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"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

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Introduction

"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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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