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Look at Act 1, Scene 5, Act 1, Scene 7, Act 2, Scene 2, and Act 5, Scene 1. How do these scenes reflect the battle between Lady Macbeth's conscience and her will? How do these scenes make use of theatrical traditions and conventions of Shakespeare's time?

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Look at Act 1, Scene 5, Act 1, Scene 7, Act 2, Scene 2, and Act 5, Scene 1. How do these scenes reflect the battle between Lady Macbeth's conscience and her will? How do these scenes make use of theatrical traditions and conventions of Shakespeare's time? During Shakespeare's 'Macbeth', Lady Macbeth shows herself to be a controversial figure, battling with her will and conscience. The first we see of Lady Macbeth is in the opening of Act 1, Scene 5, where she is reading a letter from her husband, Macbeth, out loud. The letter from Macbeth reveals what has happened, but he has chosen to mainly write about the prophesy of the weird sisters, and the possibility of him seizing the throne in the near future. 'I have learned by the perfect'st report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge', shows that Macbeth thinks that what the weird sisters had told him were true, as 'perfect'st report' means most reliable information. Macbeth refers to his wife as his 'dearest partner in greatness', that shows affection and kind regard for Lady Macbeth. 'Greatness is promised' her. Having the letter read out loud is a theatrical convention as it tells the audience about events that they may not have knowledge of, or revealing relevant information, and can describe the writer's thoughts. ...read more.


Macbeth then comes out with what has been troubling him and tells Lady Macbeth 'we will proceed no further in this business.' Lady Macbeth uses the imagery of clothing and turns it against Macbeth, by saying he is acting as if he were drunk when he clothed himself in his hopes of being king, 'Was the hope drunk wherein you dress'd yourself? Hath it slept since?' She accuses him in a powerful speech about being a coward and that he has broke his 'enterprise to me'. He goes on to tell him that if she had promised the same to him, before going back on her word she would rather have 'pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums, and dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done to this.' Lady Macbeth is showing images of horror and using strong language, in order to persuade Macbeth, and she has seemed to join with evil, like she granted. She also questions Macbeth's manhood, and to it she opposes her womanhood in order to embarrass and emotionally blackmail him into doing 'the deed'. This is what makes him reconsider and to change his mind once again. Macbeth's earlier decision not to kill Duncan had been change by the scornful attack of his wife. ...read more.


I have (gentlewoman) known her continue in this a quarter of an hour. Lady Macbeth cannot wash the spots of blood, although after Duncan's murder she said to Macbeth that 'a little water' would wipe away all trace of the murder. At the time of Shakespeare, people thought that witches carried a devil's mark on their body, so this may be a metaphor of this. We do not hear of Lady Macbeth again until the news of her suicide. This brings the message that her conscience got the better of her. She ends a very different character to the Lady Macbeth we saw at the start of the play in Act 1, Scene 5. At one time she had nothing but ambition and had nothing but the will for Macbeth to become king. However, as time goes on, Lady Macbeth shows the first signs of her conscience, and there is a sudden dramatic change. She was fighting with her conscience, and blocked it out completely with her will. The last time we see her, she is a nervous wreck, who has troubled dreams and thoughts, thus the battle between her conscience and will are over. What seemed to be a woman full of cruelty and bitterness turned out to give way under the pressure of her conscience. Adam Davis Page 1 ...read more.

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