Macbeth Performance Analysis

690 words - 3 pages

An Analysis of Lady Macbeth’s Performance in William Shakespeare’s MacbethWhen a person reads one of William Shakespeare’s plays, the play requires that person to imagine many of the attributes of the characters. The person must imagine the characters’ appearances, their actions, and, most importantly, the emotions with which the actors and actresses perform their lines. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a large portion of the play relies on the actors’ and actresses’ emotions. Perhaps the most important character, based on emotions, is Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth’s actions and emotions are portrayed very well by the actress and producers of the play.While watching a performance of Macbeth, it becomes clear from the beginning that Lady Macbeth is very emotional. Jane Lapotaire plays Lady Macbeth in this production of Macbeth. There are three major situations during which Lady Macbeth’s emotions are very important. These emotions are not only influential to the perception of Lady Macbeth, but they are also influential to the play itself.The first situation during which Lady Macbeth’s emotions play an important part occurs when she initially discovers that Macbeth is Thane of Cawdor. Initially, the news stuns her, but later she begins to imagine Macbeth and herself as King and Queen of Scotland. She begins to plan the murder of the Scotland’s current king, Duncan. When she discusses this idea with Macbeth, he is very uncertain, and she challenges his manhood. Throughout this scene, Lapotaire speaks with great emotion, but she also gives the impression that she is a dark and demonic figure, an image that intensifies throughout the play.Another situation occurs after Macbeth becomes King of Scotland. The Macbeths have people over for a feast, and, during the feast, Macbeth orders three murderers to kill one of his friends, a man named Banquo. Later into the feast, Macbeth sees Banquo’s ghost at the table, and he becomes frightened. At this time, Lady Macbeth attempts to calm him. When she speaks, she speaks with a sort of desperation in her voice because she does not want anyone to be suspicious. She is also terrified at Macbeth’s behavior and again challenges his manhood.One more situation during which Lady Macbeth’s emotions and actions play a important part is when she sleepwalks. In this scene, Lady Macbeth sleepwalks, and, while she sleepwalks, she talks about washing her hands of the murder and corruption that leads to Macbeth’s rule. This scene is almost in direct contrast to the two scenes mentioned earlier. In this scene, Lapotaire speaks with a sense of realization of the corruption which occurs throughout the play. She also speaks with a very desperate tone in her voice, but this tone is much different from the scene involving Macbeth and Banquo’s ghost. In the ghost scene, she speaks with desperation because she attempts to calm Macbeth. In the sleepwalking scene, however, she speaks with desperation in the sense that she finally comes to terms with the corruption that occurs throughout the play.In conclusion, Jane Lapotaire does an excellent job playing the role of Lady Macbeth in a production of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Through her emotions and actions, Lapotaire successfully portrays her character and allows the audience to see a great interpretation of Lady Macbeth’s behavior and intention. Lapotaire’s contributions to the play not only make the play very interesting, but they also make the play very successful.Work CitedThe Complete Dramatic Works Of William Shakespeare: Macbeth. Producers. BBC and Time-Life Films. Perf. Nichol Williamson and Jane Lapotaire. Ambrose Video Publishing, Inc., 1979. 132 min.

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