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macbeth /aqa english lit/please mark for me

Read the following extract from Act 5 Scene 1 of Macbeth and then answer the question
that follows.
At this point in the play, the Doctor and the Gentlewoman watch Lady Macbeth

‘Lady Macbeth is a female character who changes during the play.’
Starting with this moment in the play, explore how far you agree with this view.
Write about:
how Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth in this extract
how far Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth as a female character who changes in
the play as a whole.

Lady Macbeth start as a cold-hearted greedy, shell of a human body and then shift to develop into a guilt ridden women , Lady Macbeth ambition was the cause of her downfall .

In act 1 , Shakespeare showcases the inception of Lady Macbeth aspiration for supremacy .This is evident in this sentence ‘come you spirit’. The use of the imperative verb ‘come’ shows Lady Macbeth attempting to assert dominance over the spirits , Shakespeare uses this to shock the audience as in the Jacobean era it was a hierarchal society and men were predominantly seen to be dominant while women were seen opposite. Also Lady Macbeth is asking the spirits to remove any female attributes from her in this following sentence ‘unsex me here’. Lady Mabeth is aware of the gender views towards women having less power than men, this make her understand that for her to acquire power she needs to switch genders. We see lady Macbeth breakout of the stereotypes of a women in the Jacobean era , This sentence ’direst cruelty’ showcases that. The use of the noun ‘cruelty’ tells us that Lady Macbeth wants to cause suffering and pain , this is quite bizarre for the audience as women aren't associated with these types of interests and it will lead them to question why Shakespeare would interpolate a women in this manner . We see lady Macbeth constantly trying to breakout of the female stereotypes so she gain a sense of dominance and power .

In act 2 , Shakespeare pursues lady Macbeth having no sense of regret or remorse towards the killing of Duncan , this make Lady Macbeth detach herself from the innocence she has as a women .This sentence ‘a foolish thought, to say a sorry sight’ suggests this . Lady Macbeth immediately counteracts his remorse with the adjective ‘foolish’ , this makes the audience feel appalled as Ladu Macbeth does feel any sigh of sympathy towards her killing Duncan. The use of the verb ‘sight’ tells us that Lady Macbeth can look at this murder with no regret and no sympathy , this automatically takes Lady Macbeth innocence as in Jacobean era would have been stereotyped to be inconceivable to be able to commit a murder and not show any sign of sympathy . Another sentence that suggests this is ‘my hands are of your color, but I shame to wear a heart so white ’.Lady Macbeth makes a mockery of Macbeth for behaving so weak and naïve which shows that Lady Macbeth is showing no sign of sympathy but rather ridicules the situation . Lady Macbeth doesn’t understand the consequences of her actions and how they can affect her in the future, in this sense she is acting very immoral .

In act 5 , Shakespeare starts to show lady Macbeth showcasing sign of regret and remorse of the murder of Duncan . This sentence ‘out, damned spot! Out, I say!’ suggests this . The repetition of the adverb ‘out’ tells the audience that Lady Macbeth is feeling a sense of fear, this could also illustrates to the audience that lady Macbeth is beginning to experience pangs of remorse . This also tells us that Lady Macbeth is starting to take into consideration the effect her past actions have on currently which makes Lady Macbeth feel feared . She tried to wash off Duncan blood from her hands, metaphorically indicating the guilt she feels for her parts in the murder .

In act 5 , Shakespreare show that Lady Macbeth is aware of the consequences of the Muder she committed . This sentence ‘will these hands ne’re be clean’ suggests this . The use of the rhetorical question expresses how the blood(guilt) can not be(cleansed) from her hands(soul), she is saying that this crime is forever attached to her . This also links to the divine rights of them believing that once you kill a king, there is no way of reversing this . We see Lady Macbeth start to think of the consequences of her actions which is a big contrast to her in act 2 when she says ‘a little water clears us of this deed’ . In this sentence she doesn’t take into account of the morality of her actions and believes that the crime could simply be washed away and her consequences cleansed .

In conclusion Lady Macbeth started of as a cruel person that was willing to do anything for dominance and supremacy but then further in the play we see these aspiration turn on her and lead to her downfall.

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