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Favorite character?Which character do you think is the most interesting and why?

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Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted September 18, 2007 at 5:01 PM via web

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Favorite character?

Which character do you think is the most interesting and why?

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sagetrieb | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted September 18, 2007 at 7:16 PM (Answer #2)

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Lady Macbeth will forever be my choice, especially for her performance in 1.5  after she receives the letter from her husband that tells her about the possibilties presented to him by the witches.  Shakespeare has of course everything to do with this character because he created her, but Judi Dench's performance made Lady Macbeth real to me.  She herself becomes a witch, or at least invites evil into herself, when she says "Come, you spirits / That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, / and fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full / Of direst cruelty..." (41-44). The idea that she needs to become a man to be cruel fascinates me, but more than that, her entreaty to the "spirits"--not unlike those her husband just talked with--to give her that power. And then she goads her husband into doing  what  he might not otherwise have done--she says unsex me here, but then uses her sex to seduce  him into murder. THAT is why she is most interesting to me.

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted September 19, 2007 at 6:31 PM (Answer #3)

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I have to agree with sagetrieb that Lady Macbeth is my favorite character as well. It does bother me, however, that she seems to just fade away as the play progresses. Lady Macbeth is so strong in Act I, yet so weak by the end of the play. I have always been disappointed that she wasn't allowed to remain a part of Macbeth's plans as he is consumed by his evil.

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 8, 2007 at 10:41 AM (Answer #4)

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Lady Macbeth will forever be my choice, especially for her performance in 1.5  after she receives the letter from her husband that tells her about the possibilties presented to him by the witches.  Shakespeare has of course everything to do with this character because he created her, but Judi Dench's performance made Lady Macbeth real to me.  She herself becomes a witch, or at least invites evil into herself, when she says "Come, you spirits / That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, / and fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full / Of direst cruelty..." (41-44). The idea that she needs to become a man to be cruel fascinates me, but more than that, her entreaty to the "spirits"--not unlike those her husband just talked with--to give her that power. And then she goads her husband into doing  what  he might not otherwise have done--she says unsex me here, but then uses her sex to seduce  him into murder. THAT is why she is most interesting to me.

sagetrieb wrote, "Shakespeare has of course everything to do with this character because he created her, but Judi Dench's performance made Lady Macbeth real to me."

sagetrieb, is this the production you're referring to?

http://www.amazon.com/Macbeth-McKellen-Thames-Shakespeare-Collection/dp/B0002TVWYW

 I ask because while I worship Dame Dench, I haven't seen that production...and if you saw her in person, you will officially have my jealousy.

;-)

Greg

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sagetrieb | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted October 8, 2007 at 6:37 PM (Answer #5)

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No Greg; I'm sorry, but I must lose your jealousy before I can claim it.  It's the DVD / video that I'm talking about, and Macbeth is played by Ian McKellen (the link to Amazon you provide is the version I'm talking about).  It would be a great Macbeth to  discuss if you happen to view it. There is another great version of Macbeth that has Lady M in bed twisting and turning as she reads her husband's letter--or at least that is how I remember the version. Does anyone know who the actors are in this?  It's only Lady M in bed that I remember--it made quite an impression on me, and I saw it years and years ago.

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 16, 2007 at 9:22 AM (Answer #6)

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I have to vote for Lady Macduff on this.  Of all the characters, she is the most straightforward and feisty.  She treats everyone with the same condescending tone and ascerbic behavior.  And, on one level, she has a reasonable beef with Macduff's choice to leave them unprotected in her pursuit of his country's salvation.

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renelane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted November 19, 2007 at 12:20 PM (Answer #7)

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I have to agree with sullymonster that Lady Macduff is my favorite character. She is furious when her husband leaves her and her son to fend for themselves. She does not sit quietly and weep for her predicament, she RAGES at her husband. I love that!

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malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted December 8, 2007 at 9:51 AM (Answer #8)

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This is such an odd play for me to choose a "favorite" or "most interesting" character.  Normally I find the female characters to be the most intriguing - Ophelia in Hamlet (I just feel so bad for that girl), Beatrice in Much Ado, Katharina in Shrew, Rosalind in As You Like It - but there is so much evil and hate and scheming in Lady Macbeth that I find her too distasteful to even consider to be interesting.  Does that make sense?  I know there are people out there who can't stand Ophelia because she is so weak, controlled, easily manipulated, etc., and yet somehow I can feel something for her, whereas with Lady Macbeth, I just can't stand her.

So, favorite character in Macbeth?  I think I would have to say Banquo.  Despite hearing the witches' prophecy concerning his descendents, he kept his head and his loyalty to the king.  He died yelling for his son, Fleance, to run and live, and he came back and scared the wits out of Macbeth, ruining Macbeth's triumphant dinner party! :)

I have the DVD mentioned above with Ian McKellen and Judi Dench - both of their performances are simply amazing!  Actually, everyone in that cast is fabulous - I highly recommend that one!!! :)

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mwalter822 | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted September 3, 2012 at 4:18 PM (Answer #11)

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I think Banquo is an interesting character because of the situation he faces. He knows that, according to the witches' prophecy, his offspring will one day become king. But he also knows that Macbeth, according to the witches' prophecy, will first become king.

These two prophecies make if very likely that something dangerous is going to happen to Banquo. How must he feel? When he is attacked by Macbeth's murderers, he is able to help Fleance escape, thereby keeping the prophecy intact.

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mwalter822 | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted September 24, 2012 at 8:21 PM (Answer #12)

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Lady Macbeth is definitely an interesting character. Her ruthless lust for power kicks in immediately, but she is quickly caught in a psychological vice-grip of guilt that expresses itself in her subconsious as she sleepwalks and mutters, "Out damned spot."

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