is seen as inexcusable. I personally think that Lady Macbeth was blamed for a lot that wasn't entirely her fault. It is implied that because Macbeth ended Banquo's life and slaughtered Macduff's wife and children in a desperate bid for the throne, he was emotionally capable of murdering Duncan all by himself. In the first two acts we have little sympathy for Lady Macbeth as Shakespeare only provides the audience with her vindictive exterior, at this time we cannot see what she is truly thinking and feeling. It is only as the play progresses that we understand WHY she turns out to be the way that she is, that she has a very ambitious character and so enforces that upon her husband. She feels that Macbeth becoming king will benefit them both and sees killing the existing king as the fastest way to get to the throne. She then becomes gradually defeated as Macbeth's ambition and obsession with becoming king begins to soar and spiral. She is then over-ridden with guilt and eventually feels that she cannot bear the guilt that torments her troubled mind and so decides to end it all. ?? ?? ?? ?? Emma Merritt 11.1 ...read more.

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