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“Lady Macbeth is the real driving force behind the murder of Duncan.” Discuss this statement and decide whether or not you agree. D Mac Gabhann.

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Presentation on theme: "“Lady Macbeth is the real driving force behind the murder of Duncan.” Discuss this statement and decide whether or not you agree. D Mac Gabhann."— Presentation transcript:

1 “Lady Macbeth is the real driving force behind the murder of Duncan.” Discuss this statement and decide whether or not you agree. D Mac Gabhann

2 Introduction  The play was written in 1606 for King James 1 st. The story of ‘Macbeth’ is based on true facts. Banquo was an ancestor of James 1 st and was involved in the murder of King Duncan.  Shakespeare's adaptation of events alters the facts, to make Banquo a loyal servant and innocent victim to please James 1 st. D Mac Gabhann, Scoil Chaitríona

3  Shakespeare wrote about the world he knew, a highly superstitious time. The play reflects the interests of the King and society. James 1 st was very interested in witchcraft and this is one of the main themes of Macbeth.  The play is a moral lesson. In Shakespeare’s time the murder of a King was the greatest of all crimes as Kings were believed to be appointed by God and therefore rebellion against a true King is rebellion against God. Macbeth is suitably punished for his crime which would please James 1 st. D Mac Gabhann, Scoil Chaitríona

4  The play is a tragedy. A tragedy was written to instruct as well as entertain. The play contains all the elements of a murder tale, suspense and excitement but at a deeper level the audience are shown that crime doesn’t pay.  The audience can witness how greed can destroy the most noble character. Macbeth is a good and loyal soldier at the beginning of the play and without the promptings of his wife and the witches we should question whether he would have committed such awful crimes. In doing so, he lost love, friendship and eventually paid with his life. D Mac Gabhann, Scoil Chaitríona

5  You should choose 2-3 of the 6 points covered so far but you MUST demonstrate an understanding of how Shakespeare showed an awareness of his audience – who were deeply superstitious – and how this would affect the content of the play and how the content of the play would appeal to a more modern audience?  It is important that you put all this information into your OWN words.  Consider images used in the play – the supernatural for instance – and themes in the play as well. D Mac Gabhann, Scoil Chaitríona

6  Refer to the structure of the play as well. Is it relevant that we meet the witches before we meet the character of Macbeth? What might this reveal about their role and the themes of the play?  Compare Lady Macbeth’s actions in the earlier scenes of the play with those from later on in the play. Use this to comment on what Shakespeare might be suggesting about the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. How does he demonstrate this through the structure of the play? (Remember how she dies.) D Mac Gabhann, Scoil Chaitríona

7 Act 1 Scene 5  Lady Macbeth reads the letter from Macbeth.  Consider what Macbeth’s purpose for writing this letter was. What does this reveal about his role in the murder?  A soliloquy lets the audience see the character’s thoughts and feelings. Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy reveals her own ambitions and reveals Macbeth’s character. What do we learn about both of them from this scene? D Mac Gabhann, Scoil Chaitríona

8 “yet do I fear thy nature, It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way” (Act 1 scene 5 lines 16-18) What does Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy reveal about her character, her plans for Macbeth and her ambitions? “Hie thee hither, That I may pour my spirits in thine ear And chastise with the valour of my tongue All that impedes thee from the golden round” (Act 1 scene 5 lines 25-28) D Mac Gabhann, Scoil Chaitríona

9  Further into the scene Lady Macbeth learns that Duncan will stay the night in the castle, giving them the opportunity to put their deadly plan into action.  Her further soliloquy is very revealing about her character, “Come you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to toe top full Of direst cruelty;” (Act 1 scene 5 lines 40-43) D Mac Gabhann, Scoil Chaitríona

10  The theme of supernatural which runs through the play is evident in this scene. What references are made to supernatural forces?  How would these have affected Shakespeare’s audience and how do they affect a modern audience? Why might Shakespeare have included these references?  The image of blood is also a recurrent image in the play, “make thick my blood” Act 1 scene 5 line 43) D Mac Gabhann, Scoil Chaitríona

11  Milk is once again referred to as a symbol of humanity and human kindness.  When is the image of milk used in the scenes you have studied?  What does it represent?  What does it reveal about the characters of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth? “Come to my woman's breasts And take my milk for gall.” Act 1 scene 5 lines47-48) D Mac Gabhann, Scoil Chaitríona

12  Images of dark / light are referred to in this scene: “come thick night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, Nor Heaven peep through the blanket of the dark, To cry, ‘Hold, hold’ ” Act 1 scene 5 lines 49-54) D Mac Gabhann, Scoil Chaitríona

13  This image is constantly referred to, to create the sense of evil that is always present in the play.  The theme of ambition is also evident in this scene. The theme recurs throughout the play.  When are we aware of Lady Macbeth’s and Macbeth’s ambitions? What does this reveal about their characters? “Thy letters have transported me beyond This ignorant present, and I feel now The future in the instant.” (Act 1 scene 5 lines 56-58) D Mac Gabhann, Scoil Chaitríona

14  Lady Macbeth instructs her husband to deceive their guests. “look like the innocent flower, But be the serpent under’t” Act1 scene5 lines64-65) What does this image bring to the mind of the reader? What would this suggest about the character of Lady Macbeth? Why would Shakespeare have used such imagery? What would this reveal about his audience? D Mac Gabhann, Scoil Chaitríona

15 Act 1 Scene 7  Macbeth is reluctant to commit the murder, “We will proceed no further in this business.” Lady Macbeth’s angry response clearly refers to to the ever present theme of ambition. “Was the hope drunk Wherein you dress’d yourself?” (Act 1 scene 7 lines ) She mocks her husband’s lack of courage and in a chilling image declares she would do anything if she had made a promise to Macbeth. What does this show about her character? D Mac Gabhann, Scoil Chaitríona

16 “I would, while it was smiling in my face, Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn As you have done to this.” (Act 1 Scene 7 lines 56-59)  Consider the effect this imagery has on the audience?  What does this reveal about Lady Macbeth’s character?  Why is this image so shocking?  What effect does this speech have on Macbeth? “I’m bent………..terrible feat” D Mac Gabhann, Scoil Chaitríona

17 Act 2 Scene 2 - The murder.  What is Lady Macbeth’s role in the murder? “had he not resembled … I’d have done it”  What does this show about her personality?  How does she respond to Macbeth’s fears and guilt?  What does this reveal about her character? D Mac Gabhann, Scoil Chaitríona

18 Conclusion  Refer back to the question. Do you think Lady Macbeth was the real driving force behind the murder of Duncan?  Bear in mind that Macbeth originally felt jealous and evil when he found out that Malcolm would succeed the King, “Stars, hide your fires, Let not light see my black and deep desires”  What does this reveal about Macbeth and does this make you reconsider Lady Macbeth’s influence over her husband? D Mac Gabhann, Scoil Chaitríona

19  Do you feel sorry for Lady Macbeth? (Remember that she couldn’t cope with her guilt and eventually took her own life and her relationship with her husband, which was once very close, fell apart.)  What moral lessons might you see in the story of Macbeth? D Mac Gabhann, Scoil Chaitríona


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