The Vile Soliloquy Essay

1135 words - 5 pages

To know someone’s thoughts is to know their heart. A person’s inner thoughts strips away all the facade and exposes the heart. In reality it is impossible to know the true notions of a person, but in the theater reality is left at the door, and the impossible becomes possible with soliloquies. A soliloquy is the act of speaking ones thoughts aloud to the audience. However, the other characters are not privy to the information of a soliloquy. Soliloquies help develop characters and foreshadow events in the theater. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth many characters recite soliloquies. Lady Macbeth’s soliloquies are particularly important in making her a memorable character. Lady Macbeth’s soliloquies ...view middle of the document...

It also evident that she associates manliness with murder. This first soliloquy characterizes Lady Macbeth as a villainous woman. In Act 2 Scene 2 Lady Macbeth preforms another soliloquy. It is here that Lady Macbeth reveals that she carefully drugged the king’s servants. Lady Macbeth is perceived as a very deceitful woman. The evidence up to this point shows Lady Macbeth lacking compassion, but at the end of this second soliloquy it is disclosed that Lady Macbeth does indeed have a conscience. She states, “Had he not resembled/ My father as he sleep, I had done ’t ”(12-13). Despite her sever desire for power her heart pricks her, and she still sees the king as an authority figure. Lady Macbeth’s final soliloquy occurs at Act 5 Scene 1. Lady Macbeth is actually sleep walking and talking out of her mind. Throughout her speech she is washing her hands as she talks about all the deaths that have occurred. At one point she states, “Yet who would have thought the old / man to have had so much blood in him” (37-38). Lady Macbeth has been driven to insanity by her guilt. Lady Macbeth’s three soliloquies define her as a blackhearted woman that can’t stand the guilty conscience that plagues her.

Lady Macbeth’s soliloquies give great insight to the audience throughout the entire play. The audience finds that Lady Macbeth’s desire for power has poisoned her mind with evil. Statements like, “Come to my breasts / And take my milk for gail”(46-47)… magnify the wicked state of mind Lady Macbeth is in. Lady Macbeth initially wants to shun any compassionate thoughts in case they change her mind. Lady Macbeth says, “… And fill me, from the crown to the toe, / top-full of direst cruelty” (41-42) ! This leads the audience to conclude that Lady Macbeth is having to transform her thoughts and take on an evil persona. She may not have always been such an evil woman, but power has driven her to drastically cruel measures. The second soliloquy shows the audience that there is a trace of compassion in Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth would not kill the King because he looked like her father while sleeping. She obviously isn’t as tough as the first soliloquy portrayed her. Lady Macbeth’s last soliloquy reveals that she couldn’t handle the intense pressure of the guilt. During the final soliloquy she continually tries to “wash” her hands from her victims’ blood. The audience recognizes the Lady...

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