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Lady Macbeth . Character Analysis by Bailey Hughes. Characters . What are characters? . Characters are the people responsible for the thoughts and actions within a story, poem or literature. Characters are the medium through which we are able to interact with a piece of literature.

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lady macbeth

Lady Macbeth

Character Analysis by Bailey Hughes

characters
Characters

What are characters?

  • Characters are the people responsible for the thoughts and actions within a story, poem or literature.
  • Characters are the medium through which we are able to interact with a piece of literature.
  • It is the work of an author, to create a persona that assists us in forming a plot or creating a mood.

What role do characters play in literature?

gender stereotypes
Gender Stereotypes

Women

  • Females are stereotyped to be very nurturing, gentle and caring.
  • Women are stereotyped as the inferior race, being more weak and cowardly.
  • Common feminine traits include dependent, emotional, sensitive and passive.
  • Males are stereotyped as very independent and strong.
  • Typically, men are meant to be very logical, aggressive and courageous, conveyed as much more stable than females.

Men

shakespeare s subversions of stereotypes
Shakespeare's subversions of Stereotypes

Lady Macbeth

  • Shakespeare conveys Lady Macbeth in contrast to Macbeth.
  • Lady Macbeth is primarily conveyed as;
  • Insensitive, unemotional, aggressive and strong.
  • Finally, Lady Macbeth is conveyed as an emotional, sensitive and passive character.
  • “I would while it smiling in my face, have plucked my nipple from his boneless gum, and dashed the brains out.”

→“Nought’s had, all’s spent,

Where our desires is got without content; ‘Tis safer to be that which we destroy Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.”

relationships with macbeth
Relationships with Macbeth

Primarily

  • Lady Macbeth is the dominant partner.
  • She is very insensitive, aggressive and questions Macbeths manhood.
  • Lady Macbeth pressures Macbeth into being more courageous, she contrasts the stereotypical female.
  • Lady Macbeth is very passive. She is guilt stricken and represents female stereotypes.
  • Macbeth is aggressive and insensitive, he dominates Lady Macbeth.
  • Macbeth conveys the normal male stereotypes.
  • “But screw your courage to the sticking-place, And we’ll not fail.”

Ultimately

relationships with herself
Relationships with herself

Primarily

  • Lady Macbeth challenges her stereotypes. She is very aggressive and insensitive.
  • Lady Macbeth becomes driven by her need for power. She manipulates herself into becoming an unemotional female, being courageous and being insensitive.
  • “unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty”
relationships with herself1
Relationships with herself

Ultimately

  • Lady Macbeth returns to being conveyed as a stereotypical woman.
  • Her guilt of organizing Duncan's murder influences her.
  • Lady Macbeth gets paranoid and sees blood on her hands, she is overwhelmed by guilt and becomes emotional and very sensitive.
  • Commits suicide.
  • “Nought'shad, all's spent,
  • Where our desire is got without content;
  • 'Tis safer to be that which we destroy
  • Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.”
potential essay questions
Potential Essay Questions
  • This presentation would be useful in understanding the character of Lady Macbeth and Shakespeare’s subversions of gender stereotypes.
  • Discourses  discuss a gendered discourse
  • Analysis of a character within a text  discuss Lady Macbeth
  • Character construction within a text
  • Feminist Discourses
references
References
  • http://nfs.sparknotes.com/macbeth/page_96.html
  • http://nfs.sparknotes.com/macbeth/page_180.html
  • http://www.shakespeare-navigators.com/macbeth/quotesmacbeth.html
  • http://www2.uncp.edu/home/canada/work/allam/general/glossary.htm#c
quotes
Quotes
  • “I would while it smiling in my face, have plucked my nipple from his boneless gum, and dashed the brains out.” (Act 1, Scene 7, Line 56)
  • “Nought’shad, all’s spent,
  • Where our desires is got without content; ‘Tis safer to be that which we destroy Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.” (Act 3, Scene 2, Line 4)
  • “But screw your courage to the sticking-place, And we’ll not fail.” (Act 1, Scene 7)
  • “unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty” (Act 1, Scene 5, Line 38)