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Macbeth Oral Assignment Discuss the representation of women in Shakespeare's Macbeth

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Introduction

Macbeth Oral Assignment Discuss the representation of women in Shakespeare's Macbeth. In this assignment I'm going to present how Shakespeare represented women in Macbeth. The women that ill be focusing on would be the three witches and Lady Macbeth. We will see how Shakespeare portrayed these women and how they played a significant part in Macbeth. We are first introduced to the witches in Act 1, Scene 1 to 3. Our first impression of the witches are that they are quite powerful as they harness a lot of power as we are shown in the first scene where they have the power to control the weather. The witches are in control, the weather is changeable as one says "when shall we meet again, in thunder, lighting or in rain?" The atmosphere also reflects the witches, as the weather is very dismal with "thunder and lighting" this presents negative weather. The variable weather also suggests that they can create intense chaos. Thunder is almost an indication for the witches' entrance; as thunder implies evil and confused power. The scene starts in an open place which has no boundaries this implies that the witches have no boundaries to what they can do whereas we human do have limits. Shakespeare portrays the witches as strange and unearthly creatures as Banquo questions them to be human as he says "that look not like th' inhabitants o' the earth". Banquo also says "upon her skinny lips: you should be women, and yet your beards forbid me to interpret" which implies that they are very unattractive and they are a subverting gender stereotypes. The witches use rhythmic language to give extra force into what they are saying and also creates a sense of chanting but as we read on we see these chanting are like a riddle which has meaning to it "fair is foul, and foul is fair" this indicates that good is bad and bad is good. ...read more.

Middle

The imagery of darkness adds more effect to what Lady Macbeth says "Nor heaven peep through the blanket". This implies that she wants it to be so dark so that she cant be seen or stopped by heaven or anything else to stop her from doing such cruelty. She creates imagery of darkness and evil as she says "come thick night 'and' dunnest smokes of hell" this shows how evil Lady Macbeth is. Lady Macbeth creates disorder in the chain of being as she says "stop up th' access and pass he to remorse, that no compunctious visting of nature" this gives the impression that she doesn't want to feel guilty as she is determines to ensure that the natural order is not restored. The implied meaning of "and when goes hence" is that she is thinking ahead and planning when to kill Duncan, she feels the sooner it is done the better. When Duncan arrives to the thane of Cawdor castle, he is pleasantly greeted by 'the air nimbly and sweetly' this ties into the theme of deception and dramatic irony. In act one scene six Lady Macbeth is the 'honored hostess' and King Duncan is very thankful to her as she is his loyal subject. Lady Macbeth is cunning as she tries to be the perfect hostess to make King Duncan fall for her trap. Lady Macbeth looks loyal on the surface but in reality it's the reverse she is treacherous and she encourages Macbeth to see things the way she does 'look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under it' this is a biblical allusion. Lady Macbeth is the Kings 'fair and noble hostess' this is Shakespeare use of dramatic irony as Lady Macbeth is neither any of them as all this is an illusion to trick King Duncan. Lady Macbeth's character is developed in act one scene seven as we see the ultimate gender reversal. ...read more.

Conclusion

These women would have found it difficult to imagine that such women as Lady Macbeth existed. Tragedy is when a hero suffers some serious misfortune which is not accidental and consequently meaningless but significant in that the misfortune is logically connected and therefore Macbeth is responsible for his own downfall. The greatest cause of Macbeth's downfall was Ambition. However it is not to say that ambition was the only cause of his down fall. For, it was closely guided by two main factors in the form of the witches and Lady Macbeth. The pursuit of power and control bare a great price, Macbeth loses his integrity and honour. He is no longer happy with himself or what he has done despite the fact he gets all that he had set out to gain. In trying to acquire his idea of "everything", Macbeth tragically loses everything instead. Macbeth failed to realize that he needed to be more proud of himself than of the material things he could gain. In the end, it just wasn't worth it. It makes you sad that such a nice guy didn't know this in the beginning. Ultimately Macbeth brings about his own downfall, deliberately yielding himself to the destiny suggested by his prophetic encounter. This makes Macbeth responsible for Duncan death as it his ambition to be King to carry out the murder in the first place. In conclusion it is clear that Shakespeare represented the women in 'Macbeth' to play an Evil influence in Macbeth's life as they play a significant part in the plot of this story. The women in this play lead Macbeth to the position he ends up in as it is the women that motivates him to become king and to do evil in the first place. The women in this play are very dominating and influencing. They are very cunning as they know what to say to Macbeth for Macbeth to get what they want. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sarah Naim 10S ...read more.

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