• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. Discuss how Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth and how her character develops during the play

    Lady Macduff feels abandoned and betrayed by the fact that her husband has put King and Country before the protection of his family whereas Lady Macbeth has put her husband before King and Country.

  2. How does Shakespeare use Characters and Language to Discuss evil in his Play "Macbeth"?

    He also uses to language to show that the witches are talking in an evil way. They are almost chanting. He also uses very negative words such as "Thunder," "Lightening" and "rain" to make the witches sound evil. He has used language to a good use and has purposely only used negative words to make them seem evil.

  1. Hat kind of woman is Lady Macbeth? How influential is she in the play.

    be murdered that night, "Come, thick night, and pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark, to cry, hold, hold". Lady Macbeth wants the night to be really, really dark so

  2. How much sympathy do we have for Macbeth as the play progresses?

    Again these prophecies do not offer any instructions about what Macbeth should to do. I believe that however much the witches seem to be connected with Macbeth's change of heart, they cannot be blamed for controlling him. They exist in the play as the constant reminder of the potential of

  1. Show how racism in society is revealed through the experiences of the characters in ...

    The teenager eventually fainted. 'Then I fainted. A wonderful feeling, like falling away from the world' When he awakes, a white lady is kneeling next to him. By saying a white lady he is making a statement that he didn't notice she was a lady. She was a white lady.

  2. Examine how Penelope Lively explores a) The Folly of Harbouring Pre-Conceptions, and b) The ...

    As Sandra is cleaning, we get the impression that the cottage is not very well cared for. For example, "The cupboard, stacked with yellowing newspapers, smelt of damp and mouse." This contrasts with Sandra's stereotypical views of old people being neat and tidy.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work