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William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, is heralded as one of the greatest, darkest tragedies of the Jacobean period (1567–1625).It succumbs to the traditional structure of a tragedy: a classical tragic hero, Macbeth, who possesses a hamartia of irrefutable ambition to become the King of Scotland, which when combined with calamitous circumstances, lead to his ultimate downfall and tragic demise. Act One, Scene Five encompasses the introduction of Lady Macbeth and the plotting of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth to kill the current king- King Duncan. This scene is significant because it has purpose to show ideas of deceptive appearances, order vs. chaos and the corruption of the human mind. Such ideas are repeatedly depicted throughout the play and ultimately work to create deeper meaning for the audience. Macbeth highlights the theme of deceptive appearances, more specifically in relation to the gender roles fulfilled by the characters. After being told of the three prophecies by the “Weird Sisters”, Macbeth’s uncertainty is very evident about whether he should take the crown by killing Duncan, highlighting his unmanliness. In Act One, Scene Five, the audience is confronted with Lady Macbeth’s character and as one would be in Jacobean society- in utter shock. One expects a Lady Macbeth to obey wifely roles of hostess, helpmate and mother as stereotyped from women in the Jacobean period but upon meeting her, one is shocked that with her thirst of power, she is clearly willing to do whatever is necessary to seize the throne. Her strength of purpose is contrasted with her husband’s feminine characteristics of cowardice and tendency to waver. It is quite evident that Lady Macbeth is the real steel behind Macbeth and that her ambition will be st... ... middle of paper ... ...nteenth century, women were being perceived as having a wild and chaotic nature and the need for them to be subdued and kept in their place, particularly during the time of the upheavals of the Reformation and witch trials- in which 80 percent of the suspected witches were women. In conclusion, Act One, Scene Five of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth focuses primarily on the relationships and portrayal of the main protagonists- Lady Macbeth and Macbeth- of the Jacobean tragedy, Macbeth. The scene’s significance is to signal the themes of deceptive appearances, order vs. chaos and the corruption of the human mind which are further explored later in the play. Jacobean ideologies, histories and culture are highlighted over the course of Macbeth and the tragic, yet necessary nemesis of the characters is a reminder of the mysteries and the realities of the world we live in.

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