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Analysis Of How Lady Macbeth Changes Throughout The Play "Macbeth" And The Way Shakespeare Makes His Scenes Dramatically Effective.

1497 words - 6 pages

To gradually change your character over years of experience is beneficial, but a rapid deterioration of character through rash actions and extraordinary events is detrimental. In the play of Macbeth, Shakespeare creates one of his strongest and most memorable female characters; the play sees Lady Macbeth's disintegration from sanity to madness, enhanced by Shakespeare's inventive and powerful language and stagecraft.In the earlier scenes, Lady Macbeth is portrayed as ambitious and manipulative. In Act 1 Scene 5 her ambition drives her to unite with evil. She calls on malevolent spirits to take away her gentle traits and replace them with strength and cruelty in order to incite murder "Fill me from the crown to the toe-top full of direst cruelty! Make thick my blood". She doesn't want compassion to restrain her plans, so she feels it necessary to loose her femininity which is a symbol of sensitivity and weakness. She says 'Come to my women's breasts and take my milk for gall', to rid herself of motherly stature. Her speech consists of imperatives giving it urgency and determination; 'Come...make thick...Stop'.In Scene 7 Lady Macbeth demonstrates persuasive power over her husband. She charms Macbeth, motivates him to fulfil his dreams 'Which thou esteemst the ornament of life?', but then taunts him 'To be the same in thine own act and valour, As thou art in desire?' and manipulates him using rhetorical questions. The line 'And live a coward' shows Lady Macbeth thinks Macbeth is gutless and compares Macbeth to a proverb 'Like poor cat I'th'adage?' implying Macbeth knows what he wants but is too weak to achieve it. She questions his masculinity 'When you durst do it, then you were a man' pointing out his pusillanimity. She educes his guilt 'had you so sworn as you have done to this' and emotionally blackmails him 'What beast was't then that you this enterprise to me' she questions what could cause him to break his promise.Lady Macbeth takes control and unites herself with Macbeth. 'What cannot you and I perform' she is positive and reassuring. Lady Macbeth demonstrates in this scene her ability to manipulate Macbeth. To an Elizabethan audience, Lady Macbeth would be a provocative character, because in Elizabethan times women were subservient to men with fewer rights, their role was a supportive one. It would have been controversial for a wife to dominate her husband. In this scene Lady Macbeth is aggressive and powerful.However in Act 5 Scene 1 Lady Macbeth's character is undermined by paranoia caused by her actions. The scene involves Lady Macbeth sleepwalking and muttering to herself about her misgivings. Sleepwalking is unnatural, implying that killing the King has unleashed strange events. In Shakespeare's time there was a strong belief in the divine order. Divine order is an idea that humanity exists in a hierarchy with God at the top, and women and animals at the bottom, with the King regarded just below God and angels. This meant Kings were...

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