The role of females within Macbeth is of pivotal importance; the role of female characters – both witches and Lady Macbeth serve as a threat to the established social order as well as providing the play with some of its most darkly dramatic scenes and evocative language. The witches imbue the play with a sense of the supernatural which, for a Jacobean audience steeped in the traditions of dark magic, which would have created a great sense of terror. When Shakespeare combines their apparent powers with malevolent intention, the threat to the social order is augmented. The prophetic speech of the three witches carry with it some significance; revealing Macbeth’s latent lust for power and consequently, in his role as tragic hero, his harmartia: Macbeth’s belief in the witches ultimately leads to his committal of regicide and a gruesome string of murders thereafter, Macbeth’s actions confirm the witches’ final prophecy which appears to confirm their supernatural omniscience. Despite their underlying pressure throughout the play, the language that the witches use with each other is some of Shakespeare’s most dramatically engaging and disturbing.
The play ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare uses an array of characters to show the corrupting power of uncontrolled ambition. Lady Macbeth is essential to the play as she drives Macbeth’s wavering conscience to commit regicide because she generally thinks that it is best for her husband. It is only later when she realizes that they have gained nothing from it, and begins a down spiral into madness. Even though Lady Macbeth is initially the driving force of Duncan’s death and the downfall of her and Macbeth’s death, many admirable qualities are shown through her. Lady Macbeth’s admirable traits can be characterized in three groups: ambition, persuasion and loyalty.
And so, to make sure that Macbeth will do what she want, she will manipulate him, but she just believes that she is going to enable him to reach his potential, as shown in lines 25-28. Lady Macbeth also calls upon evil spirits to help with the murder during the scene. This shows us that she has very little faith in her husband. When Macbeth arrives at the castle, Lady Macbeth begins to try and persuade him to kill King Duncan. By Act One, Scene Seven, Lady Macbeth had convinced her husband to kill the King.
,1 ENG 3U104 December 3, 2013 Macbeth Essay: Macbeth By William Shakespeare Shakespeare’s Three Witches, or Weird Sisters, are very important characters within his timeless tale of Macbeth. The Witches answer to the “fates of mythology” (Dover Wilson) by showing people prophecies and apparitions. These Witches are more important within the play than people understand. They have a calamitous affect on the protagonist within Macbeth, and all the characters associated with him. After a protracted discussion of the topic of who is to blame for the demise of Macbeth, the blame has come to rest upon the Three Witches.
Steinbeck presents the character of Curley’s wife to be attractive, flirtatious and vulnerable and she is a very complex character. On the one hand, Steinbeck is making the reader feel sympathy for her, however, on the other hand she is shown to be provocative and enticing to the men on the ranch. She represents the women back in the 1930s who weren’t seen as independent women but were seen as an extension of their husbands rather than being independent and the loneliness that came from the jealousy and distrust towards young women at the time. The first time you hear about Curley’s wife is when candy describes her to George. Candy uses expression such as “she got the eye” and goes on to describe her as looking at other men because of this they call her a “tart”.
The Loss of Subjectivity: Lady Macbeth as Unconscious of Macbeth Among most female characters in Shakespeare’s works, Lady Macbeth, who has been attracting attention and debates for centuries is ambiguous in identity and subjectivity. Her fascination lies in the masks beneath which the evil and good counterparts with the other self restlessly seek to hide or show: she is the dedicated wife, sacrificing her womanliness to help realize her husband’s ambition; she is the “fiend-like queen” (V.viii.35), possessing the cruelty of a man, but is born as a woman. However, it is this mysterious woman that lacks the most fundamental component of her subjectivity, a name. As the only female protagonist in The Tragedy of Macbeth, she does not have a name of her own unlike Ophelia (Hamlet), or Portia (The Merchant of Venice), or Desdemona (Othello). She is the Lady Macbeth: she, lacking subjectivity, is not defined in her own right but a reflection of Macbeth’s mental status.
Besides Macbeth, Lady Macbeth also shows her character is deceiving by planning how Duncan will be killed. At the end of the play she dies because the guilt from helping to kill Duncan was too much of a burden on her conscience. Lastly, the witches are deceiving characters because they give confusing prophecies. Macbeth misinterprets the confusing prophecies which later lead to his tragic death. There are many appearances that show characters in the play Macbeth are deceiving, ultimately leading to tragedy.
Lady Macbeth’s disposition brings to the fore many themes concerning gender, including; the definition of manhood and alternatively femininity, the role of women in the play highlighted through the characters of Lady Macbeth and the Witches, and the synonymy between masculinity and cruelty. Through key scenes in Macbeth, particularly Act 1, Scene 5 (Norton), Lady Macbeth’s gender is explored as she indicates that she must compensate for her husbands lack of masculine characteristics and thus propel him to commit Duncan’s murder. Similarly, the ambiguity of the Witches gender is reiterated through their very own being- a violation of how women were expected to behave. Act 1, Scene 5 introduces the audience to Lady Macbeth’s indifference to the feminine qualities not only of herself, but also those of which her husband possesses. Lady Macbeth decidedly usurps the dominant role because she feels her husband “is too full o’ the milk of human kindness” (i.v.16).
The play is about Macbeth so why do we have this fascination with Lady Macbeth, I shall delve in to the deep character that is Lady Macbeth and find out if she is a fiend like queen. I can see why most people would believe that Lady Macbeth is presented as a fiend like queen, when she gets Macbeths letter as she immediately begins to plot the murder of Duncan this is out of her selfish desire to bear the name “queen” that drives her she comes over fiend like by using violent language, emotional blackmail, insults his masculinity and attacks his weaknesses to help commit the murder. Lady Macbeth takes full charge of Macbeth’s actions and seems to dominate him. Lady Macbeth calls upon the demons “Come, you spirits” this shows her calling upon evil spirits to help her to commit the deed of killing Duncan also the notion that lady Macbeth is possessed by evil spirits could explain the unnatural darkness, most fiend like. Lady Macbeths plots against killing king Duncan which is God’s appointed monarch, so by murdering him she is going against God which makes her more fiend like.
The readers decide whether Lady Macbeth is a supportive or a contrary wife, as Shakespeare exhibits her as an evil character as she continuously uses negative language throughout the play giving her an overpowering presence on stage. Lady Macbeth’s character contradicts with the roles of women in the Elizabethan Era as they were regarded as their husband’s possessions and weren’t entitled to an opinion. A stereotypical Elizabethan woman was expected to be innocent, gentle and dutiful as they were inferior to men. In the same way the lady from the lab presents her desires through a dramatic monologue that runs throughout Robert Browning’s poem. The use of this allows the reader to be involved in the description of the situation that the lady is currently undergoing, and this is simply her cheating ‘Lover’.