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'fiend Like Queen'. How True Is This Description Of Lady Macbeth And What Does Lady Macbeth Add To Shakespeare's Play?

2983 words - 12 pages

Malcolm describes Macbeth and his wife as 'this dead butcher and his fiend-like queen'. How true is this description of Lady Macbeth and what does the character of Lady Macbeth add to Shakespeare's play?Shakespeare originally wrote 'Macbeth', for the existing king James I. The play was based on James I's relations as Shakespeare thought that this would please the king who would allow the theatre to remain open. Shakespeare comprised the play of witchcraft and his family which where of great interest to the king.The play was written for James I because Shakespeare was worried about him closing the theatre. These characters' personalities were reversed for the play so that James I would not be offended by Shakespeare writing about his predecessors by bad kings. The character of Macbeth was a real king and was considered a great king. In the script Macbeth is shown as a butcher and that he performs acts of treason.Lady Macbeth is a pivotal character for this play and has many different parts in the story line. Lady Macbeth is often rude or insulting towards Macbeth yet Lady Macbeth has different characters. Lady Macbeth plays the role of a loyal and loving wife in Act one Scene five. Lady Macbeth shows she is supportive by encouraging Macbeth into the murder. In the following scene, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth welcome Duncan the king into their castle. Lady Macbeth plays the role of a good hostess in this scene. She puts on this act as not to arouse suspicion, 'All our service, In every point twice done, and then done double' and you can see this in 'See, see, our honour'd hostess!' Then Macbeth plans to murder Duncan in Act one Scene seven. Lady Macbeth becomes very leading and in command. In this scene Lady Macbeth also becomes very convincing and overpowering. Lady Macbeth offends Macbeth to encourage him to kill the king, 'When you durst do it, then you were a man.' Lady Macbeth is influencing Macbeth as well as influencing the play by doing this. In a sense Lady Macbeth is altering the play for the worst.Unalike audiences from different time periods may have different views of the way Malcolm describes Macbeth and his wife, as may people with a different religion.In Act one Scene seven, Lady Macbeth tries to persuade Macbeth into going through with the murder. Lady Macbeth abuses him by saying he is not a man, 'When you durst do it, then you were a man'. This insults Macbeth and makes him want to do it to prove that he can to her and to prove her judgements wrong. For a modern audience Lady Macbeth seems intelligent as she can control her husband but for an original audience she would seem, "fiend like" as she has control over someone.In Act two Scene two, Lady Macbeth insults Macbeth for not taking the daggers back to the murder scene, she does this by saying how her hands are the same colour as his, meaning she is guilty too but the quote, 'but I shame To wear a heart so white' shows that she is not as scared as he apparently is, not as much a...

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