Practice Essay 2013

– Describe a key relationship between two or more characters or individuals in the written text(s).
Explain how the relationship helped you to understand these characters / individuals.

Lady Macbeth and Macbeth .
– Husband and wife
– Lady Macbeth wants to be the man because she feels like Macbeth can’t be. 

In the play Macbeth written by Shakespeare a key relationship presented is between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth who are husband and wife. Lady Macbeth has a big influence in the actions that Macbeth takes, this influence is toxic as it makes him do things he wouldn’t usually consider doing, including the decision to kill King Duncan in order to be able to control the prophecy of their future. Their relationship helps us understand them and the idea of ambition, specifically that in having ambition you can do good but in having to much you lose your mind and make bad decisions which have consequences. 

Lady Macbeth helps us understand Macbeth, particularly to convey the idea that Macbeth lacks the ambition required to kill king Duncan. Lady Macbeth wants macbeth – talk about who she wants him to be but who he is. Macbeth’s wife predominantly portray this as she knows or is shown to know Macbeth, she knows whether he has the ambition to kill King Duncan or not. Metaphors are used to do this: “It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way.” It’s a metaphor stated by Lady Macbeth that is comparing Macbeth to milk. Qualities of milk are that it’s white, pale, smooth, soft and it is something that provides nutrition to babies. These qualities are portrayed to be Macbeth’s as well, showing that he’s soft – he can’t hurt a fly, smooth and of baby nature not able to do much without the help of those stronger. These are qualities which are the complete opposite to what Macbeth would need to have enough ambition to kill the King. “Art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it.” This also aids the idea that Macbeth lacks ambition, this quote states that Macbeth does have ambition but he doesn’t have the mean streak to be able to have enough to do this deed of killing the King. Using the word “illness” as a symbol of having a mean streak where he doesn’t care about anyone but himself, where he would easily kill the king without a second thought about the consequences of his actions. These things show how Lady Macbeth believes that Macbeth has ambition but he doesn’t have the personality that goes with doing bad things because of ambition, he’s too kind and thinks about others. 

 “Unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe topful of direst cruelty.” Lady Macbeth doesn’t believe that Macbeth has the ability to do what needs to be done to kill the king so she wishes traits of someone who will on herself. “Come to my woman’s breasts and take my milk for gal.” She wants her lady traits like her breasts and the milk that is there to nurture young ones to be replaced with bold and impudent behavior like what is needed to kill King Duncan. She wants the traits of a warrior. She wants to have as much cruelness inside of her possible, “crown to the toe”, crown being the top of her head where her brain is and her thoughts, she needs all thoughts and decisions to be cruel. To toe is everything in between like her muscles and body, she wants all movements of her body to be cruel but not only that she wants her heart to be cruel since it is the one part of her body that would be the last to be filled with ambition and the cruel senses since its the emotional, moral driven part of the body. When someone we love has the ability to have or be something great but doesn’t have the mind and drive to do so because they lack ambition, we gain that ambition and feeling the urge to change ourselves to do so. This occurs because that relationship we have with the particular person is so strong, their lack of ambition becomes our ambition and that helps us strive to do everything we can to help that person succeed. In doing so that ambition takes us over and all we think about is that goal. Instead of going with our morals which we’ve been brought up with, doing the right thing for the right reasons, we do the wrong thing for the wrong reason and their are consequences. 


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