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

With Particular Reference to Acts I and II, Explain why Lady Macbeth would be such a Horrific Character for Shakespeare's Audience.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

With Particular Reference to Acts I and II, Explain why Lady Macbeth would be such a Horrific Character for Shakespeare's Audience. When Shakespeare wrote Macbeth in 1606 the audience would have reacted disapprovingly towards Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as they were committing sacrilege by killing the king and putting Macbeth on the throne. However, the audience would have looked especially negatively of Lady Macbeth as she went against the Jacobean idea of women. The first time we hear of Macbeth is by the witches in (act 1, scene 1, line 8). This shows that Macbeth has a link with the supernatural, which was frowned upon in the Jacobean times. The first impression we get of Lady Macbeth is when she is reading Macbeth's letter, Macbeth calls her "his dearest partner of greatness" this shows us that Macbeth loves his wife at this point in the play. After Lady Macbeth has read the letter she considers her husbands character and she says that he lacks ruthlessness while she claims that she has enough ambition for the both of them, "pour my spirits in thy ears" (act 1, scene 5, line 25), and she showers Macbeth in negative praise. ...read more.

Middle

After the banquet Macbeth begins to have doubts about his plans to kill Duncan because he knows that this would be the wrong thing to do and his conscience would be in turmoil. Lady Macbeth however with her ruthless ambition convinces him to do it and she says that if she made a promise and went against it she would pluck her baby from her nipple and "dash'd the brains out" (act 1, scene 7, line 57). This goes against her maternal instinct again and it also shows that the supernatural forces are listening to her and taking away her femininity. Also in this scene Lady Macbeth challenges her husband's manhood, which would have been a great insult to any man of the time. To alter favour ever is to fear". Lady Macbeth says this to Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is saying that if you change your mind, you had better watch out! In Act 2 Scene 2 Lady Macbeth has prepared for the murder and waits for Macbeth. ...read more.

Conclusion

She makes Macbeth feel that they are both equal to blame for the murder of Duncan. Lady Macbeth is trying to straighten out Macbeth although he is still quite fearful. Lady Macbeth does not reappear until Act 2 Scene 3. In this scene Macduff is appalled by Duncan's death Lady Macbeth is told of Duncan's death but says "What, in our house?" She seems puzzled but not at all shocked. She does not show feelings of what a natural woman would do. The only other woman we have to compare to Lady Macbeth is Lady Macduff in act 4, scene 2. In this scene lady Macduff is talking to her son in a motherly way that one would expect from a mother unlike lady Macbeth who talks of bashing her baby's brains out. In Act 5 Scene 1, we see Lady Macbeth again, but this time she has been through different moods. Lady Macbeth's waiting gentlewoman has called in a doctor to view Lady Macbeth's actions in her sleepwalking. ...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: How does Shakespeare dramatise the murder of Duncan in Act II Scenes (i) ...

    Polanski decided to show the floating dagger, but this was probably because the film was aimed at a wider, more 'mainstream' audience, and he thought subtle details like an imaginary dagger should be made more obvious, even though this loses some of meaning of the idea.

  2. Lady Macbeth's Character in Macbeth.

    After all the rise of Macbeth has many devastating repercussions. So the witches do in affect succeed. The second question I cannot answer as we only see what does happen not what might of happened. However I believe that Macbeth would not have taken the life of Duncan without serious encouragement (which I believe the witches supplied).

  1. My hands are of your colour, but I shame to wear a heart so ...

    The 17th Century audience would be shocked and disgusted by this because valiance and prestige were of such importance to the people of that time, 'Like valour's minions' shows us that Duncan, Banquo and the nobility thought very highly of Macbeth and so a woman questioning his manhood was a

  2. What impression do the audience get of Lady Macbeth's Character at the end of ...

    Shakespeare wrote his plays with the audience in mind, and used situations and language that would have been most effective to that audience, it shows how immoral she is and willing to get what she wants by any means. Lady Macbeth wants the spirits to make her cruel, and doesn't stop to think that what she is doing is wrong.

  1. With particular reference to the first two acts, explain why Lady Macbeth would have ...

    For the Elizabethan audience, treason would be the worst crime to commit because it was strongly believed that the King was placed on the throne by God Matthew Arnold and that by committing regicide, a person would not only be going against their country but also God and disturbing the Divine Right of the King.

  2. With Particular reference to Act 1 and Act 2, explain why Lady Macbeth would ...

    and success, the way she went about achieving this would have been abhorrent to any decent upper or middle class Elizabethan. She obviously sees no wrong in killing the King and called upon the witches to help her in Act 1 scene 5 (p13 39-41).

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