Lady Macbeth Essay

Submitted By rohanphull
Words: 950
Pages: 4

Explore the ways in which Shakespeare presents the disturbed character of Lady Macbeth
In the story ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare the main protagonist, Lady Macbeth, in different ways in different acts. Towards the start she is very ambitious and evil. However later on she feels regret and scared so she starts going insane and gets patronised. Lady Macbeth isn't an ordinary lady of that era. She adopts the persona of a man, a person who has control and power. After knowing that witches are real and how they can see what will happen in the future she wants to be more like them, to be unnatural rather than woman or man.
The three witches are connected to Lady Macbeth as they are all evil and unnatural, the line spitted by the three witches "Fair is foul, and foul is fair, Hover though the fog and filthy air." explains how they are mysterious and twisted. The alliteration of the ‘f’ sound implies that LM is spitting the words out as it is a plosive sound; the actors would have to spit the words which are fitting for the witches. This would support the fact that LM is evil and ruthless. The use of this trochaic pentameter creates a stress on the words which creates a scary effect suiting the witches. The rhyming couplet sounds like the witches casting a spell. An oxymoron has also been used, how is something that is "fair" be "foul"?
Lady Macbeth is ambitious for power. This is clear in Act 1 Scene 5 when Lady Macbeth orders the spirits to change her and remove her from her gender and become something else, “Come, you spirits/That tend on moral thoughts, unsex me here” This indicates that Lady Macbeth wants to be unnatural rather than a woman or a man. When she commands “unsex me here" she is asking to gain the characteristics of violence, hatred and unfeeling. She wants to be able to kill Duncan with no faults. Another phrase in ACT 1 SCENE 5, that highlights Lady Macbeth is disturbed and unnatural, “Come, thick night…dunnest smoke of hell … blanket of the dark” this lexical field has words that describe the darkness. This is contrasting to later in 5:1 where LM commands a candle by her in the dark at all times to keep the dark out.
Lady Macbeth is unnatural and ruthless. the phrase "...the babe that milks me: would, while it was smiling in my face, / Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums, / And dash'd the brains out” this shows that Lady Macbeth reveals the horror of her intentions by the violent extremes she is prepared to go to: rather than break a promise, she would rip her own baby from her breasts as it was feeding and murder it in such a shocking manner. This echoes the line in 1:5; Shakespeare develops the image of mother's milk and repeals the audience by showing evil, unnatural intentions of Lady Macbeth. “pluck’d” and “dash’d” have hard plosive sounds reflecting spiting venom. Lady Macbeth is also portrayed as a powerful as a powerful influence over her husband through the phrase "But screw your courage to the sticking-place, /and we'll not fail" this indicates that Lady Macbeth commands that Macbeth finds his courage. The use of the possessive pronoun 'we' underlines the influence Lady Macbeth has over her husband and the power she has to convince him to kill his king.
Lady Macbeth changes from the evil character, at the start, to a broken and powerless woman who is sleep walking and sleep talking. This