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

Study of Lady Macbeth - Changes through the play.

Extracts from this document...

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.

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. Marked by a teacher

    How does Lady Macbeth change throughout the play, "Macbeth"?

    5 star(s)

    For example her lines "Wash your hands, put on your nightgown, look not so pale," are similar to II.ii where she says "Get on your nightgown... Be not lost / So poorly in your thoughts." This highlights how distraught she is that she is so separated from Macbeth that she desperately recalls previous moments when they did share things together.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Analysis of the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

    3 star(s)

    Feed, and regard him not." She then turns to Macbeth and uses a past used expression of, "Are you a man?!" He answers that he is, and much alike to her character, dismisses him just as she has done so often before when Macbeth shows weakness.

  1. Peer reviewed

    Discuss the Role Played by the Witches in the Tragedy of Macbeth

    3 star(s)

    Our first impressions are that Macbeth's relationship with his wife is very healthy and loving, "My dearest partner in greatness". After reading her dear husband's letter, Lady Macbeth engages in a long soliloquy. A soliloquy is a speech made by a character, unheard by other characters and revealing his or her deepest and innermost feelings and thoughts to the audience.

  2. Does Shakespeare present Lady Macbeth as good or evil?

    When she finds out that Duncan is only staying for one night, she immediately realises that they will have to act fast as they have only one night and she assures Macbeth to "leave all the rest to me". Lady Macbeth despite being ruthless as displayed by her apparent disregard

  1. How does Shakespeare present the character of Lady Macbeth in 'Macbeth'?

    effects of murder and its aftermath, Lady Macbeth appears to rush to his aid. In fact, she is only ensuring that he does not give anything away. She still has no knowledge that he has given the order for Banquo to be murdered, and you get the sense she actually

  2. Discuss how Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth and how her character develops during the play

    The use of the rhetorical questions is a very effective dramatic device as both Macbeth and the audience answer these questions in their heads, therefore appreciating both the dilemma Macbeth faces and the manipulative techniques Lady Macbeth uses. Lady Macbeth attacks her husband's manhood 'Art thou afeard to be the

  1. Explain what Act 1, Scene 7 tells us about the characters of Macbeth and ...

    The quote also makes use of a slightly biblical reference. "...The serpent under 't." could be a reference to the Devil and the Garden of Eden. The devil, representing sin, hid away amongst the beautiful flowers and fruit, and persuaded Eve to eat an apple God had forbidden her to eat.

  2. Lady Macbeth is responsible for the tragedy of Macbeth

    This is because he has probably already thought and fantasised about becoming King. The witches also predict that Banquos descendants will be Kings. Banquo seems suspicious of the witches and does not believe everything they say. This is because he does not have secret ambitions to be King as Macbeth does.

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