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Explore The Way Guilt And Responsibility Are Presented Through The Characters Of Lady Macbeth In ‘Macbeth’ And Sheila In ‘An Inspector Calls’

1866 words - 8 pages

In ‘An Inspector Calls’ Sheila Birling is presented by Priestley as a cheerful and rather selfish upper class Edwardian woman who comes from a prosperous family and seems to lack a sense of guilt and responsibility early on in the play. In the opening scenes Sheila’s relationship with her fiancé appears genuine, until we learn that Gerald has been away for the whole summer. Sheila’s curiosity and suspicion is shown when she remarks to Gerald that she sees him often “except for all last summer, when you never came near me.” Through what she has said we clearly see that there is a problem in their relationship which leaves the audience filled with curiosity and the knowledge that there are secrets that Gerald seems to keep from her, but as soon as Sheila tries to address to what Gerald said about being “awfully busy at the works the whole time” her mother Sybil attempts to put Sheila in her place in and points out that she has to deal with it as she is an Edwardian Woman. Mrs Birling says to Sheila that “When you’re married you’ll realize that men with important work to do sometimes have to spend all their time and energy on business.” Through this, we see the way Edwardian Women have to act. They are not supposed to bother their husbands with questions and demands. They are supposed to put up with it.

In ‘Macbeth’ Lady Macbeth is presented by Shakespeare as a strong Jacobean woman tha
In the beginning of the play ‘An Inspector Calls’ Sheila is presented as a very childish, innocent and irresponsible . Her parents refer to her as a “child” which shows us that even as an Edwardian woman who is about to get married her parents do not see her as a grown mature woman. At the beginning of the play, Sheila receives the ring that she wanted from Gerald, her mother tells her to “be careful with it” which suggest that her mother does not think that she could look after it without caution. Later on in the beginning of the play, Sheila wants to know why the inspector came, Mr Birling immediately says “Nothing to do with you, Sheila. Run along.” This shows us that her father does not like her being involved in situations where it may be of help to him. In Sheila’s relationship with Gerald, Sheila is not dominant, there are secrets being kept from her that she is not allowed to address to, when she asks why Gerald went away last summer, her mother says “When you’re married you’ll realize men have important work to do” We can see that even her mother does not want her questioning about what Gerald gets up to.

In the beginning of ‘Macbeth’ Lady Macbeth is presented as a very strong character. Lady Macbeth is thought of as an equal to Macbeth and she is also very domineering in their relationship. Macbeth writes in a letter “my dearest partner of greatness” which shows us that she is thought of highly by Macbeth, this links to her strong character since it was strange for a Jacobean women to be thought as an equal to Jacobean Men. Lady Macbeth shows very...

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