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Study of Lady Macbeth - Changes through the play.

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Introduction

Study of Lady Macbeth Changes through the play Lady Macbeth is the wife of Macbeth who has just come from a battle and has just been named Thane of Cawdor. The first time we see her in the play, she receives a letter from Macbeth talking about three witches and what they said to him. It reads that the witches have predicted that Macbeth will be the new king. Lady Macbeth is already of how to get rid of Duncan who is the present king. Lady Macbeth is told that King Duncan will be coming to stay at their place. She is startled by the news and calls on evil spirits to change her and lose her femininity. "Come you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty, make thick my blood... etc. She is saying to the evil spirits give me murderous thoughts, make me have no sympathy for humanity at all. When King Duncan arrives at Macbeths' house, Lady Macbeth has already thought of a plan to get rid of him. She treats Duncan as if she is the perfect hostess and hides all her feelings better than Macbeth. Later, Macbeth has felt that he cannot go through with it. Lady Macbeth who is very sly urges him to continue with the murder. The words that Lady Macbeth gives him are very persuasive. She accuses him of being a coward and makes him think he does not love her. "Wouldst thou have that which thou esteem'st the ornament of life, and live a coward in thine own esteem". Lady Macbeth explains her plan to Macbeth. He is impressed and carries on with the murder. He asks her "If we should fail". She says, "We fail?" as if it is inevitable that they should succeed. She has control over Macbeth in this part of the play. ...read more.

Middle

(I.VII.54-59). Her shocking and persuasive effect on Macbeth convinces him that he is "settled," (I.III.79). By hearing a woman who seems to be fearless of his anxieties, he is soothed. But even here, however, we begin to catch a greater glimpse of Lady Macbeth's very unstable mind. By using such a graphic description, she reflects her straining desperation for Macbeth's commitment. She knows that Macbeth is a strong person, and she must seem stronger to convince him to go along with her. She now has to wear a 'mask' of this determined and cold character, creating more distance between her true self and Macbeth. Lady Macbeth has the persuasiveness capable of humiliating someone into murder, but has no personal capacity to execute 'the deed,' though she spoke, at times, as if she would take the opportunity whenever it arose. Lady Macbeth imagines that she has ability to hide her true emotions, though her mind is as frail as an "egg" (IV.III.83). She claims that she can act to "look like the innocent flower/But be the serpent under't" (I.V.64-65). Lady Macbeth imagines that she has the capability to be a remorseless and determined villain, but she isn't anything of the like in reality. In fact, at the end of the play Lady Macbeth is so feeble-minded she becomes overwhelmed with guilt. The guilt that has been set upon her by her husband sprung from convincing him to kill. In reality, the final results are only accountable to Lady MacBeth. She is the one who convinces her husband to commit the murders, therefore ending in a series of emotional and mental problems. As the play begins, she is a motivated, power-hungry woman with no boundaries, but as the play moves on, Lady Macbeth begins to fall further and further into a guilt-filled world, ending in her own suicide. Throughout the play, Lady Macbeth's shifting control over her husband is mainly responsible for aggravating the struggle between Macbeth's morality, devotion and "vaulting ambition." ...read more.

Conclusion

and shows her as she brings the daggers back. Does she really despise Macbeth when she argues him of wearing "a heart so white"? Or is she afraidfor him that he may betray himself? In Act II, Sc.ii, when she calls for help does she do so because of her feminie weakness, or is she afraid that Macduff may question Macbeth further as to his killing of the chamberlains? If the latter, does it again illustrate her quick thinking? Unhappiness - In Act III, Sc.ii, Lady Macbeth is coming to realise that the Crown has not brought happiness, "Nought's had, all's spent, Where our desire is got without content." Is she suffering from remorse here, or does she think that the murder of Duncan has alienated Macbeth from her? "How now, my Lord! Why do you keep alone?" Is she worried that he is unhappy? She tries to console him, "what's done is done." and to rally his spirits. She again shows her presence of mind in the Ghost scene when he becomes 'unmanned', but then, she does not see the Ghost. She uses the old stragedy of appealing to his manliness, but without success. When the guests have departed she does not upbraid Macbeth, but makes excuses for him that he lacks "the season of all natures, sleep." Does this show her gentleness and compassion towards him? Or does she feel that further argument would be useless? The Sleep-Walking Scene - We do not meet her again until this scene. She has now been reduced to a poor,mad creature, broken by events. Our last view of her is her delusion of nearness to Macbeth. Is there a stress on her sense of guilt, her despair and, perhaps still, her determination? Macbeth's few words about her (Act V,Sc.v) may be uttered in an indifferent tone, or even with a sense of something already lost. In the end, perhaps, we feel guilty for her, but we may still remember what appeared to be hardness and cruelty ...read more.

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