How Does Shakespeare Create Feeling Of Sorrow For Lady Macbeth And Lady Macduff?

1677 words - 7 pages

Shakespeare cleverly creates sorrow for Lady Macbeth and Lady Macduff through various techniques such as order of their scenes, their company on stage and most importantly by their circumstances. In the case of Lady Macbeth we know her from the start of the play while in the case of Lady Macduff we are introduced to her with no prior knowledge only in Act 4 scene 2. Moreover with the use of dramatic irony Shakespeare lets the audience know certain events about to happen which naturally influence the emotions of viewers. Even though we feel sorrow for both the ladies there is a considerable difference in the range and type of sorrow. The basic similarity in their situation is that they can ...view middle of the document...

His words in lines 25-30 “I take my leave of you……To what they were before.-My pretty cousin, Blessing upon you” indicate that she is a woman of honor and he does not wish to stain that honor by staying longer with her considering that she is alone. Next we have her conversation with her son which reveals that she is aware that it is not her sons fault that his father has fled and that she will not blame him for Macduffs mistakes. Lady Macduff’s jokes with her son are based on reality, yet are pleasing and tell of a loving relationship between her and her son. Moreover by using the weakest group of people that is woman and children Shakespeare creates an added feeling of sorrow. The entry of the messenger increases the tension and heightens emotions as it is right after a jolly and normal dialogue. His words are the harbinger of evil acts and they warn lady Macduff and advise her to run swiftly to safety. The very fact that the messenger is willing to put his life in jeopardy in order to try to save her life is testimony to her character. Specifically his lines 76-78 “To fright you thus………is too nigh your person.” tell us that he not telling her this cruel truth would be more evil than telling it to her as she was a person of high stature in his eyes. Her response “Whither should I fly? I have done no harm. But I remember now I am in this earthly…….Do I put that womanly defense To say that I have done no harm?” (Lines 81-87) to the warning shows political awareness and wisdom. At this point she knows that she is about to die and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Her end also tells the audience that she is a loyal wife for in lines 90-91 she says “I hope in no place so unsanctified where such as thou mayst find him.” . Her son dies so as to give his mother time to run and save herself. Thus Shakespeare creates the ultimate concept of Good vs Evil but instead of allowing good to triumph he lets evil rule. Lady Macduff’s death is that of an scared, confused, loyal, loving, honorable, wise and defenseless woman dying a savage death for no reason whatsoever.On the other hand we have Lady Macbeth with whom the audience has been acquainted for a long time. Till act 5 sc 1 we have always seen Lady Macbeth as an forceful, ruthless and intelligent woman who has no remorse. In this act we see her through the eyes of a doctor and an gentlewoman. It is obvious that she is ill for a long time. Her company is not an jolly one, they are a doctor and a gentlewoman who after hearing and seeing her state of mind pity and feel sorrow for her. The gentlewoman has seen her in this state before whereas the doctor who sees her for the first time is clearly shocked. All her torments and troubles are within her mentally which is why no doctor can cure her. The words spoken by lady Macbeth speak of such darkness and blood that the doctor and the gentlewoman dare not repeat them...


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