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To What Extent Do Accept That Lady Macbeth is 'Fiend-Like'?

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English Coursework To what extent do you accept that Lady Macbeth is 'fiend-like'? You should consider: * her role in the play * the dramatic methods used by Shakespeare to present Lady Macbeth * the language Shakespeare uses to present her * the reactions of other characters to her * audience reaction, both then and now Lady Macbeth is a very complex character, there are times when she seems to be fiend-like which are then contradicted by moments that show a more vulnerable and human side to her. I think that she is not fiend-like. I think she wants her husband to succeed in his ambitions and so her morals are weakened. I believe she later regrets this. When first introduced to Lady Macbeth the audience can see a determined woman who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. As soon as she receives Macbeth's letter she comes to the decision that Duncan must die: 'The fatal entrance of Duncan' Her determination to see the murder through encourages her to call on evil spirits to give her artificial help. I feel that she calls on the evil spirits because she knows that she would feel guilty without them, though I do feel that this is quite ruthless but it is because of her ambition and her love for Macbeth that drives her to do it. ...read more.


In the 11th century women were seen as inferior to men, this was also the case in the 1600s when Shakespeare wrote 'Macbeth' so for Lady Macbeth to be so strong minded would have been regarded by audiences as remarkable. My thoughts of Lady Macbeth being more human than portrayed, at times, is furthered when she has to drink alcohol to give her courage during the murder because I do not think that a fiend would need simulated courage to follow through on an evil deed. 'That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold; What hath quenched them hath given me fire.' I think that without the artificial help Lady Macbeth takes (evil spirits and alcohol) she would not have been able to go through with the murder of King Duncan. Even with the alcohol and evil spirits upon her an owl manages to frighten Lady Macbeth, revealing her more vulnerable side. Furthermore, Lady Macbeth was unable to kill Duncan herself, even with the help of the alcohol and evil spirits, as he reminded her of her father, thus showing her more exposed and sentimental side. '. . . ...read more.


Her other advice to Macbeth, after Duncan's murder, is made ironic as she herself has gone mad and had a mental breakdown. 'These deeds must not be thought After these ways; so, it will make us mad.' While sleepwalking Lady Macbeth speaks in prose, illustrating how tormented her mind is with thoughts of the evil deeds that have took place from the time of Duncan's murder, such as the killing of Macduff's family: 'The thane of Fife had a wife: where is she now?' The re-running of events in her head drives Lady Macbeth to insanity, and, in the end she takes her own life - not being able to cope anymore this is obviously the only way of escaping she can think of. For me, this confirms that Lady Macbeth really regrets ever tempting Macbeth to kill Duncan and that she is deeply sorry. I think that, although she has said and done some evil things, for example - putting Duncan's murder into motion, she is not completely fiend-like but a vulnerable and sensitive woman who tried to hide behind a pretence of courage and ruthlessness for her husband. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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