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Change of Roles

Uploaded by manager05 on Feb 12, 2004

Throughout the play, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth change characters. This is evident through their speaking and their actions. Act One shows you the beginning of Lady Macbeth’s killing rage. For example, she says on page 284 in lines 18-29 that Macbeth has the title of Glamis and Cawdor and now the only things that are keeping him from the throne are King Duncan and his two sons, Malcolm and Donalbain. In that soliloquy, she is already thinking of plotting to kill Duncan. The next soliloquy that she gives on page 285 in lines 38-53, she is calling on the raven to bring deadly thoughts into her head to come up with a plan to kill Duncan. She asks the spirits to “unsex me [her], (P 285 L 41)” because killing is a man’s job. She also asks the “thick night” to come and enshroud “her keen knife [so that it does not] see not the wound it makes” meaning that it must be a dark night so that no one sees that King Duncan is being murdered. These examples show Lady Macbeth’s dominance for wanting to take a man’s role. She next persuades Macbeth to kill Duncan but he says that he will not do it. He ponders it for a while and thinks that he could risk on having eternal damnation, but he decides not to kill Duncan because Duncan is his kin and his actions will come to harm him. Lady Macbeth then takes Macbeth aside and tries to persuade him to kill Duncan by saying that he is “a coward (P 289 L 41)” and also questions his manhood. In lines 60-72, she unveils her plan for killing Duncan to Macbeth, which is to give the guards that watch Duncan wine so that Macbeth could slip into Duncan’s room, kill him, and smear blood on the drunken guards in order to place the blame of guilt on them. After this persuasion and yearning for the crown, Macbeth agrees to kill Duncan. This shows that Lady Macbeth is very domineering over her husband.

In Act 2 Scene 1, Macbeth has his famous floating dagger scene. On page 295-6, lines 33-64, Macbeth is having second thoughts about killing Duncan because he mentions two evil beings, Hecate who is the Greek goddess of witchcraft and Tarquin who is a Roman tyrant. In the couplet in lines 63-64, he says “Hear...

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Uploaded by:   manager05

Date:   02/12/2004

Category:   Macbeth

Length:   4 pages (877 words)

Views:   1892

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