Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 2

Context of Scene 1, Act 5

Macbeth is historically based around the current events of the time (Shakespearian time) which
focused on the Scottish kings that murdered their way to the throne and then themselves in turn
was killed by the next processor. Shakespeare used historical Chronicles of Raphael Holinshed
(published in 1587) as his source for the story of Macbeth.
This scene (Scene 1 Act 5) sets up the play for Lady Macbeths character. This is the first scene that
we can clearly see the inner workings of Lady Macbeth mind, this makes the audience aware of the
actions and plans that Lady Macbeth sets out to complete. Lady Macbeth starts out as well-known
and modern women in the time of this play; she is a socialite version in the Macbeth time period.
With being Macbeths wife she is very influential and comes across as powerful women in just
reading a simplistic letter. The majority of characters in Macbeth and other Shakespearean plays and
works are men that hold a lot of power and title; however in Macbeth, Lady Macbeth holds a
masculine power over her husband. The making of Lady Macbeth as an influential character gives a
different perspective on the play, especially when Lady Macbeth is one of the master minds of King
Duncans death later on in the play.
The letter which is read alone onstage by Lady Macbeth in her Inverness castle (in a soliloquy
format), really just reiterates the prophecies that Macbeth was told on the meeting of the weird
sisters (witches) and gives the audience an idea of how the information of the prophecies has
travelled to Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is very aware of the greatness of such prophecies and
hastens to carry out actions that will help in succeeding such events that will give way to what the
prophecies has predicted. Significantly the letter does not contain any information of Banquos
prophecies and only describes Macbeths prophecies; we can account this missing information to the
fact that Macbeth might be feeling uneasy of the prophecy that he has to share with Banquo, and
the deeds he has to carry out to make the prophecies come true. Equally with great significance
Macbeth states Lady Macbeth as his dearest partner of greatness; we learn in following scenes and
through Lady Macbeths famous unsex me here soliloquy that not only will Lady Macbeth be the
partner of greatness but also Macbeths partner in crime.
Immediately, after the reading of the letter Lady Macbeths cunning mind gets to work and thinks of
the possibilities of how she and Macbeth should carry out certain deeds to fulfil the prophecies. For
Lady Macbeth she sees two faults in the plan that she has deviated in her head; of her feminine side
and her husbands downfalls of too much human kindness. She very openly states that her husband
is "too full of the milk of human kindness", to commit such a plan such as assassination of the king to
gain a royal title. Lady Macbeth has such bold statements that she always plans ahead and criticises
her husbands down fallings.
In the middle of the scene it changes from a Monologue to a Duologue to include a servant; the
servant brings great news to Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth, via the servant is informed that not only
her husband will be travelling home to the castle at Inverness but King Duncan and his court. Lady
Macbeth instantly makes plans to carry through with the murder and she famously does this in her
next part of the scene.
At this point in the scene Lady Macbeth has basically become the power of how the prophecies will
be carried out. Her thoughts are immediately turned dark when she thinks of her womanlike ways
are corrupting the plan and stopping her to fulfil the prophecies. This leads into the famous part of
Lady Macbeths soliloquy where she states that to be able to go ahead with such murderous actions
against the kingdom she must; fill me from the crown to the toe top-full; Of direst cruelty. Make
thick my blood. Stop up the access and passage to remorse.. Come to my womans breasts, and
take my milk for gall. In modern text we can define that Lady Macbeth wants the spirits to come
and take from her body the ability to access remorse and guilt, her women breasts and the milk in
her breasts for children. In the addition of taking such things from her body she wants the spirits to
also thicken her blood and fill her whole body of cruel and dire thoughts and doings, in a long term
thought making Lady Macbeth more like a stereotypical masculine man.