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Macbeth - Discuss if the impact on the audience of Lady Macbeth is greater in Act1, Scene5 or in Act5, Scene1'.

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Introduction

Macbeth 'Discuss if the impact on the audience of Lady Macbeth is greater in Act1, Scene5 or in Act5, Scene1. Lady Macbeth is the wife of Macbeth. After concerning a battle Macbeth accidentally bumps into three witches, his life drastically changes after this gathering. The witches predict he will hold three important roles in the future, "All hail Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis! Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor! That shalt be king hereafter". The witches inform him of being thane of Glamis, something he is already aware of. Due to the first fact being true Macbeth and Lady Macbeth automatically assume the second two predictions will be as correct as the first. Lady Macbeth plays an important role in the play, as she encourages her husband to follow the path of evil and betrayal. Lady Macbeth's first appearance is during scene five. After the witches have informed Macbeth of the predictions he writes a letter to his wife to give her the strange news. Immediately, after reading the letter, Lady Macbeth has vast amounts of plans for her husband. All related to murder and betrayal. During the Shakespearean times women were completely different to women of the twenty first century. Women didn't have the ability to be independent like women today. Before they were married they belonged to their fathers and relied on them. ...read more.

Middle

During Elizabethan times people were very keen on religion. Majority of the population would regularly attend church. Lady Macbeth's call to the spirits would totally offend an Elizabethan audience, due to their religious views. Lady Macbeth's call to the spirits would leave a twenty first century audience astonished, as women of that time would disassociate themselves from evil. Lady Macbeth seems to be associating with nothing but evil and the devil. "And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell" - She speaks of hell as if it isn't looked down upon. As if it's normal to speak of such evil. This too would have a huge impact on the audience; it's completely abnormal for an Elizabethan woman to act this way. As a result of Lady Macbeth's malevolent behaviour and influence on her husband, Macbeth commits the sin of murder. He murders King Duncan so he can steal his kingship. Macbeth begins to hallucinate in the presence of guests; the guilt seems to be affecting him. Lady Macbeth manages to cover up her husband's bizarre actions and reassures her husband in a malicious manner "I tell you yet again Banquo's buried; he cannot come out on's grave." Yet again, this would be remarkably peculiar to the audience. Woman needed their husbands in the Elizabethan era; they relied on their husbands! ...read more.

Conclusion

A normal person wouldn't rise from bed and return again constantly. This would leave any audience horrified. The behaviour of Lady Macbeth is abnormal and if anyone witnessed it they'd be left petrified. Lady Macbeth during Act1, Scene5 and Act5, Scene1 has an effective impact on the audience. However, I believe Lady Macbeth would have the greatest impact on the audience during Act5, Scene1. This is partly because during Act1, Scene5 the audience saw Lady Macbeth as the villain. They saw nothing but corrupt behaviour from Lady Macbeth. When Lady Macbeth is first introduced in Act5, Scene1 she is not what they would have expected her to be. The once firm, strong woman has completely disappeared. It's as if she's has a personality implant. Not what they'd expect. Whilst, they were expecting the cruel, bloodthirsty woman they saw previously they are introduced to this broken woman. Throughout the play, they'd feel disgust towards Lady Macbeth. But, then during Act5, Scene1 they'll have a sudden change of emotion towards her. Her vulnerable state would leave them appalled or even sympathetic, as she couldn't be as corrupt as they assumed during Act1, Scene5, as she's felt guilty in the end after all! If she was as evil as they'd assumed she was during Act1, Scene5 she would have not felt any guilt at all. ...read more.

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