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

    and therefore Cawdor shall sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more' (Act 2, Scene 2, Line 45-6) This repetition of his different roles shows him slowly falling to pieces because of what he does, and also shows how much he is trying to find a way to make it

  2. Macbeth (Analysis of The Banquet Scene)

    From this scene we can learn that there is an imbalance in the Macbeth and Lady Macbeth relationship. Lady Macbeth is the strong, manipulative spouse, and Macbeth looks to be the weaker, naive spouse. The stranger thing about their relationship is that when they start to be united in their

  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'. ...

    Caithness tells us that 'Some say he's mad; others, that lesser hate him /Do call it valiant fury.' Angus then rightly points out that: Those he commands move only in command Nothing in love; now does he feel his title Hang loose about him, like a giant's robe Upon a dwarfish thief.

  1. Macbeth Act 2, Scene 1~2, How does Shakespeare create dramatic tension in these scenes?

    When the knocking returns, Lady Macbeth knows exactly where it is coming from, "I hear knocking at the south entry". There is no confusion in her language, no interrogatives, showing how in control of situation that she is. Shakespeare contrasts the characters and opinions of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.

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

    He is intriguing: 'Bellona's bridegroom' and physically strong: 'carv'd out his passage' and an inspiring leader, a brilliant general: 'Doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe.' He seems authoritative and decisive, getting Scotland: 'Ten thousand dollars to our general use' he compares favourably with the weak, benevolent Duncan and we admire

  1. Compare 'The Highwayman' by Alfred Noyes to Lord Tennyson's 'The Lady of Shalott'

    She sees many different people going along the road including 'market girls' and 'a troop of damsels'. Secondly, Sir Lancelot rides along this road 'down to Camelot'. This leads to the Lady of Shalott's death because she falls in

  2. Macbeth Act 1 Scene 1 Analysis

    lack of titles and social status; whereas ?greater? and ?much happier? could refer to Banquo?s clearer conscience, honest character and upholding of morals. However, it is the last line of the riddle which though straightforward to a certain extent, tells us that Banquo will sire a long line of Kings.

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