How Does Shakespeare Make the Presentation of Lady Macbeth Dramatically Effective? Essay

This essay is about to show how Lady Macbeth’s character changes over the play. How she dominates the action on the stage and how she is a major influence on her husband and the events in the play.

Lady Macbeth first comes into the play when, she is reading the letter that was sent by Macbeth. In this scene Lady Macbeth is acting like a loving wife, we can see this in her her words where she says “Great Glamis! Worthy Cawdor! Greater than both, by the all-hail hereafter”. We can tell from this she is acting like a loving wife because she is looking up to him as she says “Great Glamis” and “Worthy Cawdor” and it also it says “Greater than both”.

In the letter from Macbeth he says “My dearest partner of greatness” this quote suggests that Lady Macbeth is an equal to Macbeth, in those days this was very strange as the men were more important than the woman. I think this is where Lady Macbeth starts thinking she is strong because she has just been told she is equal to a great, strong character, Macbeth.

Lady Macbeth does not believe that Macbeth is strong enough to become king. We can tell this by when she says 2Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full O’the milk of human kindness”. This shows us that Lady Macbeth doesn’t really love Macbeth if she keeps saying he’s weak. It starts to give us the impression that Lady Macbeth is in control of Macbeth without him even knowing about it.

The audience would react to this by being amazed. They would have never thought that any woman would ever talk back to their husband, in those days. This intensifies the drama of the scene, as in those days woman would never go against their husband’s words and so the audience might start to feel worried for Lady Macbeth.

Now Lady Macbeth feels that she is not strong enough as a woman and wants more power. We know this because she says “Come you spirits, unsex me here, and fill from toe top full of direst cruelty”. She wants to be more of a man than Macbeth is. Lady Macbeth is now acting like one of the three witches, chanting a spell to change her. At the start of the play where we are told that Macbeth almost cut someone in half, this is why it was so hard to believe that Lady Macbeth is stronger than Macbeth. It is as if their roles have been reversed.

Lady Macbeth has to summon the forces of the night, “Come thick night”. She wants the night to come so the deed to kill king Duncan without anyone seeing them. She says it in the way that sounds like an incantation or a spell as if she is one of the witches from the beginning of the play. At the start the three witches talk about ruining men’s lives. Lady Macbeth, I think is one of the witches that are trying to ruin men’s lives. I think this because Lady Macbeth is ruining Macbeth’s life even though he doesn’t realise yet, but the audience understands that.

When Lady Macbeth is talking to Macbeth all of the time she is weaving a web of evil plans to make Macbeth become king. Without Macbeth knowing Lady Macbeth is putting thoughts into his mind and hope that they grow into big thoughts. We can tell this by when she says “Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t”. She is putting evil thoughts into his mind but she is softening them so he does not notice. She softens by saying things about flowers. We can tell from this that she is in total control of the couple and is the most dominating out of the pair and also is a very manipulative person.

In act one scene seven Lady Macbeth is in control as she keeps insulting Macbeth by saying, “Are you a man”. I think that Macbeth is almost frightened of Lady Macbeth. Macbeth is having second thoughts about killing king Duncan. Lady Macbeth keeps saying are you scared and just insults all of his dignity to make him kill king Duncan. Again Lady Macbeth manipulates Macbeth and again Macbeth can not tell what is going on.

At the moment the audience is now very scared, as a threat of killing the king is called treason and people would be executed for it. Lady Macbeth is making sure Macbeth is definitely going to kill Duncan and keep his mouth shut. Also in those days the husband had to protect their wives so Lady Macbeth is not very worried if Macbeth gets caught because he should protect her.

I think that Lady Macbeth is driving to get Macbeth to kill Duncan for her own selfish plan. We can see this by when she says “Art thou afeard. To be the same in thine own act of valour. As thou art in desire”. She is saying that, he is afraid of doing something she thinks he has earned. She also says that she also deserves to be queen and will be queen no matter what.

Lady Macbeth, I think is only forcing Macbeth to kill Duncan because she will do anything and hurt anyone to be as powerful as she can.

