Newyorkiscool
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Hi could someone please provide some feedback for my attempt at a response to How far does Shakespeare present Lady Macbeth as powerful? TIA

In Shakespeare’s eponymous tragedy, ‘Macbeth’, Lady Macbeth is presented as a powerful and manipulative woman from the beginning. Although her power is not everlasting as her vaulting ambition becomes hamartia, quickly turning her power into overwhelming madness and insanity.

Starting with this passage from Act 1 scene 5, Lady Macbeth demands evil spirits to “unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top full of direst cruelty.” It's clear Shakespeare's clever use of demanding imperative verbs like “fill” were deliberately used to present Lady Macbeth as powerful. This makes clear to the audience Lady Macbeth's arrogant and powerful persona. In addition to this Lady Macbeth wants the spirits to “unsex” her. She wants her female qualities to be erased as she has ambition for more power. In 1606, when Shakespeare wrote ‘Macbeth’, women were forbidden of power and ambition and were her husbands property. At the time Macbeth was performed Lady Macbeth's power could be seen as unbelievable and unconventional. However, with events such as the Me Too movement and the protests after Sarah Everards death, some audiences in the 21st century may see this as progressive or maybe inspiring. The monosyllabic words “me” and “here” also give Lady Macbeth's speech an aggressive and demanding tone and therefore presenting her as powerful.

Throughout the beginning of ‘Macbeth’ Lady Macbeth's power is apparent, even independent to this extract. Firstly, Lady Macbeth seems to take control as she believes Macbeth has “the milk of human kindness” and is too weak to commit regicide. Instead she dictates to macbeth “to leave all the rest to me” and to “give me the daggers.” This vivid contrast between Macbeth's weakness and Lady Macbeth's control and power alone presents Lady Macbeth as powerful. But her control and imperative towards Macbeth's further highlights this. Again this is unusual and shocking for a 17th century audience. Perhaps Shakespeare does this to interest the audience. This also portrays Lady Macbeth's evil ambition, she clearly orchestrated the murder of Duncan and manipulated Macbeth do it.

Lady Macbeth's manipulation of Macbeth also portrays Lady Macbeth's power. Lady Macbeth manipulates Macbeth many times throughout the play. She calls him “cowardly” and undermines his masculinity, “when you durst it, then you were a man.” Again all of this shows Lady Macbeth's power and control. She even pours her “spirits in thine ear” again this imagery vividly shows Lady Macbeth's power and control over Macbeth. “Shame itself” - Lady Macbeth goes as far as ‘telling’ Macbeth off during the banquet. Lady Macbeth's manipulative behaviour is seen throughout the play indicating to the audience of her power. Once again shocking the audience due to the social standing women had. Shakespeare purposefully does this to undermine Macbeth as a character as Lady Macbeth is presented as more powerful than Macbeth, a man.

Although, her power erodes away by the end of the play. She is over summoned by her guilt and she loses control. So she might have the power to control other people but it's clear she does not have the power to control herself. This is apparent in the scene where Lady Macbeth sleepwalks. She builds a hallucination of the mind of blood on her hand. She even demands “out damn spot!” she uses her imperative language she used against Macbeth but she does not get her own way. She has no power over her own mind although she wants it. There is not many times Macbeth seems more powerful than Lady Macbeth but he interrupts Lady Macbeth, “we will speak further-”

To conclude, Lady Macbeth definitely is a character of power- at the beginning at least - but this soon erodes away by the end of the play when she turns deranged.
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r312789
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This is not a bad answer, but by no means is it perfect. You need to develop analysis further (look for imagery) and focus more on Shakespeare's message - why does he present Lady Macbeth as powerful? What is he trying to say about femininity? Power? Ambition? Guilt? Remember, Lady Macbeth is a character that Shakespeare is using to make a point about society. Try to create an argument and weave it throughout your answer.
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Newyorkiscool
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(Original post by r312789)
This is not a bad answer, but by no means is it perfect. You need to develop analysis further (look for imagery) and focus more on Shakespeare's message - why does he present Lady Macbeth as powerful? What is he trying to say about femininity? Power? Ambition? Guilt? Remember, Lady Macbeth is a character that Shakespeare is using to make a point about society. Try to create an argument and weave it throughout your answer.
Thank you!
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hmdhzkyayod
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(Original post by Newyorkiscool)
Hi could someone please provide some feedback for my attempt at a response to How far does Shakespeare present Lady Macbeth as powerful? TIA

