2nd November 2017

Practice Essay – Macbeth

NCEA 2016 1.1 paper

Question 7. Describe one important character in the written text. Explain how this character is revealed to you throughout the text.

In the play ‘Macbeth’ written by William Shakespeare we became familiar with the character Lady Macbeth. During this essay I will be discribing Lady Macbeth and how she is revealed to us throughout the play. The first way I will be doing this is by her dire ambition and they way she is willing to kill anyone who stands in her path. Secondly I will expressing this by her drive and determination to get things done how she wants them done. My final way I will be expressing how she is revealed to us is by explaining and describing how Lady Macbeth ends up be consumed by her guilt and kills her self.

During the play ‘Macbeth’ written by Shakespeare the personal trait of dire ambition is used constantly throughout this play by Lady Macbeth. An example of this is when Lady Macbeth quotes, “Fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty”. What we understand from this is that she wants to become evil and fill her self from her head to the end of her toes with deadly cruelty. Meaning she will prepare her self to not let anyone come between her and her evil plans and that she will kill everyone who stands in her way. Lady Macbeth is revealed to us through dire ambition.

As we get to notice during the play Lady Macbeth is full of dire ambition. Ambition isn’t always a bad thing for people and this is acually a quality trait that anyone can use if they want to achieve anything in life. In Lady Macbeth’s case her ambition, drive or determination was used in a very bad way. She used this to get things done her way and how she wanted them to be done. But as an audience we can see that Lady Macbeth’s determination is a positive trait that she has, she just uses it the wrong manner. A quote from the text that shows Lady Macbeth’s determination is, “we fail? But screw your courage to the sticking place, And we’ll not fail”. She quoted this just after Macbeth had questioned her evil plan. From this quote we can understand that she fully believes in her self, she has no doubt in her plan and she is determined to do it. We also understand that she may have been quite offended when Macbeth questioned her plan.  Because when she said, “but screw your courage to the sticking place” she also questioned his courage which Macbeth would have taken a huge offence to. We can pick up that she was offended by the use of her language of “screw” and how she became defensive straight away and believed in her self and drove her self and questioned his courage. This is another way Lady Macbeth is revealed to us through out the play with her determination and drive.

We recognise through out this play that Lady Macbeth starts to suffer mental illness which slowly leads to her killing her self. Deeply into the stage of where she is feeling like this the doctors catch her sleep walking. When she is sleep walking the doctors heard her quote, “ here’s the smell of blood still: all the perfumes of Airibia will not sweeten this little hand”. What we can understand from this quote as an audience is that Lady Macbeth is consumed by her guilt of pursuading Macbeth to kill. This leads onto her killing her self. When Macbeth found this news he quoted, “ life’s but a walking shadow that struts and frets his hour apon the stage”. What we can understand from this is that life doesn’t acually mean as much as we think it does and he is referring this is Lady Macbeth’s ambition. This is another way Lady Macbeth is revealed to us throughout the play.

As I stated in my introduction Lady Macbeth is described and revealed to us throughout her dire ambition, her determination and  how she became consumed by her guilt. An over riding message in this that Lady Macbeth is not conveying is that you have must have the value honesty to have good ambition so you won’t cheat by achieving your dreams. In Lady Macbeth’s case she had uncontrolled ambition which didn’t end up working for her. As the young athlete I am, I am preparing myself for the stage where I will be offered performance enhancing drugs where I will be Macbeth in the situation and the supplier will be Lady Macbeth. As I said before we need to have honesty in us so we don’t choose the cheaters way which was shown through Lady Macbeth’s ambitions.









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