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Analytical Essay: Lady Macbeth

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Analytical Essay: Lady Macbeth The interpretation of Lady Macbeth by Polanski is that of a delicate, very feminine and an extremely childlike character. The character of Lady Macbeth in the movie is exceptionally different from her aggressive and violent character of Shakespeare's play. But both the characters are quite convincing in their own way and leave impact on the audience. However Polanski's interpretation is the more plausible one out of the two. The killing of King Duncan is an incredible act for Lady Macbeth to perform, even though not by her own hand. Lady Macbeth as portrayed by Polanski is a child-woman; on the threshold of womanhood, while retaining traces of her girlhood. Her desire to kill King Duncan and have her crowned as Queen of Scotland seems almost as an impulsive whim made on the spur of the moment, showing clearly some traces of a feminine childishness. Her disappointed weeping in a girlish manner while using her womanly vile, in response to his refusal softens him towards her and persuades him to comply with her wishes. ...read more.


Duncan's offer for a dance is accepted with a convincing smile, veiling her true murderous nature. But, being the weak woman that she is, she is unable to bring herself to murder Duncan as he reminds her of her own father so starkly. The side of Lady Macbeth as a charming hostess portrayed by Shakespeare's play is not shown here; instead she is shown as a scheming person conspiring with Macbeth to the last detail of how exactly they should commit the act. Taking pleasure in getting her hair braided, running to Macbeth to fling her into his arms in girlish joyful abandon, and other such scenes bring out the childish streaks in Lady Macbeth in the movie. These acts are a sharp contrast to the cruel mantle she forcefully wears. It is this mismatch between what she is and what she wants to become that proves to be her undoing. Right through the play and movie, Lady Macbeth's language makes the audience strongly identify with witches and their peculiar habits / idiosyncrasies. ...read more.


In one single bold stroke, Polanski's movie makes two compelling points by portraying Lady Macbeth's nakedness, - her weak , susceptible personality combined her desire to be cleansed of all her sins and failures on one hand; and her mind being brainwashed / captured by the witches, on the other. Overall, Polanki's expose of Lady Macbeth is more credible and complete, especially his illustrations of the contrast and contradictions of her innocence and sensitive character fusing with the evil, erratic character of the witches. Polanki's Lady Macbeth is like a whiter shade of pale, neither heaven, nor hell - in the middle - confused, insecure, irrational - genuinely remorseful of her murderous action, with suicide being the only option of redeeming herself. Her literary character, in comparison, shows these traits in a much meeker, more diluted way: for example walking through the darkness with eyes open, yet "their sense being shut". This signifies the huge guilt in her mind and her longing to cleanse herself from this. In conclusion it is Polanski's more real-world, nuanced, rendition of Lady Macbeth in the movie that brings about a strong immersive connect with the audience, as compared to the literary play. ...read more.

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