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english macbeth essay

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Topics: Macbeth
H/s Sunday 12th October 2014
Macbeth essay
Question;
How does Shakespeare present the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth? How does she conform to the conventions of Elizabethan women? (AO4)
-Summarise the characters using precise evidence? (AO1) -How has this character been crafted using language and convention for dramatic effect? (AO2)
Shakespeare’s devotion to this characters, allows him to expand on the structure of his plays giving the audience an compulsion to see the characters dramatic flaws. Macbeth is an example who due to this flaw of greed has lead to his downfall. Macbeth together with Lady Macbeth have advanced Shakespeare’s adoration and audience due to the unfamiliarity of these people which many still to this day find interesting and compelling. Macbeth is a play of murder and tragedy where derange people emerge by the end. It could also be about the movement of women becoming a bigger importance to society with Lady Macbeth opening the boundaries of normal Elizabethan women.
Macbeths character becomes unfamiliar to this title in act 1 scene 7 where he states ‘he hath honoured me of late’ exhibiting his noble traits of a knight who is loyal to his country. However expressing his fear of murder ‘if we should fail’, through this quote where he shows his human nature of desperation to save his conscience. His eagerness of completing this act is strengthened by the pressure of Lady Macbeth making him, otherwise stating that he would loss his masculinity and to be shamed by being called a coward. Macbeths intense relationship with Lady Macbeth shows how he cannot truly love her as ‘prithee, peace’ contrasts imagery of pleading stating how evil Lady Macbeth is to be torturing Macbeth in such a way.
Lady Macbeth is a strong character who is very persuasive due to her fierce nature of pressure. ‘And live a coward in thine own esteem’ was a statement she used to project her thoughts to Macbeth affirmed by her to say if you do not murder he will be forever known as a coward. This was used to effect the development of the tragedy calling Macbeths trait a lie and denaturing his man hood. Her use of imagery with the death of a newborn ‘and dashed the brains out’ was terrible, violent shock tactic. As she realises that Macbeths doubt needs to be overcome quickly and this needs extreme measures, as if they delay one night the chance would be gone. Her use of knowledge shows how clever and developed she has thought out her reasoning telling the audience that Shakespeare has made her the stronger character in this relationship. Her cunningness shows this of ‘and we’ll not fail ’grasping how strong she is and how much she will take for Macbeth to be king.
Macbeth’s character instinctively changes in act 3 scene 4 as this is after the murder of Banquo. Shakespeare changes his character to form a delusional shape of Macbeth as he wants to portray his downfall from this flaw of greed to be king. His paranoia of the murder makes him see the ghost of Banquo making his ‘checks blanched with fear’ and he imagines that this is brought upon himself with his evil actions giving him these consequences. We can therefore picture how Macbeth is weak to the idea of this deranged mind set, stating how he shall ‘murder sleep’, and cannot be capable of living with this guilt. The ghost is a manifestation of that, as the dagger was a manifestation of his ambitions. As Shakespeare develops Macbeths character we can see how fearful he is by the ways he acted out of charter in front of the lords saying to the ghost ‘don’t shake your bloody head at me’, this was Shakespeare’s attempt to show the lords Macbeths short term insanity, which they could have developed to be that Macbeth couldn’t rule and be king.
Lady Macbeth’s character unlike Macbeth doesn’t dramatically change she as experiencing Macbeths delusion finds herself instinctively reassuring that Macbeth is normal and saving the man that is missing of Macbeth. Her ‘natural ruby of cheeks’ show how she appears to be comforting to the lords and behaving like a good hostess. She however struggles to be in control of the situation and regains her composure after her husband continued outburst nearly to betray them both. Her anger is also shown in this scene as she feels Macbeths losing his state of mind along with is masculinity as she sees this man is turning fearful. ‘Are you a man’ is projected by lady Macbeth directed at Macbeth to stop his deranged images using a shape tone as Macbeths downfall could also lead to hers.
Lady Macbeths contrasts and conforms to the everyday Elizabethan women at her time period. ‘A man’ is used by Shakespeare to compare herself to Macbeth, where she dominates the relationship conveying to the readers how she has a more masculine personality compared to Macbeth. This is unlike Elizabethan women who are seen as men’s property. She therefore shows her modern day approach to challenging Macbeth.
Comparatively, Lady Macbeth also falls into the era of Elizabethan women as she expects Macbeth is to kill from her desires. This ‘live a coward in thine esteem’ shows how she persuades him to regain his man hood through this murder. But unlike her who is still a woman in this society, she can’t create this murder.
Conclusively, Shakespeare presents Macbeth and Lady Macbeth though out this play differently at alternate times to convey a sense of tragedy as you learn more of the character and as the audience you can see them turned into there known downfall. Also how Shakespeare predicts the future of modern women by using this staple of Lady Macbeth as an example.

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