What's an example of a biopoem on Lady Macbeth?

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pirateteacher's profile pic

pirateteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Gruoch or Lady Macbeth

Manipulating , Power Hungry, Nagging, and Cunning

Daughter of a man who looked like King Duncan and wife of Macbeth

Who feels unsexed, strong, and powerful when convincing her husband to murder Duncan, the king of Scotland.

Who gives criticisms when her husband shows any weakness about committing murder.

Who fears their failure, loss of power, and weak human nature.

Who would like to see her husband be king, her family have power, and all who stand in their way killed.

Who lives in a castle in Scotland with her husband.

durbanville's profile pic

durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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A biopoem is a short description (biography) of a person / character which takes the form of a poem, and which follows a very distinct structure. It is ten lines in length with each line serving a specific purpose, and which lines together, form a summary. A biopoem is a good way of understanding the nature and temperament of, in this case, Lady Macbeth from "Macbeth."

Line 1 should be the person's name, in this case, Lady Macbeth, Macbeth's "dearest partner of greatness" (I.v.10).

Line 2 should be descriptive. Lady Macbeth is certainly manipulative, power-hungry, overbearing, pitiful (and many other possible choices).

Line 3 should describe her in terms of her connection and personal relationships with the most prominent characters in terms of the play. As Macbeth is the central character, her relationship to him and with him is paramount. She is his wife, his equally ambitious wife.

Line 4 should explain her passion and those things she loves most such as power, definitely her husband (in the most warped of ways), and position. She is desperate to see Macbeth crowned as king.

Line 5 must reveal her deepest feelings such as determination and intense purpose, love of her husband, and so on.  

Line 6 must expose those things she is most afraid of. She fears failure, especially because she has to rely on Macbeth to kill Duncan and fears that he is "too full o' the milk of human kindness" (I.v,14).  She is also guilt-ridden after the event which ultimately accounts for her madness. As the doctor says, "More needs she the divine than the physician," (V.i.72).

Line 7 should discuss her achievement. Her biggest achievement (and ultimately biggest regret) is convincing Macbeth to kill Duncan, even though he initially decides not to go through with it. She suggests that his manhood is questionable which is enough for him. She gets what she wants. 

Line 8 follows and should reveal her greatest desires which have become obvious during the course of the play. Having Macbeth crowned as king at all cost, even if she must "unsex" herself in the process, defines her completely. She expects it to make him great but instead the monster she creates, as Macbeth goes on to murder anyone who may hinder his progress, destroys her.

Line 9 should give an idea of the setting, place or origin. The play takes place in Scotland and Macbeth's castle is the place where Lady Macbeth plans and schemes the destiny of herself and her husband. 

In conclusion, line 10 completes the poem. Lady Macbeth's name, or a name she is known by, would be a fitting end to a biopoem on her character. 


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