Victorian Era and Power Lady Macbeth

Topics: Victorian era, Kill, Poetry Pages: 5 (1899 words) Published: May 10, 2014
Explore how the narrator in ‘The Laborarory’, ‘Porhyria’s lover’ and Lady Macbeth and ‘Macbeth’ express their desire for power and control? Both Shakespeare and Browning are renowned writers from the world of English literature. The audience were forced to explore the choices made by the characters in both Macbeth and a selection of Browning’s poems to find out the different strategies they use to express their power and control. In Act one scene five, Lady Macbeth’s powerful character, having control over her husband is clearly expressed through her decisive language. ‘Thou must do, if thou have it.’ Lady Macbeth uses a forceful tone to convey her view on Macbeth murdering Duncan in order for him to achieve his ultimate goal of taking Duncan’s place. It’s clear on the control and power Lady Macbeth establishes on her husband and is a great contrast to how in the Elizabethan times women were worthless and didn’t have any say. Here, Lady Macbeth has reversed her gender role from being a kind loving hostess into a more affirmative, strong minded commander. This will be a rebellious character in the eyes of the society. Moreover Lady Macbeth begins to sharpen her plans but isn’t too sure as she thinks her feminity would become a weakness. She proclaims towards supernatural substances (spirits), which were seemed to be believed in the Victorian era. ‘Unsex me here’. This was a vivid way asking spirits to strip her of feminity weakness. She imagines herself as a vessel which h maybe emitted out and refilled with evilness. Also by risking her chance of having a baby for power shows her urgency toward power and control. This is odd as in the Elizabethan times it was the women’s duty to have children and look after them. Lady Macbeth wanted to get rid of her feminity for power which is quite odd and different to others like the speaker in the Laboratory, where feminity is threatened. Moreover when she says ‘and take my milk for gall’, its suggesting that she no longer wants to be a female. ‘Gall’ comes from an excess of yellow bile. An imbalance of yellow bile can make one ruthless and insolent. If Lady Macbeth is internally poisoned, it would gain her control over the King. Moreover, Lady Macbeth is portrayed as a very strong character, compared to Shakespeare’s other female protagonists where they are timid and weak. She uses this strength to fulfil her dream of Macbeth becoming the future monarch. This is further demonstrated through the use of alliteration of the letter ‘T’ at the beginning of each sentence in Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy presenting the fact that Lady Macbeth is organised in a sense that she has planned every detail precisely. Similarly ‘In The Laboratory’, the female speaker uses language which comes across as forceful. ‘Grind away, moisten and mash up thy paste.’ Here we are seeing a female person giving out demands to a professional poison maker. This behaviour can be seen as unconventional, meaning that in the Victorian era women were not supposed to be demanding or forceful towards other individuals especially men. This decision the speaker had made is showing the audience that the speaker is strong-minded yet not too insane over her decisions. The speaker in ‘The Laboratory’ is being enthusiastic and decisive about creating an evil plan which in the audiences mind will come across as intriguing. Normally women of the Victorian era would most likely to be enthusiastic about hosting a dinner party and not preparing to kill a human. Both Lady Macbeth and the speaker in the laboratory wanted to kill but Lady Macbeth doesn’t actually want to fulfil the deed herself. Moreover the speaker in The Laboratory is very unsympathetic towards her victims, as she is very eager to get revenge. ‘the exquisite blue’. This indicates that she wants the potion to be strong so it should be a bright blue so that the revenge will be successful whereas if it is a grim colour then the potion won’t be strong and will look weak...
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