Throughout the play Macbeth, Shakespeare portrays Lady Macbeth’s ambition as so dire she asks other forces of nature to “unsex me here,”.  While Macbeth is consumed by his morals as to whether he should kill King Duncan, Lady Macbeth’s dire ambition to have a better life for herself and become Queen has become so powerful she wants all her feminine qualities to be taken away from her. During the time period, Shakespeare produced the tragedy Macbeth, the idea of Lady Macbeth wanting her feminine qualities taken away was an unprecedented idea to be said aloud yet alone in front of a large audience. He used both the characters and language features such as metaphors to show this insight into Shakespeare’s thoughts. This is shown in the metaphor “…fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full Of direst cruelty!” which shows that Shakespeare was in a way breaking the typical sexist beliefs of the time; while presenting and portraying these thoughts to an often intransigent audience and still managing to keep it popular with the crowd. Shakespeare was proving that women can be just as powerful if not more than men and that they have valid ambitions too, no matter how dire. However, as a Lady Macbeth learns everything comes with consequences equally dire to the amount of desire and ambition that was put into the act.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. As we discussed in class. This paragraph has some very strong elements, particularly in terms of the underlying ideas, and the areas for development concentrate on the way you’re expressing those ideas. Sometimes a point is repeated unnecessarily, and at other times a little too much extraneous commentary is offered in lieu of analysis of the text itself. I understand that language analysis can at times be intimidating, however it’s a tremendous way to really get underneath an author’s intentions in a text and to help your arguments and observations remain embedded in evidence.

    Let me know if you ever have trouble achieving this. I’d encourage you to look carefully at the sample paragraph on the class website, as it demonstrates how you can use a clear formula of Statement, Example, Explanation to ensure you keep a clear logical sequence to your writing.

    Also, as we’ve mentioned, the paragraph written by Otto together with support from the whole class is a good example of how to keep the logic of your argument clear while referring to a range of items of evidence and analysis.

    I look forward to observing as you develop your answer this week.



Respond now!