The Audience's View Of Lady Macbeth

2086 words - 8 pages

The Audience's View of Lady Macbeth

Macbeth focuses strongly around its two main characters, Macbeth and
Lady Macbeth. Throughout, we see character development, as the changes
in the plot have a direct impact on the characters.

Macbeth is only a semi fictitious play. Shakespeare used a piece of
Scottish history to base his play on, although many details were
changed and developed. The character of Banquo was an ancestor of the
king at the time, James I. In Macbeth he is seen as a positive
character; however, in truth 'The chronicles of Scotland' depict him
as being a much nastier character. This was done by Macbeth to gain
respect and most probably money from the crown. 'Macbeth' was thought
to be written in 1606; just one year after parliament was nearly
overthrown. Known now as 'bonfire night' this would help create public
interest and have the public questioning the over throw of power, the
plot of the play.

The representation of the characters, by directors and actors has
developed a variety of performances since the 17th century. The
characters representation change to meet the expectations of the
audience. For example, in the 17th century , the witches were
portrayed as ugly hags, however in our modern day they are often
depicted as being young and sexy As society's opinions change, so do
the characters. At the time of writing the play, the audience had
strong opinions of the supernatural and treason. Their reaction
towards Lady Macbeth would be very different from our own. They would
see her in a more negative light. During the 17th Century religion
played a big part in peoples' lives. With the threat of hell, people
were easily manipulated by religion. The character of Lady Macbeth can
be strongly linked to the biblical character Eve, who at the time was
seen as the blame for the downfall of mankind. She too, like Lady
Macbeth, tempted a great man, which began an eternal nightmare.

'The Divine Right' meant that kings had been placed by God to lead
their people. Lady Macbeth disrupted this tradition, which would be
seen as blasphemy. She was responsible for the death of one of those
close to God; the 17th Century audience would have little sympathy for
her. She also has a sinful character; greed, jealousy and murder all
play key roles in her personality. In a final act to cleanse her soul
she commits suicide. This too is considered by the church to be a
great sin. She represents everything the audience is told not to be.
However, in today's society her actions would be more understandable.
In a corrupt world of Capitalism, many of those in power have done
similar to gain their power. Nowadays, it is considered common
practice to want and desire and ambitious to do everything in your
power to achieve your goals. As Christianity no longer can scare us,
'Macbeth'...

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