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

With particular focus on Act 1, Scene 7, explain Lady Macbeths role in Macbeth.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

With particular focus on Act 1, Scene 7, explain Lady Macbeth?s role in ?Macbeth?. Lady Macbeth is widely conceived to be one of, if not the, pivotal character in ?Macbeth?, mainly because of her roles and influence in the murder of King Duncan and the resultant murders that followed. Her progression throughout the play also plays a significant role in the plot?s development, particularly her mental health that, paradoxically, appears to regress. Lady Macbeth seems to possess several roles in ?Macbeth?, the most prominent of which is her role as the ?driving force? behind Macbeth?s floundering ambition to kill Duncan and become king of Scotland. However, she also possesses several other roles in the play?s advancement, such as her apparent semblance to an ?anti-woman? and also the potential that Lady Macbeth could have something to do with the supernatural. The first role that Lady Macbeth plays in ?Macbeth? is that of the creator the encouragement, stimulation and inspiration that drove Macbeth to kill King Duncan. The plot to murder King Duncan in order that Macbeth become king of Scotland was thought up by Lady Macbeth shortly after she receives a letter from Macbeth informing her about his meeting with the three witches and their predictions that came from it. ...read more.

Middle

This shows Macbeth?s weak character very evidently but also shows how easily manipulated he is by Lady Macbeth. The next role of Lady Macbeth is her suggested emasculation. Throughout the play Lady Macbeth talks openly about her unwillingness to mother children and also of her desire to be a man. This is most prevalent in Act 1 Scene 7 where she boasts her masculine attributes. Just before Act 1 Scene 7 she also says the famous line ?unsex me here? and in Act 1 Scene 5 she says ?stop up th? access and passage to remorse?, referring to her desire for her menstruation to cease. However, it seems apparent that Lady Macbeth doesn?t just crave a change of gender, but that she also craves to quench her ever-increasing thirst for power. There is a problem however, for women in her time were generally not allowed to hold power or positions of power, except for the Queen. This explains Lady Macbeth?s masculinity and also her desire for Macbeth to kill Duncan because then she can become queen and be authoritative and powerful. This is where her role as an ?anti-woman? comes into play. ...read more.

Conclusion

The final role that Lady Macbeth plays in my opinion is a representation of gender stereotyping that occurred at the time of Shakespeare. Lady Macbeth appears to represent the large amount of sexism that was apparent at the time that ?Macbeth? was written. When Shakespeare wrote ?Macbeth? women were generally conceived to be the inferior sex. However, in his writing it seems as though he has tried to embody the gender stereotyping that went on and also women?s? fight against it, although in an extreme way. Lady Macbeth?s constant ambition to become a man is the embodiment of gender stereotyping in that in order to succeed women must become men. This makes it seem that Shakespeare is supporting women?s rights, however, when you read between the lines and find that Duncan is based on King James of Scotland, you can start to understand why Shakespeare has given Lady Macbeth the role that she has. It is historically known that King Duncan is based around King James of Scotland; however, some historians have also suggested that Lady Macbeth may be based on Queen Gruoch of Scotland. This explains why Shakespeare would embody gender stereotyping into Lady Macbeth as he does, and that is to impress and to keep in the favour of the Queen and also the King of Scotland. Edward Osmond Mr Cherry 4/6 ...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. Macbeth Act 1 Scene 7

    As the play progresses, the relationship between the Macbeths gradually changes. In act two scene two, Lady Macbeth gets Duncan's guards extremely drunk, but gets drunk herself in the process. This suggests that her ruthlessness is not as strong as it first appeared - she requires the support of alcohol fuelled confidence to fulfil her task.

  2. How does Macbeths Character change during the play

    In Act 3, Scene 1, Macbeth is planning to have Banquo and Fleance killed because he sees them as a threat, but he is a coward because he is not killing them himself, he is getting two other people to do it for him, which will send them to hell.

  1. Trace the development of Macbeth's character

    belief that during Shakespearean times, witchcraft was seen as evil and dark. Here Banquo is not blinded by his ambition like Macbeth. In Act 1 scene 7 Macbeth struggles with his conscience. Part of him is driven by his ambition and will stop at nothing to become king, but the

  2. Lady Macbeth's Character in Macbeth.

    but they can not control his destiny. Macbeth creates his own misery when he is driven by his own sense of guilt. This causes him to become insecure as to the reasons for his actions which in turn causes him to commit more murders. The witches offer great enticement, but it is in the end, each individuals

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

    After this the Norwegian army attack Scotland and the Scottish army were very weak. However Macbeth and Banquo fight back and are described as- "sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion." This is an ironic phrase as a sparrow would never beat an eagle or a hare defeat a lion.

  2. Lady Macbeth's Breakdown in a particular Scene

    She is saying, "you are a soldier yet you are afraid?", but it is said in a completely different tone from before, she is more questioning herself and her fear. Before, however, she showed no hint of being afraid. This shows her loss of control of her emotions.

  1. Shakespeare: Macbeth Act 4 scene 1

    First, in the beautiful but ironical passage when Duncan sees the swallows flirting round the castle of death. Next, when at the close the avenging army gathers to rid the earth of its shame. Therefore; I can say that darkness is used to establish the evil parts of the play;

  2. Macbeth" is a political and dramatic play although, it has more political elements to ...

    But Shakespeare does dramatize it, by making Macbeth hallucinate in seeing the dagger which "leads" him to Duncan's chamber. There is a third overall comparison on the outcome of the decision that both couples make. Adam and Eve eat the fruit and are therefore banished from the Garden of Eden and hence the fall of them and mankind.

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