Power and control comparrison

8 August 2016

Examine the way Shakespeare presents power in the character and actions of Lady Macbeth. In this Controlled assessment I will be trying my hardest to examine the power, actions and emotions of Lady Macbeth throughout the entire play. ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare is a very unusual play, the characters aren’t part of your expectations especially Lady Macbeth. Shakespeare made a clear opposite feature between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth, which is a very challenging yet effective technique.

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Shakespeare’s character Lady Macbeth is a very different character, her personality shines throughout the play, Lady Macbeth wasn’t your usual woman in that time period, most of the women then were very obedient, shy and quiet. Most of the women of that time were very obedient towards their fathers and husbands… Well, Lady Macbeth was the complete opposite; she was the dominant person in hers and Mac Beth’s relationship. Lady Macbeth was very controlling of Macbeth, we know this because- “Infirm of purpose. ” This quote suggests that Lady Mac Beth was trying to control Macbeth and show that she has power over him.

Lady Macbeth was aiming to be the most encouraging, yet powerful partner, although she ended up acting malicious and self-centred. There is a clear transition between the characters Lady Macbeth and Macbeth; it makes you think about why she was so powerful and why Macbeth was allowing her to overrule his life. Macbeth seems to be very conscious of Lady Macbeth, and her behaviour towards him and others. Macbeth comes across to the audience as quite weak and unstable, we don’t know if it’s because of the way he is treated by Lady Macbeth, or if that’s just his nature.

Although, Shakespeare may have written the play to insinuate that Lady Macbeth treats Macbeth the way she does, because he allows it, and he is generally just an easy going character. On the other hand Lady Macbeth gets tired of Macbeth being too easy going towards her and their surroundings; we know this because “Screw your courage to the sticking place” basically Lady Macbeth said man up, start acting braver & courageous like a ‘real’ man. The audience in the gallery must have all had a different experience watching Shakespeare’s plays, as there were different sections of the Gallery.

Although, the audience were probably quite shocked because of how different the story line was. Also because back then all of the characters would have been played by males, which must have made it harder for the audience to feel the emotions of Lady Macbeth and understand how Macbeth really felt when his own wife treated him like her slave. We don’t know if ‘Macbeth’ was influenced on a true story, but Shakespeare wrote it very well, as if sounded and was based out very real, we could easily tell what type of person Lady Macbeth was and how she was treating Macbeth.

Lady Macbeth is a very stubborn character, she likes to have everything her way, with no one telling her different. Lady Macbeth was a very foolish selfish woman, she wanted everything for her own wealth and fortune, but she would never do it with her own hands, so she wanted Macbeth to kill the king (King Duncan) so that she could be queen and Macbeth would be king; Lady Macbeth didn’t care that she was killing someone, she just wanted to kill the king, and thought no one would notice or find out it was Macbeth.

Macbeth was very hesitant to kill Duncan, as much as he would love to be king, and he was next in throne, he just wasn’t sure if he was the right person for the job. Lady Macbeth wasn’t pleased with Macbeth trying to back out of the situation, we know this because- “when you durst do it, then you were a man” Lady Macbeth is basically saying to Macbeth, stop worrying and waiting around. just hurry up, just kill the king!! Lady Macbeth was very blunt and truthful to Macbeth, which was sometimes deceived as being nasty and hurtful. How does the poem present power and control.

In this essay I will be examining how Sassoon presents power and control in comparison to ‘My last duchess’ and ‘Base details’. Robert browning shows power and control in his poem, ‘my last duchess’. We know this because of this quote in the poem, ‘That’s my last duchess painted on the wall’. This quotation represents power and control, by the way it has been written, ‘that’s my’ implying that he owned the duchess, and that she was his property, but more of an object to show off his power towards women. ‘My last duchess’ seems as if there has been more than one duchess.

He seems to have a lot of pride to be more of less a lady’s man. As he is a duke, and a very wealthy man, he’s wary of others and wants people to know his authority. Being a duke he feels as though he can control others, mainly his wife/duchess. Browning shows another side of the duke, which was quite unexpected, especially to the readers; as the duke seems very strong and powerful, although a strike of jealousy shines though, in this quotation, ‘she thanks men’ this to me implies jealousy, as the duke is pointing out that she is talking to other men, which clearly he isn’t impressed with.

This shows mainly control, the duke treats his wife like an object, she can’t talk to other men, other than her husband she father. Because of the duke’s controlling outlook on life, he can’t see his wife talking to other men, because I think he fears he could lose her& his pride. In this quotation, browning portrayed the Duke living up to his high authority, ‘I gave commands’ this quotation sums up the dukes attitude towards others, and is probably the best example of power and control in this poem.

Back In the 16th century, men had most of the control, so it wasn’t as shocking then as it is now. The duke looks down at others and expects people to bow down to him. Browning has portrayed power in the duke well, as we can clearly see that the duke doesn’t agree with others getting attention or ignoring his authority, so he makes his importance head and clear. Browning makes the readers feel sympathetic towards the duchess in this quotation, ‘She had a heart-how shall I say- too soon made glad, too easily impressed’.

In this quotation is tells us more about the duchess, that she is a woman with a heart of gold and wouldn’t want to hurt anyone or get on the wrong side of anyone. By us knowing this about the duchess, it makes us think more about the way she is being treated by the duke, as she doesn’t un-impress anyone, so the duke must get away with murder. The duchess obviously loves the duke, and gets impressed with the smallest of compliments. In this case their relationship clearly shows that Love is blind.

‘My last duchess’ and ‘Macbeth’ are very similar, in that they both examine the different structures of power and control. Browning shows power between a couple, and that the duke has all of the power and control in the relationship, we know this because of the past quotation ‘I gave commands’; which is a very powerful quotation, it makes the readers feel sympathetic towards the duchess and others surrounding the Duke. This quotation also shows that the relationship is built on power and control, the duchess won’t do anything to aggravate the duke, as she is probably scared of the outcome.

Shakespeare’s Sassoon examines the theme of power and control in his poem ‘Base Details’. This quotation, ‘And speed glum heroes up the line to death’ represents power and control in that the majors couldn’t care less about the difficult conditions the soldiers have to face up to. It’s clear to me, that although the soldiers should earn full authority, the majors think they are one better than the soldiers to take full authority of them and treat them like dirt.

By Sassoon using the specific word ‘death’ it makes us worry that the soldiers, too young or old will eventually be left behind to die. This is the harsh reality of WW1, as there would have been too many weak soldiers who would have been left in harsh conditions to die painfully; as there weren’t as many doctors and nurses on the scene as there are today. Sassoon compares the similar themes between ‘base details’ and ‘Macbeth’. From the quote ‘poor young chap-I’d say I used to know his father well.

This shows that the majors don’t care about the man, as they can easily say poor young chap but didn’t seem to help him in any way shape or form, also by saying ‘I used to know his father well’, this shows that the majors are so inconsiderate of others. It’s very selfish that the youngest men are put on the front line, by the majors, it seems as though the majors think that the young men aren’t as experienced to do anything else, so they are put on the most life threatening position.

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