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The Character of Lady Macbeth

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If you were producing "Macbeth" show what factors you would take in to consideration for the interpretation of Lady Macbeth. Refer closely to the text in your answer The character of Lady Macbeth is riddled with complications. Discerning her morality is a question that has no definite answer. Essentially her role in the play is as Macbeth's wife and regardless of her motives for doing so she is the driving force in the murder of King Duncan. I am going to study the character of Lady Macbeth to determine different ways in which the character could be portrayed. There are two reasons why there is so much uncertainty about her character. The first is being the way the plot unfolds. The first time Lady Macbeth is introduced is in act 1 scene 5 and it is significant that her first sentence is "Glamis thou art, and Cawder; and shalt be what thou art promised" i.e. King of Scotland, significant because immediately it makes her sound obsessive. After this we see her character conjure evil spirits, this point will be discussed later in detail because it is an important factor in completing the task, but we begin to think that there is only one side to her character. As the play goes on we learn more about Lady Macbeth, which makes us question our pre-conceptions and consequently review previous scenes in this new light. ...read more.


The Shakespearean audience would not have looked favourably on witchcraft, which is what Lady Macbeth is doing. From an evil point of view if she were to experience any remorse, it would not be from killing the King, but instead from using her husband, because there is no evidence that suggests she doesn't love him to some degree. However, as a director you may feel that Lady Macbeth is filling her mind with 'direst cruelty' because she is not in fact evil (logically she would only need evil if she was of good nature) and so she needs to invite darkness in to her soul before she can instigate the killing. In contrast, if the actress were to make herself seem vulnerable and if on line thirty-nine (also forty-seven and forty-nine) she put emphasis on the pronoun "you" (when referring to the evil spirits) she would make herself seem like a victim and successfully create the impression that she is not what they are. There is a scene after the murders where Lady Macbeth faints. It has been argued over, as long as the play itself, whether she fainted to distract attention from her struggling husband or whether strangely she realises the implications of her actions. The line is "Help me hence, ho!" and then she faints. ...read more.


An actress who is tall and slim would be the most appropriate, because it will show feminine power, it would be best if she were also beautiful so we could believe that this women could successfully manipulate a man. Facial features would best include visible cheekbones, which gives the notion of power. At first her face should not look plain; make-up should be used to bring colour to her lips and cheeks (building on her sexual power), but also to make her eyes dark so she appears mysterious. Though sometimes overused in the portrayal of evil the costumes should revolve around black and red. Black and red being synonymous with evil, darkness etc. i.e. the characteristics we want to bring out. I would use the costume to emphasise a change in Lady Macbeth from before she conjures the evil spirits to after. Prior to doing so she should wear all black, but then she should incorporate red, the audience will be able to identify with the colours. In between I do not believe that the colours will play a lot of significance. However, for the last scene where she goes mad I would dress her in white, not because she is innocent but because she is vulnerable and the audience will notice the change in her costume as a complement to that in her attributes. Removing the colour from her face would also help emphasise this. ?? ?? ?? ?? - 1 - ...read more.

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