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

"Nothing is but what is not" A discussion of how the play ends leaving the reader with uncertainty on final judgementsof the character of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are made

Extracts from this document...


"Nothing is but what is not" A discussion of how the play ends leaving the reader with uncertainty on final judgements of the character of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are made "Fair is foul and foul is fair" is established at the opening of the play, by both the witches and Macbeth himself, as the audience is asked to question and reconsider its responses to the characters and action of the play. So by the end of the play, with the main characters dead on stage leaving us wondering 'was he only the 'dead butcher' and she, 'his fiend-like queen'?' There is evidence to suggest that Macbeth would have fit the description of being a "butcher," after all, he had taken the lives of many people, some of them were even close associates of Macbeth. He assassinated Duncan, the king, in order to gain the throne. He also murdered Banquo, who was his best friend, and slaughtered the Macduff household. However, Macbeth only resolved himself into a far more stereotypical villain when he felt that he had gone to far, as he says, "I am in blood stepped in so far." ...read more.


In a time when women were ranked lower than horses (you can go without having a wife, but you could not live without having a decent horse), Lady Macbeth, encourages, and many believe command her husband to do the deed of regicide. Although it may seem that she is the driving force behind the regicide, in the end it is still Macbeth that bears the responsibility, and the one that takes the action, because she couldn't commit the murder herself, as she says "Had he (Duncan) not resembled my father as he slept, I had done 't." This could be linked to Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytical work about the bond between a daughter and her father, which can't be broken, as according to Freud the bond that exists is due to the heroism a woman looks upon in her father, and this could be the very elements of a character she'll look for in her husband.. It also shows, when she was trying to persuade, or many believe command, Macbeth to commit the regicide that she would have "Plucked my nipple from his (her baby's) ...read more.


Instead of commanding Macbeth, Lady Macbeth uses her charms to manipulate, her husband, so the audience sees this as a more warm relationship. For example, when Macbeth confessed that he couldn't assassinate the king and was sacred of it, the Lady Macbeth in the Welles version became visually angry and hissed the line "but screw your courage to the sticking place and we shall not fail" to Macbeths ear, in a fiend-like manner. While the Lady Macbeth in the Polanski version just persuaded him to go on with the plan, whispering softly, with an undertone of urgency while using her charms to manipulate him. The difference could be due to rise of feminism throughout the 50's and 60's when women fought for their rights to be treated equally. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were both ordinary people that reacted to circumstances, as someone would have before, does now and will again. The changes that occurred in both the character of Macbeth and his lady could leave us questioning upon our right to judge their characters based upon their actions, which should leaves us with more reflective views upon moral justice, as someone's character cannot be simply judged upon the actions of life that they take. ...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. Was Lady Macbeth in control of Macbeth's fate?

    Basically Macbeth contributed in turning himself into an evil person, and in this way Lady Macbeth wasn't in complete control of her husband's fate. The Witches and the supernatural forces played the biggest part in this tragedy, in my opinion.

  2. Lady Macbeth's Character in Macbeth.

    A "poisoned chalice" is something that seems good but in the long run it has negative implications and consequences. In this soliloquy Macbeth clearly shows the audience that he possesses a deep conscience and that he feels a growing sense of guilt.

  1. Analyse the Macbeth's marriage during the play, and explain why and how it changed

    Macbeth now knows that he will regret his deeds for the rest of his life. We are shown this when he says- "Will all great Neptune's oceans wash this blood Clean from my hand? No, this hand will rather The multitudinous seas incarnadine, Making the green one red."

  2. Using Macbeth's soliloquies and speeches, show how the character changes throughout the course of ...

    She exploits his love for her - 'From this time, such I account thy love'- and tells him he is cowardly - 'Like the poor cat i' th' adage?' At this point, Macbeth shows how weak his character is. Although he has just thought of many powerful reasons why he

  1. Macbeth - Women In The Play

    These women have subverted gender stereotypes and thus must be portrayed in this way. Shakespeare is showing that women had no power at the time unless they acted like men. We can see that Macbeth has no power over these witches as he tries to take control but fails.

  2. Consider two of Macbeth's soliloquies and deal with how they influence the audience's interpretation ...

    As soon as the witches appear in the play Macbeth becomes anxious. This point is like the turning point in the play, when Macbeth realises his deepest ambitions. The witches address Macbeth's ambitious nature. Immediately after Macbeths meeting with the witches, he can not stop thinking about his possible kingship,

  1. It is a fair assessment of Macbeth's character to call him nothing but a ...

    believed in divine right, that the king was chosen from God and anyone who took that power away was defying God and it was the ultimate wrong. King James would have been very pleased at this element of the play, as it showed that any person who committed regicide suffered greatly as a consequence of it.

  2. What part does Lady Macbeth play in Macbeth's downfall?

    She may also want to be part of his success so he will respect her for it, or she may want him to be king purely so that she can be queen, as the only way she could have power would be if Macbeth did.

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