What is the gentlewomans point of view in Act 5 of Macbeth?In my monologue, I want to say that it's Lady Macbeth's fault persuading Macbeth into murdering King, Banquo ect.  How can I say this ?...

What is the gentlewomans point of view in Act 5 of Macbeth?

In my monologue, I want to say that it's Lady Macbeth's fault persuading Macbeth into murdering King, Banquo ect.  How can I say this ? (put it in words)

Asked on by kate2010

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Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Your question concerning Shakespeare's Macbeth really deals with two different issues. 

The gentlewoman's viewpoint probably doesn't have anything to do with Lady Macbeth causing or not causing Macbeth to kill Duncan, etc.  She is just a witness to Lady Macbeth's sleepwalking.  She hears what Lady Macbeth is saying and realizes what it means:  that her and her husband killed Duncan.  She refuses to tell anyone about what she's heard because she has no witnesses.  She understands the agony Lady Macbeth is going through and what she's done, and says at the conclusion of her scene that she would not trade places with Lady Macbeth for anything.

That's one issue.  Concerning your second, you will have great trouble proving that Lady Macbeth persuaded Macbeth to kill Banquo and Macduff's family.  She had nothing to do with either of those murders.  She didn't even know about them until after they were committed.  She did not instruct Macbeth to kill the two grooms in Duncan's chamber, either.  That was a mistake Macbeth made all on his own.

The only murder Lady Macbeth had a part in was Duncan's.  Her involvement with that murder amounts to the following: 

  1. Macbeth thinks of assassinating Duncan after the prediction concerning his being named Thane of Cawdor comes true.
  2. Lady Macbeth thinks of the same thing as soon as she finds out the same information via a letter from Macbeth.
  3. They hint at the assassination when they meet. Lady Macbeth assumes they are going to do it.
  4. Macbeth changes his mind and decides not to kill Duncan.
  5. Lady Macbeth talks him back into it.
  6. She drugs the groomsmen to eliminate the possibility of witnesses.
  7. Macbeth kills Duncan.

The issue is how much responsibility does Macbeth hold for the assassination, and how much does Lady Macbeth hold for the assassination.  Would he have done it without her?  Is her ambition even greater than his? 

Those are all questions you will need to answer.  No one else can answer those for you.

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