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

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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.


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.


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.

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