What would your dominant impression be after reading act 5 sc 5? What elements other than the context leads you to this dominant impression?dominant impression-in terms of a commentary

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Act 5, sc. 5 is where Lady Macbeth dies, Macbeth is told about her death, and Macbeth is told about the trees of Birnam Wood apparently advancing on Dunsinane Castle.  The impression is one of impending doom and sure defeat for Macbeth.  There is nothing positive occurring in this scene. After Lady Macbeth dies and Macbeth is given the news that the scream heard was from his wife (who presumably killed herself because she was driven mad with guilt), Macbeth laments her death, but does so briefly.  He gives a speech that says he wishes she'd have died when he had time to mourn her and laments life because people might feel like they are important but, in reality, they are just going through the motions and their significance is miniscule.  Macbeth is very depressed in this speech; remember that he truly loved Lady Macbeth.  Right after he says this he is told by a messenger that it appears Birnam Woods is moving toward the castle.  Macbeth yells at the messenger, saying he will kill him if he isn't telling the truth, which indicates that Macbeth is desperate and paranoid.  He sees that the witches have tricked him and he says that he will not give up willingly, he will fight to the end.  As a man who just lost the love of his life and who is now desperately trying to hang on to what he gave up everything to get - his crown - he is, nonetheless, valiant to the end.  Even though Macbeth has become despicable in his ruthlessness, as evidenced by his order to have Macduff's family killed, he is still somewhat sympathetic.  He loved his wife and he will not just curl up in a ball and give in; he will continue to fight for what he wants.

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