Lady Macbeth Essay

1433 words - 6 pages

Shakespeare portrays Lady Macbeth differently throughout the play. Before the murder of Duncan, she is more naïve and pure compared to after the murder of King Duncan, where she starts the road to insanity and nervousness. At the very start of the play during Act 1 Scene 5, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth have a very close relationship and they would tell each other anything. At the start of the scene, Lady Macbeth is reading a letter from her husband, Macbeth. Within the letter Macbeth tells her a lot of sensitive information such as the fact that he came across three witches who prophesised that he would become king, this sort of information could get him – or both of them into serious trouble, since back in Shakespearian times kings were thought to have been directly appointed by god, and trying to alter that would be a crime. This shows that Macbeth sees her as trustworthy and loyal. She responds to the information with a soliloquy in which she says “It is too full of the milk of human kindness” when referring to his personality and mannerisms. The use of the word “milk” connotes goodness and purity, and the best of it at that. Later she responds to his prophesy of becoming king by suggesting that only bad things and evil can come out of him taking the throne. She Says “Art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it; what thou wouldest highly.” Which suggests the idea of him becoming king would effect and worry her from the beginning.
Towards the beginning, Lady Macbeth is also presented ad powerful and strong, she says “Under my battlements” when talking about killing Duncan. For one, battlements are often associated with war and fighting, which require a certain amount of power to commit, and when they are fought, they are often fought for power. The fact that she used the word “my” shows authority and power, as they are hers, and no one can take them from her. Back in Shakespearian times, women were considered second best, where as men were the dominant sex. Throughout the start of the play, Lady Macbeth is presented as brave and not being frightened by anything, as though even God could not stand in her way. She says, “Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full Of direst cruelty!” The fact that she asks to be “unsexed” suggests that she is fully aware of the power boundaries between men and women and wishes to destroy them, as, again men were seen as the dominant sex. Now, in the 21st Century, the phrase “unsex me” does not mean as much to us as men and women are seen as equals. The fact that she is calling upon spirits for help suggests that she is not afraid of who or what she is meddling with. Where as, even the bravest and strongest of men would not mess with the supernatural, as back in Shakespearean times, which craft and the supernatural was taken as seriously as anything we do today, such as, eating lunch. As brave as she was portrayed at the...

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