In Shakespeare’s eponymous tragedy, ‘Macbeth’, Lady Macbeth is presented as a powerful and manipulative woman from the beginning. Although her power is not everlasting as her vaulting ambition becomes hamartia, quickly turning her power into overwhelming madness and insanity.

Starting with this passage from Act 1 scene 5, Lady Macbeth demands evil spirits to “unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top full of direst cruelty.” It's clear Shakespeare's clever use of demanding imperative verbs like “fill” were deliberately used to present Lady Macbeth as powerful. This makes clear to the audience Lady Macbeth's arrogant and powerful persona. In addition to this Lady Macbeth wants the spirits to “unsex” her. She wants her female qualities to be erased as she has ambition for more power. In 1606, when Shakespeare wrote ‘Macbeth’, women were forbidden of power and ambition and were her husbands property. At the time Macbeth was performed Lady Macbeth's power could be seen as unbelievable and unconventional. However, with events such as the Me Too movement and the protests after Sarah Everards death, some audiences in the 21st century may see this as progressive or maybe inspiring. The monosyllabic words “me” and “here” also give Lady Macbeth's speech an aggressive and demanding tone and therefore presenting her as powerful.

Throughout the beginning of ‘Macbeth’ Lady Macbeth's power is apparent, even independent to this extract. Firstly, Lady Macbeth seems to take control as she believes Macbeth has “the milk of human kindness” and is too weak to commit regicide. Instead she dictates to macbeth “to leave all the rest to me” and to “give me the daggers.” This vivid contrast between Macbeth's weakness and Lady Macbeth's control and power alone presents Lady Macbeth as powerful. But her control and imperative towards Macbeth's further highlights this. Again this is unusual and shocking for a 17th century audience. Perhaps Shakespeare does this to interest the audience. This also portrays Lady Macbeth's evil ambition, she clearly orchestrated the murder of Duncan and manipulated Macbeth do it.

Lady Macbeth's manipulation of Macbeth also portrays Lady Macbeth's power. Lady Macbeth manipulates Macbeth many times throughout the play. She calls him “cowardly” and undermines his masculinity, “when you durst it, then you were a man.” Again all of this shows Lady Macbeth's power and control. She even pours her “spirits in thine ear” again this imagery vividly shows Lady Macbeth's power and control over Macbeth. “Shame itself” - Lady Macbeth goes as far as ‘telling’ Macbeth off during the banquet. Lady Macbeth's manipulative behaviour is seen throughout the play indicating to the audience of her power. Once again shocking the audience due to the social standing women had. Shakespeare purposefully does this to undermine Macbeth as a character as Lady Macbeth is presented as more powerful than Macbeth, a man.

Although, her power erodes away by the end of the play. She is over summoned by her guilt and she loses control. So she might have the power to control other people but it's clear she does not have the power to control herself. This is apparent in the scene where Lady Macbeth sleepwalks. She builds a hallucination of the mind of blood on her hand. She even demands “out damn spot!” she uses her imperative language she used against Macbeth but she does not get her own way. She has no power over her own mind although she wants it. There is not many times Macbeth seems more powerful than Lady Macbeth but he interrupts Lady Macbeth, “we will speak further-”

To conclude, Lady Macbeth definitely is a character of power- at the beginning at least - but this soon erodes away by the end of the play when she turns deranged.
I think it's better than what I can write
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