Explore the ways disturbed characters are presented in Shakeapeare’s Macbeth and Browning’s My Last Duchess, The Laboratory and Porphyria’s Lover.
This is essentially a “use of language” essay, you need to show HOW the disturbed natures of the characters are conveyed, not just say how they show themselves. The essential point of this essay is to demonstrate what Shakespeare and Browning DO to convey the disturbed nature of the characters – not just saying what disturbed things the characters say or do, but what poetic and dramatic techniques the authors use to show their distrurbed natures. You MUST use quotations to back up every point you make. If you are hoping for the highest grades (B and above) you must make comparisons between the characters in the poems and Lady Macbeth.
All these texts contain examples of central characters whose minds are unbalanced. In Macbeth the longer nature of a play allows us to understand why Lady Macbeth mind becomes increasingly disturbed, but in the brief dramatic monologues of Browning we have no background to their disturbance. Another crucial difference between the Shakespeare and Browning texts is that we see the character of Lady Macbeth from the outside whereas the disturbed character is the narrator in all 3 Browning peoms, so we only get his/her perspective on events. The basic difference between a dramatic monologue and a play also means that different techniques are used to convey the disturbance.
Right from her first appearance in the play, Sh shows us a character who does not react in an entirely rational way. On reading the letter, her mind immediately goes to murdering Duncan; she shows none of the doubts that assail Macbeth, she does not even consider any other ways that the prophecy might come true, as he does, but is simply determined that he “shalt be what thou art promised” (1-5-14/5). She also shows here that she does not know her husband as well as she thinks – she is quite...