Macbeth

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LADY
MACBETH &
MACBETH
Jon Finch and Francesca Annis in
‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’ by Roman
Polanski, 1971
LADY
MACBETH
FEATURES
of A TRAGIC
HERO
ACT II –scene 2
ACT V –scene1
ACT V scene 5
DRAMATIC
STRUCTURE
THEMES
SYMBOLS
Macbeth
MACBETH
LADY MACBETH
& MACBETH -PARABLE
OF THE TRAGIC HERO.
LADYMACBETH
GOES
UP
GOES
DOWN
MACBETH
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1. MAIN
CHARACTERISTICS
• The shortest of Shakespeare’s tragedies,
simple and direct in its plot
• Complex psychological analysis of what takes
place in the mind of the criminal.
• There is no villain pitted against the hero but
it’s Macbeth himself who starts as a heroic
character and ends up as a murderous tyrant
as a result of his ambition and thirst for power
James Heath, I have done the deed,
1888. Kansas City, CarbonellWeinglass Collection
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THE VILLAIN
ONE TYPE OF VILLAIN
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
They do not have any
doubts;
They consider the
morality of the world a lot
of foolishness;
They consider themselves
to be superior;
They take pleasure in evil;
They are very strong
characters;
They are all evil , they
don’t have another side (
one-sided character)
• At THE
the endVILLAIN
we always have
the downfall of evil
characters.
ANOTHER TYPE OF
VILLAIN
•
•
•
•
•
They are psychologically
much more complex
(many-sided character);
They are consciencestricken ( they suffer fom a
sense of guilt);
They behave in a way
which is out of character (
they are different from
how they behave);
They make the wrong
choice
They destroy themselves
by committing acts
contrary to their own
nature(self-destroying
character).
James Heath, I have done the deed,
1888. Kansas City, CarbonellWeinglass Collection
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MACBETH
Macbeth begins as a brave ,
capable warrior battlefield
valour but, led by
consuming ambition, urged
into action by his wife, he
chooses evil and becomes a
murderous tyrant.
• Terrible effects that ambition
and guilt can have on a man
who lacks strength of
character:he is unable of
standing the psychic
consequences of crime and
lacks moral courage;
• In the end he becomes cruel and
unscrupulous.
•
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Parable of
the tragic
hero.
MACBETH
• After the murder, however,
Lady Macbeth’s powerful
personality begins to
disintegrate, leaving
Macbeth increasingly alone,
he fluctuates between
moments of pure cruelty
with a series of murders to
secure his throne, moments
of terrible guilt (as when
Banquo’s ghost appears
because the ghost of
BANQUO symbolizes
Macbeth's conscience) and
absolute pessimism (after
his wife’s death, when he
seems to succumb to
despair).
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Parable of
the tragic
hero.
THEMES
1. The Corrupting Power of Unchecked
Ambition.
2. The Relationship Between Cruelty
and Masculinity.
3. Reversal of values:
‘Fair is foul, and foul is fair’ ,
represents the most dangerous
aspect of “equivocation” and the
one of “false appearance”( what is
true and what seems to be
true”.(the Three Witches);
4. The supernatural
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LADY MACBETH
•
•
•
•
•
•
Lady Macbeth : she is stronger, more
ruthless, and more ambitious than her
husband , she suppresses her natural
instinct to plan the murder and pushes
him into committing murder.
Parable of
She has a streak of masculinity in her
the tragic
character;
hero.
Lady Macbeth manipulates her husband
by overriding all his objections and
when he hesitates to murder, she
repeatedly questions his manhood .
Afterward, however, she begins a slow
slide into madness—just as ambition
affects her more strongly than Macbeth
before the crime, so does guilt plague
her more strongly afterward.
She suppresses her guilty feelings toa
point she cannot bear and in the end
she explodes and goes mad.
By the close of the play, she has been
reduced to sleepwalking through the
castle, desperately trying to wash away
an invisible bloodstain.
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Symmetrical development
Climax
Rising
action
Falling
action
Conclusion
Introduction
DRAMATIC STRUCTURE
SYMMMETRICAL DEVELOPMENT
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2. DRAMATIC
STRUCTURE
Clima
x
Rising
action
Introduc
tion
Falling
action
Conclus
ion
Introduction
The first two scenes: the
appearance of the three
witches and the news of
Macbeth’s bravery in
battle.
The three Witches in ‘Macbeth’ by
John Barnes, 1964
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Clima
x
Rising
action
Introduc
tion
Rising
action
Falling
action
Conclus
ion
Macbeth meets the three
witches: their prophecy
begins to work on his
ambition. He kills Duncan.
2. DRAMATIC
STRUCTURE
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Climax
Rising
action
Introductio
n
Falling action
Conclusion
Climax
Banquo’s murder
(Act III, Scene 3)
DRAMATIC STRUCTURE
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Climax
Rising action
Falling
action
Introduction
Falling action
Conclusion
Fleance’s escape
the banquet scene
arousing of Macduff
Macbeth retreats to
Dunsinane Castle
Thèodore Chassèriau (1819-1856),
Macbeth seeing the ghost of
Banquo, 1854. Musée des BeauxArts, Reims
DRAMATIC STRUCTURE
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Climax
Rising action
Introduction
Falling action
Conclusion
Conclusion
Final fall and death
of Lady Macbeth
and Macbeth
Henry Fuseli, Lady
Macbeth sleepwalking,
1798, Musée du Louvre
DRAMATIC STRUCTURE
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1. Nobility of birth or wisdom.
2. A flaw, either a mistake in the
character’s actions
or in his personality that leads to a
downfall.
3. A reversal of fortune caused by his flaw.
4. The realisation that the reversal was
brought about
by the hero’s own actions.
5. The audience has to feel pity and fear
(catharsis) for the character.
FEATURES OF A TRAGIC HERO
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•
The Three Witches and their prophecies , which fire
Macbeth’s ambition;
•
They represent Fate but also are symbolical
representation of Macbeth’s unconscious guilt; they
wake up a temptation which was already slumbering in
Macbeth’s breast;
•
They are called “instruments of darkness” ,implying that
they stand for the power of evil, but it’s the darkness
which is inside the human heart.
THE SUPERNATURAL-THE
WITCHES
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•
The chaos of nature on the night of Duncan’s murder.
•
According to the Elisabethans there was a correspondence
between the order of the macrocosm ( nature and universe) and
the order in the state; the king ( the ruler of the state ) is
paralleled to the sun ( the ruler of the macrocosm).Regicide is a
tremendous hideous act which brings about chaos in the state
and “darkness” , which is metaphor of tyrannical power;
•
Chaos is synonym of sin and evil, because the universe created
by God is ruled by ORDER and CHAOS;
•
Man’s position in the universe is central in the universe as his
double nature , body and soul, represents the eternal battle
between PASSIONS and REASON, a constant opposition
between the bestial and the rational; when a man succumbs to
passions he becomes a beast, a creature which occupies a lower
rank in the hierarchy of universe; chaos in the microcosm (
stormy passions in man) are paralleled to stormy weather in the
universe ( macrocosm)
THE SUPERNATURAL-THE
CHAOS OF NATURE
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Blood
Blood is everywhere in Macbeth, beginning with the
opening battle between the Scots and the Norwegian
invaders : “What bloody man is that ? “ (ACT I scene 2)
Once Macbeth and Lady Macbeth embark upon their
murderous journey, blood comes to symbolize their guilt,
and they begin to feel that their crimes have stained them
in a way that cannot be washed clean. Blood symbolizes
the guilt that sits like a permanent stain on the
consciences of both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, one that
hounds them to their graves.
The Weather
As in other Shakespearean tragedies, Macbeth’s
grotesque murder spree is accompanied by a number of
unnatural occurrences in the natural realm. From the
thunder and lightning that accompany the witches’
appearances to the terrible storms that rage on the night
of Duncan’s murder, these violations of the natural order
reflect corruption in the moral and political orders.
SYMBOLS
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RELANTIONSHIP BETWEEN
CRUELTY & MASCULINITY

