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We are then introduced to, who I can affectionately call, the mother of all craziness. Actually, her name is Lady Macbeth, and she's our dude Macbeth's wife. So she gives this speech after reading a letter from Macbeth informing her of the prophecy he received. She feels he is too womanly to proceed with the acts that he must do to earn the crown. He comes home, and she wastes no time in telling him this.
To make a long story short, Macbeth kills Duncan, Banquo (and attempts to kill his son), a rebel named Macduff's family, and likley many more, all before his wife commits suicide. He then gallantly rides of into the moving forest and dies at the hand of a young boy, leaving the throne open for Malcolm, Duncan's son to take his place. This is not an in-depth review. I actually have some things I would like to discuss regarding the play.
Why is Banquo's prophecy so abstract from the witches to begin with?
How to Banquo and Macduff differ? As they both serve as foils for Macbeth, how are they similar?
What is the purpose of flip-flopping Macbeth and his Lady's personality? Is fate to blame, and is Macbeth crazy enough to try to outsmart it? Additionally, how does their relationship change throughout the play? Do you think they loved each other deeply?
What is the purpose of the three apparitions, and alse Hecate's appearence in Macbeth?
Psyhcologically (including internal and external forces), what factors cause Macbeth to change?
-- 06 Jan 2015, 21:42 --
I think Banquo's prophecy is so complex to show that even though his is not as simple as Macbeth's he pays no mind to it, until later, when he confesses to his son that he has been losing sleep over them. I think he realizes a change in Macbeth and begins to worry for his and his son's sake.
(I will answer the rest later, promise!)
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Your discussion point that really made my ears perk up was the question about Macbeth and Lady Mac's relationship. It's one of the most fascinating relationships that our Bard friend wrote, I think. The most obvious shift in their relationship, I believe, is the shift of power. I was almost inclined to say that the power went from Macb to Lady and back again, but I don't know if it's that linear. I think Macbeth and his Lady have a power tug-of-war just as much as Macbeth and Macduff do. Lady MacB starts off with the more dominant, powerful personality, yet it is her husband who has the power. Lady MacB takes the reins, however, so even though MacB wears the crown, we all know that it's Lady MacB who deserves it. When Lady MacB starts to slide into madness, MacB holds the trump card with both his sanity and his status intact. I think the purpose of this flip-flopping, as you called it, serves to illustrate the often corruptible nature of power--a sort of cautionary tale against envy and greed, perhaps. It certainly didn't work out well for either of them in the end.
(I would love to add more, but it's 1:35 a.m. and my brain is powering off. Thanks again for the launchpad, though!)
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A lot of what I say here is what I remember from class discussions.
The Weird Sisters; apparently in Shakespeare's time, the word 'weird' had more of a supernatural meaning, like not of our world, otherworldly, etc. So they can know and see things that humans can't, and they wanted to see how events would carry out after telling Macbeth their prophecies.
When Macbeth killed the king, this was considered as an unnatural and unlawful act, and the environment reflected this, so the skies went dark and horses were eating horses, or something like that, and this was only resolved when Macbeth himself was killed and the right heir was restored.
Then Lady Macbeth called upon spirits to give her the strength to murder Duncan, because she believed Macbeth couldn't do it.
What I'm getting at is that there is an underlying supernatural theme throughout the play, with different elements acting upon the characters.
So if you look at the supernatural as a running motif, it can hopefully help with your questions about the Sisters, Hecate, etc.
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I don't think that they truly loved each other, but used one another to broaden their sense of self. I feel as though the characters that Macbeth kills are each a stepping stone to the true power that he believes that he deserves. Each one is just another step along his path as far as he is concerned.