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

What are our first impressions of Lady Macbeth and how does Shakespeare create them in the audiences mind in Act 1?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What are our first impressions of Lady Macbeth and how does Shakespeare create them in the audience's mind in Act 1? Lady Macbeth plays a considerable part in Shakespeare's story of Macbeth. We start off the scene with the lady herself reading a letter from her beloved husband; this piece of paper announces Macbeth's promotion to be Thane of Cawdor, and also describing his encounter with the three witches. We can tell by the reaction of this letter from Lady Macbeth that she loves him a lot but also has her reservations about the new Thane. She knows that her husband is very ambitious, but also thinks that he isn't brave enough to do what is necessary (although he is brave enough to be a bold, fighting soldier), we can tell this from the quote '"th' milk of human kindness". Lady Macbeth, after this letter is determined to get her man the crown, which also shows the ambitiousness that they share together; of which she wants to do anything to get it. ...read more.

Middle

Shakespeare shows the audience that Lady Macbeth does not have the moral standards of most people. Very briefly in scene 6, we see her basically lie to Duncan saying that it is her duty to be hospitable since she and her husband owe so much to their king. Straight away it is obvious that she doesn't mind lying to someone important to deceive them and make them feel welcomed when really, his murderers lie in wait. Later on, in scene 7, Macbeth is by himself considering his choice to kill the king and whether or not to actually do it or not. He fears that his actions will "return to plague th' inventor'; he has no other reason to kill Duncan than his, or his wife's own ambition. This short piece of writing tells us that when on his own, Macbeth's thoughts are actually morally right and he does have some sanity. This is when Lady Macbeth enters the scene only to find out her husband has had second thoughts about the murder; of which her reaction is pure anger. ...read more.

Conclusion

From here, Macbeth proceeds to commit the vicious murder. Throughout the play, whenever Macbeth shows signs of faltering, Lady Macbeth implies that he is less than a man, intimidating him and bullying him into decisions. He sees the Lady's masculinity as heroic (this is why he seems to rather do everything she tells him to), whilst she sees this masculinity for dark and cruel ways which for some reason he cannot see. Even though when Duncan is dead Macbeth will be the Thane, Lady Macbeth seems more concerned about power. Morality is shown a lot in these few scenes; although Macbeth knows he is doing the wrong thing in killing Duncan, he still does it even though he will probably reap the consequences. It is Lady Macbeth that controls the second half of this act however, and ends up bullying Macbeth into making his decision based on her own selfish ambition. He can not seem to stand up for himself, through all the manipulative speech she uses, and this is what eventually contributes to Macbeth's downfall. ...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

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

3 star(s)

Response to the question

The candidate has addressed the question directly, and does his/her analysis by going through the first act chronologically. This is an effective method for approaching a question such as this and gives the essay a clear structure, although at times ...

Read full review

Response to the question

The candidate has addressed the question directly, and does his/her analysis by going through the first act chronologically. This is an effective method for approaching a question such as this and gives the essay a clear structure, although at times the analysis is not as in depth as would be appropriate for a high mark, and the essay is quite short.

Level of analysis

The candidate has quoted directly from the play, and commented on the quotations and thereby shown what impression they give of Lady Macbeth, and has also discussed her impact on Macbeth himself and the impression she creates on him. Where this is done it is done well, although the essay would benefit from more extensive quotation and reference to the text. The candidate has also not really discussed the literary devices used by Shakespeare and how these contribute to Lady Macbeth’s characterisation, although s/he has explained metaphors such as “th’ milk of human kindness”. Simply writing more and with great reference to the text would improve this essay greatly.

Quality of writing

The essay is well written, with a high standard of grammar, spelling and punctuation. Occasionally the language used is a bit too conversational, and therefore slightly inappropriate for a school essay, for example, “we see her basically lie to Duncan”. Aside from this, the candidate has shown a flowing style and the command of a large vocabulary.


Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by medbh4805 19/02/2012

Read less
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. What impressions of Lady Macbeth do we get in Act 5 Scene 1?

    Knowing too much is also a fatal flaw for the Macbeths, as they are fully aware that prophecies come true, yet the two of them choose to intervene and change fate. This at first has not effect but later doe affect them both whether it is indirect.

  2. Macbeth (Analysis of The Banquet Scene)

    He seems afraid, as the vision of 'twenty mortal murders' plays on his fears. 'There an end; but now they rise again.' Macbeth wants to know why people are resurrecting. During this, Macbeth realises that the consequences of his actions are never ending, and he must face them even though he can't comprehend the extent of them.

  1. Macbeth: How does Shakespeare dramatise the murder of Duncan in Act II Scenes (i) ...

    Macbeth: When? Lady Macbeth: Now. Macbeth: As I descended?' This creates the tense atmosphere because the actors have no choice but to throw these short sharp words back and forth very quickly. The next line is unusual as there is only one syllable in it, said by Lady Macbeth in answer to Macbeth's question 'As I descended?'.

  2. What impression do you get of Macbeth from the First Act?

    It is ironic as later this is what happens to Macbeth. In Act 2, Scene 2 after he has killed Duncan, Macbeth says "Methought I heard a voice cry 'Sleep no more!' " Again we get the impression that Macbeth is doomed.

  1. Macbeth Letter

    I could not help thinking that the greatest was behind. I then thought a terrible thought. Murdering king Duncan to become king. I pushed the thought out of my head and told myself "if chance will have me king, why chance may crown me without my stir."

  2. 'Macbeth' gives us a classic example of the literary definition of a 'tragic hero'. ...

    A confrontation between the two would be one between good and evil. Ross further describes the state that Scotland is in, and he paints a harrowing picture thus: Alas! poor country; Almost afraid to know itself. It cannot Be call'd our mother, but our grave; where nothing.

  1. Analyse the Macbeth's marriage during the play, and explain why and how it changed

    that women are in fact stronger and more cunning then they are given credit for. He is using Lady Macbeth to show this and it is apparent by the way she bosses and manipulates Macbeth. He is also creating sympathy for Macbeth.

  2. Macbeth Act 1 Scene 1 Analysis

    Their reason for casting a spell on the sailor and his ship, cursing them to prolonged periods of suffering was simply because his fat wife refused to share her chestnuts with the First Witch. Such extreme measures emphasize the witches? malicious natures, immediately giving the audience a poor impression of the characters.

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