Characters in Macbeth frequently discuss on issues of
gender.

Lady Macbeth manipulates her husband by
questioning his manhood, wishes that she herself could
be “unsexed,” and does not contradict Macbeth when
he says that a woman like her should give birth only to
boys.

Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth equate masculinity
with naked aggression, and whenever they converse
about manhood, violence soon follows.

Women are also sources of violence and evil.

The witches’ prophecies spark Macbeth’s ambitions
and then encourage his violent behavior;

Lady Macbeth provides the brains and the will behind
her husband’s plotting;

and the only divine being to appear is Hecate,
the goddess of witchcraft.

Lady Macbeth’s behavior certainly shows that women
can be as ambitious and cruel as men. However , she is
not fearless enough to kill, Lady Macbeth relies on
deception and manipulation rather than violence to
achieve her ends.
ACT II –scene 2 ACT V –scene 1
ACT V scene 5

ACT II –scene 2 –A moral hysteria follows the murder.
The disjointed language suggests both guilt and terror.
The owl , as the bird of death is compared to the
bellman snt to give goodnight to condemned
prisoners the night before their execution.

ACT V –scene 1 –This scene re-enacts the life of
bloodshed in terms of dream and hallucination . It is
the climax of Shakespeare’s exploration of individual
psychological secrets . The broken prose fragments of
Lady Macbeth’s speech reflect the collapse of the
human mind under inhuman pressures

ACT V –scene 5 Macbeth’s reaction to Lady Macbeth’s
death is determined by the supreme horror of the
heart anesthetised by despair. From this time on
Macbeth’s life is just a waiting for the end. The future
has become meaningless
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