Macbeth - Act 1, Scene 5, Act 1, Scene 7 and Act 5, Scene 1.

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Macbeth - Act 1, Scene 5, Act 1, Scene 7 and Act 5, Scene 1

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford in 1564. He was one of eight children. The Shakespeare's were well-respected prominent people. When William Shakespeare was about seven years old, he probably began attending the Stratford Grammar School with other boys of his social class. Students went to school year round attending school for nine hours a day.

On November 27, 1582, Shakespeare married Ann Hathaway who was twenty-eight years old. On May 26, 1583, Ann bore their first daughter, Susanna. In 1585, a set of twins was born, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet died at the age of eleven in 1596. No evidence was found of Shakespeare between the years of 1585-1592. These years of Shakespeare's life were called "The Hidden Years".

Shakespeare left London in 1611 and retired. On March 25, 1616, Shakespeare made a will. He died April 23, 1616 at the age of fifty-two. The cause of his death was unknown. Many people believe that Shakespeare knew he was dying; however, he didn't want anyone to know that he was. During Shakespeare's time, after the graveyard was full, they would dig one's corpse up and burn the person's bones in a huge fireplace. Some people would strip the corpse after the burial. Shakespeare hated this type of treatment after death, so he wrote his own epitaph.

Ambitious, enthusiastic and assertive are only few of the words that describe Lady Macbeth, a woman so scheming she convince her husband to murder the king. She carefully plans it out, but her passion leads to nightmares, and further on a brutal suicide.

Lady Macbeth is one of the most complex and interesting characters created by Shakespeare, and her part plays a vital role in one of his most popular plays; "Macbeth." At the beginning of the play, she is a highly respected member of the Scottish nobility, has a loving and loyal relationship with her warrior husband, and a quick, reasonable mind. By the end, she is a reviled, mad, suicidal soul, tortured by guilt.

In Act 1 Scene 5, Lady Macbeth reads a letter from her husband notifying her about the witches' prediction that he will be king. In the letter to his wife, Macbeth calls her his "dearest partner of greatness," a comment which shows us the close scenery of their marriage and how Macbeth considers his wife to be equal. Shakespeare clearly wants to show Lady Macbeth as a strong woman who has earned the respect of her husband. The keenness of Macbeth to share the witches' astonishing news with Lady Macbeth so quickly and honestly also highlights the trust the pair must place in each other. Macbeth greets Lady Macbeth further on in the scene with "my dearest love" - this shows us that they obviously care for each other very much.

After reading Macbeth's letter, Lady Macbeth immediately brings to a close end that the "nearest way" for her husband to become king (and for her to become queen), is to murder Duncan. Macbeth has also secretly thought of this, and that husband and wife should both immediately believe murdering Duncan in order to get the crown shows us that they think in very similar ways and are both cruelly ruthless. Lady Macbeth is very determined for her husband, and for herself, but she suspects Macbeth "is too full o' the milk of human kindness" to carry out the killing. She knows he is "not without ambition," but she also knows that without evil, they cannot get the throne. She not only doubts Macbeth's abilities, but she also doubts her own ability to convince Macbeth to murder the king; "Hie thee hither, that I may pour my spirits in thine ear." It is a misunderstood that Lady Macbeth is able to accept the idea of cold-blooded murder straight away; she cannot. In fact, she realises that her principles will not let her do this unless she has mystical help to "Stop up the access and passage to remorse." She calls for "spirits" to aid her in realising her ambitions.

From this, we can see that Lady Macbeth has reasonably thought through "All that impedes" them from the "golden round," and found a solution by appealing to the mystics to strengthen her. She is not heartless, and so must lose her sense of guilt in order to carry out the evil plan. The spirits will mask her innocence and enable Lady Macbeth to take part in the regicide. In Shakespeare's time, it would have been accepted that these evil spirits existed, and so to the audience watching, these paranormal forces could really change Lady Macbeth's character. A modern audience may not appreciate this, and so may mistakenly think that Lady Macbeth has a completely dark and evil nature. Lady Macbeth asks the spirits to "unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty; make thick my blood." By 'unsexing' her, the spirits are removing her innocence. This shows the connections that were made between femininity and weakness by Shakespearian society. Simply because she was a woman, Lady Macbeth would be viewed as weaker by the audience. A reference is also made to one of the main themes of the play - blood. The image of 'thickening the blood' implies that, once again, the spirits must strengthen Lady Macbeth. Blood is also inextricably linked with evil and death, an appropriate topic for this scene, and indeed, the whole play.
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Another subject that is mentioned in this scene by Lady Macbeth is milk, "Come to my woman's breasts and take my milk for gall." This is another reference to Lady Macbeth being a woman, and also says that she has produced milk and therefore, we presume, has given birth. The tender emotions linked with children are something that Lady Macbeth wishes the spirits to rid her of, as these emotions will delay her when she and Macbeth try to kill Duncan. So by taking her milk (a substance that is associated with innocence), the spirits would be removing ...

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