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Compare The Way Two Different Literary Characters Are Disturbed And The Effect Of Their Contextual Audience On This Aspect Of Their Character

1450 words - 6 pages

In the beginning of the play, Macbeth is portrayed as being a 'noble' and obedient subject as he is introduced to us after his recent victory for the king. However on his journey home from battle he happens upon three witches who's prophecies both intrigue and unnerve him with their beguiling promises of power ' thou shalt be king hereafter!'. His attitude towards these predictions although initially apprehensive 'why do you start and seem to fear?' soon transform into longing 'he seems rapt withal' this would have considered irrational behaviour to the Jacobean audience at the time who treated the supernatural with fear and suspicion. Macbeth's natural inclination to evade the witches is ...view middle of the document...

Although both Lady Macbeth and the witches also play major roles in influencing him, it is ultimately his own desire for power which overcomes his trepidation over committing these 'horrid deeds’.

However, Macbeth isn't necessarily an exclusively bad person, his better nature is exposed to us through Lady Macbeth who denounces him as being, 'too full o' the' milk of human kindness' .This fuels her determination that she must convince him with 'the valour of my tongue'. In order to ensure his uncompromising endeavour to seize the 'golden round' no matter the consequences. This quote depicts the strength and obstinacy of her character through manipulating Macbeth. The use of the noun, 'valour' is used by Shakespeare to suggest to the audience that she intends her use her tongue as a weapon against Macbeth’s conscience.

Shakespeare's use of a semantic field when referring to the supernatural within Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy is used to indicate to the audience lady Macbeth's hidden sinister nature. This is reinforced when she utters , 'come, you spirits' the use of the imperative verb ,'come' suggests she has some sort of authority over these, 'spirits' perhaps a similar power to that of the witches.Lady Macbeth commands the spirits to possess her and fill her with 'direst cruelty’; this would have been particularly shocking to the Jacobean audience who would have immediately identified her as a witch, a capital offence resulting in death. Throughout Lady Macbeth's soliloquy it becomes increasingly evident that she herself is an exceedingly disturbed character.
Her lack of similarities to the Jacobean expectations of womanly attributes is further highlighted by her 'unsex me here' proclamation which demonstrates her irrationality as she is demanding to be released from the confines of her femininity. This indicates her desire to be free from the expectations of gender stereotypes of the time, which resonates with Banquo’s earlier remark upon his initial meeting with the witches who; 'should be women and yet your beards forbid me to interpret you are so' this suggests the gender of the witches is undefinable. This similarity hints that lady Macbeth’s intentions of committing regicide, a crime that at that period was perceived to be a deadly sin has driven her to an evil proportional to that of the witches own.
In comparison the nature of Sherlock Holmes's psychological state is in my opinion, much more complex than that of Macbeth’s own . Sherlock has an abundance of flaws which define him as an unbalanced protagonist, the most prominent being his insatiable 'ennui' and subsequent abhorrence to what he describes as, 'the dull routine of existence'. This leads him to use disguises and ‘artificial stimulants’ such as cocaine in order to seek 'mental exaltation’.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle exposes Sherlock as being disturbed by the use of his friend  ,’dear Watson' who with his aforementioned ,’home centred interests’ embodies a conventional...

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