8: Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth as a scheming and manipulative woman who loses control of
her power as her husband becomes more independent throughout the play. We see her downfall
starts to develop as Macbeth becomes more influenced by the supernatural and his desire for the
security of his power. Act 1 scene 7 is an important turning point in the play as it is where Macbeth
and Lady Macbeth’s relationship begins to fall apart.
At the beginning of the extract Lady Macbeth lashes out at Macbeth’s cowardice saying “what beast
was’t, then, that made you break this enterprise to me?” At this point, Lady Macbeth stops referring
to Macbeth as the intimate ‘thou’ and instead opts for the more distant ‘you’. Shakespeare does
this to show Lady Macbeth’s change from a character who manipulates Macbeth through praise and
love to a character who needs to humiliate and torture her husband’s mind to drive him through the
regrets and guilt. This change really emphasises the extent that Lady Macbeth will go to for her
desire for power and control.
9:In this extract from Act 1, scene 7, Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth as very much the dominant
figure in her relationship with her husband. This is demonstrated through her constant emasculation
of him, especially in the earlier part of the extract. For example, her insistence to him “to be more
than what you were, you would be so much more the man” is a clear attempt to demean him. By
stating that he would be “so much more a man” the use of the comparative “more” implies that he
is not ‘manly’ at that moment hence Lady Macbeth loses respect for her battle-hero husband, the
once “Brave Macbeth” of Act 1, scene 2. It is important to note that this scene occurs before the
regicide of King Duncan has occurred. Lady Macbeth’s attitude towards Macbeth changes as the
play proceeds and as Macbeth metamorphoses from hero to the guilt-ridden monarch and then into an
insecure and barbarous, bellicose zealot.
Lady Macbeth’s dominance over Macbeth in the first Act, and in the banquet scene of Act 3 scene 4
demonstrates a dynamic of her effectively filling the role of the ‘the man of the house’ (or of
Dunsinane) – a very unusual role reversal in the Jacobean era. In the 17th century (and in the 11th
century in which the play was set) women were expected to be submissive to their husbands, hence
Shakespeare, by presenting a role reversal such as this, demonstrates that the Macbeth family is not
as it seems and is possibly quite dangerous, ‘unnatural’ and (in a Jacobean period rife with
supernatural fear) possibly evil due to the skewed power dynamic.
as you can see, it's a step up from 8 to 9 in terms of vocabulary, sentence structure and analysis of the effect of techniques. Also embedding quotations and use of context to add to your point. relation to how an audience might react is also effective as you've got to remember Macbeth, in particular, is a play- and it's meant to be watched not read.