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Macbeth coursework: Compare and contrast the dramatic changes between lady Macbeth in act 2 scene 2 to act 5 scene 1

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Introduction

Macbeth coursework: "Lady Macbeth's power decreases throughout 'Macbeth." Compare and contrast how Shakespeare's language shows the audience this is happening in Act 2 Scene 2 and Act 5 Scene 1. In act 2, during the murder scene we see Lady Macbeth as a determined, fiery and motivated individual. We see she takes more of a traditional mans role and acts like no other women would have in those days. She also seems to be in charge of Macbeth and his actions. For example we see how strong Lady Macbeth is in lines 1-3 Act 2 Scene 2. "That, which hath made them drunk, hath made me bold; what hath quenched them, hath given me fire." - Lady Macbeth. This is in Lady Macbeth's soliloquy at the beginning of Act 2 Scene 2 referring to the drugging of Duncan's bodyguards. Shakespeare uses the word 'bold' and 'fire' which have a specific effect on Macbeth. They seem to suggest the determined nature of Lady Macbeth. Macbeth replies to this in line 8 scene 8. "Who's there? What ho?" - Macbeth. I believe that Shakespeare uses the words who and what as the show Macbeths It is a prime example of how he is under control of an extremely powerful Lady Macbeth. In Scene 5 Act 1 we see how Lady Macbeth's power has almost suddenly all gone. She is no longer the strong lady she once was, and is now an emotional wreck driven insane. ...read more.

Middle

Lady Macbeth went from being an extremely powerful lady to dieing of stage. We see that in act 2 scene 2 that Lady Macbeth thinks she has control over Macbeth. "Consider it not so deeply". This is a futile attempt by Lady Macbeth to gain control over her husband. She is very confident of her position above Lady Macbeth. Shakespeare uses this language to emphasise how insensitive she is being to Duncan. This is quite contrasting to Lady Macbeth in act 5 scene 1. "The thane of fife had a wife. Where is she now"? Instead of controlling others, Lady Macbeth is now going mad following the murder of King Duncan. The rhyme of fife and wife is like a children's nursery rhyme, Lady Macbeth appears to be going back to her childhood. The stagecraft used in a recent production I saw works very effectively. It shows to the audience how instead of controlling people by her words she has now lost control and saying things she shouldn't. In Scene 2 Act 2 we see Lady Macbeth and Macbeth as the only people in the seen. There are many similarities and differences between them. Lady Macbeth appears mainly to be a confident, ambitious and articulate character, but Macbeth sort of needs someone to be bossed about by. They have both been involved with murders recently but we see the very different circumstances. ...read more.

Conclusion

We see she does not attempt to influence anyone and is happy being a lady of the court. Lady Macbeth however is different as we see in Act 2 Scene 2 when she takes over a situation that Macbeth cannot handle. "Give me the daggers". A woman such as the Gentlewomen would never do a masculine job for a man. In the recent film I saw she says this in a commanding and imperative tone. This is a prime example of Shakespeare's characterization of the early Lady Macbeth. Macbeth was written in the Jacobean theatre era, which bean in Queen Elizabeth's reign and ended in 1642. All of Shakespeare's plays were penned at this time and his use of language makes up roughly 400 words in the English Language. Shakespeare manipulates language to present Lady Macbeth as a strong woman who is eventually driven mad by her huge ambition. Throughout Macbeth we are shown how this once dominant, powerful and determined lady turned into a pathetic wreck. At the beginning of the book Lady Macbeth is possibly portrayed to the audience as the most important character. Shakespeare uses clever stagecraft such as giving her the most lines to say making her seem very dominant over the other characters. In the recent production she is made to appear to have control over the others on stage. Lady Macbeth's importance seems to fade slowly throughout the play. To represent Lady Macbeths less important role Shakespeare uses clever stagecraft by having her dying of the stage. Barney Grove 23/05/07 ...read more.

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