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William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

2625 words - 11 pages

William Shakespeare's Macbeth

During Shakespeare's 'Macbeth', Lady Macbeth shows herself to be a
controversial figure, battling with her will and conscience. The first
we see of Lady Macbeth is in the opening of Act 1, Scene 5, where she
is reading a letter from her husband, Macbeth, out loud. The letter
from Macbeth reveals what has happened, but he has chosen to mainly
write about the prophesy of the weird sisters, and the possibility of
him seizing the throne in the near future. 'I have learned by the
perfect'st report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge',
shows that Macbeth thinks that what the weird sisters had told him
were true, as 'perfect'st report' means most reliable information.
Macbeth refers to his wife as his 'dearest partner in greatness', that
shows affection and kind regard for Lady Macbeth. 'Greatness is
promised' her.

Having the letter read out loud is a theatrical convention as it tells
the audience about events that they may not have knowledge of, or
revealing relevant information, and can describe the writer's
thoughts.

The idea of the weird sisters, who are mentioned in the letter, is
maybe a theatrical tradition of Shakespeare's time, as the audience
have an interest and belief in the supernatural.

Macbeth tells her she 'mightst not lose the dues of rejoicing' because
she will be queen. However, Lady Macbeth does not rejoice and instead
starts to consider her husbands character. Although she knows that her
husband is ambitious, she tells us in a soliloquy that she believes he
'is too full o' th' milk of human kindness'. She plans to push him
into killing Duncan to gain the crown and to give him the necessary
determination he needs, 'chastise with the valour of my tongue all
that impedes thee from the golden round'.

The soliloquy used is a major convention. An audience would understand
that the soliloquy represented the character thinking out loud. The
words that are spoken are therefore the characters thoughts and
attitudes. Often there would be no other actor on stage, but if there
were any other characters present, it would be understood that they
did not hear the speech.

After the soliloquy, an attendant (messenger) enters to tell Lay
Macbeth the news of King Duncan will arrive that night. Her first
reaction could have given away her plot to kill Duncan as she
exclaims, 'Thour't mad to say it." She thinks it's strange as she has
just been plotting against the king, and then news comes saying that
the king will be staying. She sees it as the perfect opportunity to
make Macbeth king, and her queen. She then covers herself up by saying
'is not thy master with him, who were't so would have informed for
preparation.'

In another soliloquy, Lady Macbeth summons the spirits of darkness to
take away her womanliness and to fill...

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