Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Lady Macbeth Has Been Described as the ‘Fourth Witch’

peeress Macbeth is an insidious and complex character. Throughout the course of the novel, she manipulates her husband, Macbeth, and spurs him to commit his beginning murder in coif for him to ultimately achieve what she supposes he deserves. bird Macbeth is shown to the audience as a loyal wife who wants the best for his husband, but at the same time, she is portrayed as a malicious character from the very beginning of the play. The line between an horror human being, and a scheming witch, is so fine that Lady Macbeth could easily be either.The fact that the three eldritch Sisters predictions would not have become true without the supreme influence of Lady Macbeth provokes the model that, perhaps Lady Macbeth is more than an anti-mother and a schemer, perhaps she is a witch. This possibility would also change the nature of the witches from the future-seers they are portrayed as, to merely influencers of a force of events that they plan. In order to differentiate or associate Lady Macbeth from or to the weird sisters, the similarities and differences of Lady Macbeth and the witches must be explored.Firstly, Lady Macbeth and the witches both(prenominal) call on to evil forces at times of need, such as when Lady Macbeth cries Come, you pot likker/ That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,(I, 5, 39-40) to discard her feminine traits in order for her to eventually be successful in fulfilling the witches plan by spurring Macbeth to kill Duncan. This invocation signifies a link between Lady Macbeth and the supernatural, or witchcraft, which is employ by her and the witches.Soon after the invocation, she questions Macbeths manhood by telling him that When you durst do it, then you were a man/ And to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man. (I, 7, 49-51). As Lady Macbeth discarded her womanish traits and understands the true nature of a man, she began to share a certain gender ambiguity with the witches, Banquo observes the genderles s style in the witches when he proclaims You should be women / And yet your beards forbid me to interpret / That you are so. (I, 3, 46-48). If Lady Macbeth had successfully connected with the evil forces in her invocation scene, then both the witches and Lady Macbeth exhibit an androgynous character, although Lady Macbeth only has masculine mental traits, while the witches have a masculine physical appearance as fountainhead as mental character. Another common trait between Lady Macbeth and witches is that both are anti-mothers.The myths of witches through history are seen as anti-mothers, and Lady Macbeth reveals this evil characteristic rom within herself, and the fact of a previous maternal relationship when she says I have given suck I would have pick off my nipple from his boneless gums,/ And dashed the brains out (I, 7, 54-58). This shocking statement shows Lady Macbeths evil thoughts, which no mother could have for her child, in turn making her an anti-mother, which would belike have been linked to witchcraft by the original audiences in Shakespeares day, if not by todays audiences.Parallel phrase with Lady Macbeth and the Weird Sisters are also evident in the play. The witches refer to killing swine (I, 3, 2) early in the play, and Lady Macbeth unknowingly echoes this when she refers to the two chamberlains as in a stolid sleep, (I, 7, 67). The chamberlains are sacrificed by Macbeth, to avoid any fault in their plan of the murder of Duncan. The sacrifice of swine has been known as a common act of fab witches since before Shakespeares day, and again, links Lady Macbeth to witchcraft.The use of The aforementioned term (swinish sleep) corresponding with the sacrifice of the men being described as such, would be a hint to the audience of Lady Macbeths witch-like character, and would have, once again, have connected Lady Macbeth to witchcraft for the audience of Shakespeares day. Unlike the witches, Lady Macbeth shows signs of vulnerability, and bec omes wracked with guilt. This is evident in her somnambulation scene, when she says Out damned spot Out, I say (VI, 1, 31) She, at that point in time, was haunted by the sight of bloodline on her hands, and was convinced the blood was still there, showing signs of madness as she becomes mentally unhinged. Lady Macbeths recollection of Macbeths words after Duncan was dispatch also haunted and festered within her as shown when she starts to echo Macbeths statements and fears, when she said To bed, to bed theres knocking at the gate (VI, 1, 59) When Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking and imagines that she is in hell, as shown by her statement Hell is murky, (VI, 1, 32) she does not appear on stage again, and dies offstage.The two most likely scenarios for her death would be suicide, or an act involving the doctor and/or the gentlewoman, as they were the only people that witnessed the truth about the murders. If suicide was the cause of Lady Macbeths death, as is likely, an even deeper lev el of guilt is shown and this emotional trauma felt by Lady Macbeth is not felt by the witches. These signs of weakness are contrary to the connection she had with the evil spirits in her evocation scene, and contrary to the behaviour of he witches, as they do not feel, or even show any guilt or sympathy. contempt not having a masculine appearance and showing signs of guilt and weakness, Lady Macbeth has been cleverly portrayed as the fourth witch by Shakespeare. I believe this is so, because at the time this play was written, links such as the swine description of the attendants and the calling on evil spirits performed by Lady Macbeth would have been blatant parallels and links to witchcraft for the audience in the Elizabethan era, but are perhaps more rarely understood by todays audiences.This may be because the idea of witches has been dismissed by modern society and their characteristics are not as widely known making those links somewhat outdated. Although Lady Macbeth as th e fourth witch seems less believable as a concept today, we must not look at the play as two dimensional, as it is read today, but instead learn the views of the people of the time when Shakespeares plays were written, after all, Shakespeare wrote about what he knew, and Macbeth was written four-hundred and three to four-hundred and seven days ago.

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