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The Character of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Play

analytical Essay
634 words
634 words
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The Character of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Play Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ is a play about murder and tragedy. When we first meet Lady Macbeth’s husband, Macbeth, we see him as a loyal and honourable man, however as we read further into the play his character changes. Macbeth says to Lady Macbeth: “False face must hide what the false heart doth know.” Macbeth creates an alter-ego to help hide the truth. Macbeth becomes a power-hungry, determined man with no emotions, all he cares about is becoming King and making sure that the throne will remain in his family. Macbeth’s determination develops from the three predictions presented to him by the three witches. Macbeth strives to make the predictions true after much persuasion from his wife Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth on the other hand, first appears a strong, evil and forceful woman determined to get what she wants , which is for the predictions to come to pass. As the play progresses we see Lady Macbeth change, she becomes weak, haunted and guilt-ridden by her actions throughout the play. By studying Lady Macbeth’s character we can look at how her strength deteriorates gradually. Lady Macbeth’s first appearance in the play, Act 1 Scene 5, consists of her reading a letter from Macbeth informing her of the three witches and their predictions. Lady Macbeth gives the immediate impression that she is already considering murder, her biggest worry is that Macbeth is too soft-hearted to kill Duncan. She says: “It is too full o’th’milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way.” This reveals Lady Macbeth’s true desire to kill the King in order to become the Queen. When L... ... middle of paper ... ...at, will these hands ne’er be clean?” What Lady Macbeth says here is ironic, as in Act 2 Scene 2 after Duncan’s murder she told Macbeth to wash his hands, they would be clear with a little water. Lady Macbeth’s language reflects her own and Macbeth’s words about the murders: Duncan, Banquo and Lady Macduff. In this scene we see Lady Macbeth at her weakest, she has become insane with guilt, her past haunts her sleep. Lady Macbeth tried to be strong for Macbeth but only grew weaker as the play progressed. Lady Macbeth told Macbeth to hide his deadly intentions behind welcoming looks, this is something she could do before the murder of King Duncan. Lady Macbeth told her husband to be normal, this was something Lady Macbeth found herself unable to do. “Look like th’innocent flower, But be the serpent under’t.”

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes the character of macbeth in william shakespeare's play about murder and tragedy.
  • Analyzes how macbeth's determination develops from the predictions presented to him by the three witches.
  • Analyzes how lady macbeth becomes weak, haunted, and guilt-ridden by her actions throughout the play. by studying her character we can look at how her strength deteriorates gradually.
  • Analyzes how lady macbeth reads a letter informing her of the three witches and their predictions. her biggest worry is that she is too soft-hearted to kill duncan.
  • Narrates how lady macbeth, when she receives the news that king duncan is coming to stay, cannot believe it. she calls on the evil spirits to defeminise her.
  • Analyzes how lady macbeth conjures up the powers of the evil spirit world to strengthen her.
  • Analyzes how lady macbeth, in act 2 scene 2, has completed her deed in the murder of duncan and waits impatiently for her to return. she appears strong and resolute but that is only a result of the alcohol.
  • Analyzes how lady macbeth shows a human side to her personality. she would have killed duncan if he hadn't resembled her father.
  • Compares lady macbeth's strength and weakness to that of her weak counterpart.
  • Analyzes how lady macbeth is sleepwalking and talking about the murders in act 5 scene 1. she tries to wash imagined blood from her hands, "what, will these hands ne’er be clean?"
  • Analyzes how macbeth's words about the murders of duncan, banquo, and lady macduff.
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