Sunday, November 25, 2012


In Act 4, I can't help but to be drawn by the witches, what interesting characters! I think it's obvious that they play the role of giving Macbeth false hope...

I find Act 5 most interesting; the development of chaos begins; we see the battlefield setting up outside the castle. "Let's make us medicines of our great revenge to cure deadly grief." (4.3 2623) Not only do we see the setup of the battle, the witches' prophecies are now being filled.

I found Lady Macbeth’s guilty conscious interesting; she’s not only sleep walking but claiming that she cannot clean her hands, they are forever stained with blood, “It is accustomed action with her, to seem thus washing her hands. I have known her continue in this a quarter hour” “Yet here’s a spot.” (5.1 2624) It’s interesting to see how much her character has changed throughout the play? At first she insists on the murder, and now that the guilt has taken over it’s too late. This part makes think back to Macbeth’s hallucinations after the murder where he thinks a voice cries, “Sleep no more, Macbeth does murder sleep..” (2.2 2593) He also becomes obsessed with knocking; “I hear a knocking” “Knock Knock Knock. Who’s there, i’th’ name of Beelzebub?” (2.3 2595)

Lady Macbeth’s suicide plays a big part in the ending; Macbeth begins to feel hopeless, he finally realizes the end is nearing: “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour the stage, and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.” (5.5 2628) “Signifying nothing” meaning his crimes were pointless, it did nothing.

What does Macbeth’s death represent? Possibly relief; Scotland can now be saved.

1 comment:

Cyrus Mulready said...

One question I have after reading your post, Liz, is why Shakespeare gives Lady Macbeth and Macbeth such different deaths? Can't we imagine Macbeth also killing himself? And yet he chooses to show him die on the field of battle. This may be, in part, because of history (Shakespeare didn't want to change the record *that* much)...but it also might reflect on the gendered differences between these two characters. Perhaps each of them receives a death that is appropriate to them?