Lady Macbeth has no worries in killing king Duncan. I think this is because her call to be “Unsexed”, was answered and she had no feelings of remorse. She is strong and in control of Macbeth as he has had a kind of nervous breakdown after killing Duncan. We can see that she has no feelings, in this quote she says “That death and nature do contend about them, whether they live or die”. She has no feelings as she says she doesn’t care if they live or die. It is as if she is used to killing and doesn’t care.

“I laid their daggers ready”. This shows us that Lady Macbeth has thought this plan to every minor detail. She has set everything up, but she has done it so nothing can be traced back to her. I think she has done this because she does not really love Macbeth and does not care if he gets caught. Or she might think that they have already got away with it.

In act three scene four, Lady Macbeth, again starts to try and use persuasion on Macbeth, this is because Macbeth starts talking to himself about all of the murders. Unknown to everyone else in the hall, Macbeth could see the dead Banquo.

Lady Macbeth starts insulting Macbeth’s pride by saying, “Are you a man?”, and also she says “Fie, for shame”. She is saying these things because it worked when she got him to kill king Duncan, so she hoped it would work again. Lady Macbeth now has no control over Macbeth at all, and she can’t stop him talking about all of the murders. She has to call everyone away before they find out what happened. Lady Macbeth called for evil but know it has got to powerful for her to control. It is as if evil and Macbeth have combined together and Lady Macbeth can not control either of them.

I don’t think she can control Macbeth because after he saw his best friends ghost, he snapped as he had realised what he had done. This also broke the spell that Lady Macbeth had on him.

In act five scene one Lady Macbeth has also finally gone crazy. We can tell this by what the doctor and the gentlewoman say. They say 2When was it she last walked”. We can tell that she has become insane because she imagines there is a spot of blood on her hands, which she keeps washing, but it won’t go away, “Out, damned spot! Out I say! This spot of blood represents all of Lady Macbeth’s guilt. She is also trying to order the spot away like she ordered Macbeth to kill Duncan. She used to be able to manipulate people and control them but now she can’t even control her own life.

At the start of my essay I said Lady Macbeth might have been one of the witches trying to ruin men’s lives. Well if she is one of the witches, she has completed her task but it has also backfired as her life is now also ruined.

The significance of Lady Macbeth washing her hands is in relation to the night that Duncan was murdered. Everything in that scene relates to the night Duncan was murdered. A few examples of this is where she is walking, she has just come back from placing the daggers and when she is washing her hands she is trying to get the blood of King Duncan off.

Lady Macbeth has become very angry at Macbeth for not cleaning the blood off their hands which has now turned into a spot of guilt that will never go away.

We can see that Lady Macbeth is going mad as she says “The Thane of Fife had a wife: Where is she now?” This quote evokes a feeling that Lady Macbeth is comparing herself too dead people. We have to remember though that only the audience knows that The Thane of Fife’s wife was murdered but the gentlewoman and the doctor just think that Lady Macbeth is going crazy.

In the first scene when we see Macbeth and Lady Macbeth talking we can see that Macbeth treats Lady Macbeth as an equal “My dearest love”. But Lady Macbeth knows that she can control Macbeth to do anything and at anytime an example of this is “The raven himself is hoarse”.

In the next scene Lady Macbeth has completely taken control of Macbeth. Lady Macbeth keeps insulting Macbeth’s manhood so he will kill King Duncan. Without Macbeth knowing he is being controlled by Lady Macbeth.

In act 3 scene 4 when the ghost of Banquo returns Macbeth starts going crazy and saying things about all of the murders. Lady Macbeth can not control and stop him so she pretends that he has always been like this. The relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth keeps changing but Macbeth is never in control of the them even when Macbeth controls the entire country. Lady Macbeth still can control Macbeth.

Right at the start of the play when lady Macbeth calls upon evil without anyone knowing the evil keeps growing until it takes over Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and no one can control it.

I do not feel sorry for Lady Macbeth because she put herself into the mess. I think she did this because she has always been in control of someone so it was just her nature. Macbeth always has been controlled by someone, as before Lady Macbeth told him what to do the King told him what to do.

I think that Lady Macbeth committing suicide is a good way for her to die. From the audiences point of view she has to die as she has committed an evil crime and should be punished. I believe that the best ending for the play would be if we saw Lady Macbeth sneaking off into the wood and then we next see her with the Thane of Fife. As if she was a witch going from man to man destroying their lives like she did Macbeths.