Lady Macbeth manipulates Macbeth by taunting his masculinity, and suggesting that his hesitation makes him less of a man. She also effectively manipulates Duncan by gaining his trust and acting like a respectful hostess.
Write about a play in which manipulation is an important feature. Show this manipulation leads to you having a greater understanding of the text as a whole. 1. Witches manipulation of Macbeth 2. Lady Macbeth’s dark plans and willingness to strategise with evil spirits 3. Lady Macbeth’s manipulation of her husband 4. The Macbeth’s manipulation of Duncan • Synonyms for manipulation – Planning, manoeuvring, strategising • Text as a whole / central concerns – Shows us that appearance cannot be trusted / Ambition can become destructive / The promise of power can intoxicate • 5 minutes – Write a TART with BO intro for this question
TART with BO • Macbeth by William Shakespeare, is a play in which manipulation is vitally important. Without the Witches and Lady Macbeth’s manipulation of Macbeth, he may never have carried out the murder of Duncan. We also see the Macbeth’s together plan their rise to power by manipulating Duncan’s trust in them. Shakespeare uses foreshadowing, dialogue and symbolism to demonstrate the important of this manipulation, and to develop our understanding of the destructiveness of ambition.
PEEP 1 • Firstly we see the Witches manipulate Macbeth using their three predictions. This awakens a hidden ambition in Macbeth. When the witches announce, ‘Hail to thee, who shall be king hereafter’, Banquo says to Macbeth, ‘ why do you start? ’ suggesting that Macbeth seems deeply affected and startled by the predictions, which indicates that it is something he cares about. Already we are subtly shown that Macbeth is interested in gaining more power and the Witches have set this into action.
PEEP 2 • Look at Act 1 Scene 5 Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy. Lines 40 -50 • 10 minutes to write PEEP 2
PEEP 2 example • Lady Macbeth develops her dark plans to steal power from Duncan by strategising with evil spirits. When she is informed of the King’s arrival at her castle she say, ‘come you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me from crown to toe with direst cruelty’. This cry to spirits shows her desperation for power, that she would endanger her soul to achieve it. Also her willingness to use this manipulation to remove her femininity and become full of ‘direst cruelty’ demonstrates deep ambition that cannot be fulfilled without Macbeth, as he is a man. The audience becomes acutely aware of the extent of Lady Macbeth’s willingness to manipulate anyone and anything to get what she wants.
PEEP 3+4 • Look at Act 1 Scene 5 lines 1 -28 L. M plans to manipulate M’s thoughts. PEEP 3 - Look at her suggestion of Macbeth’s weaknesses. PEEP 4 - Look then at her aim to manipulate these.
PEEP 3 example Lady Macbeth’s motivation to manipulate her husband is important as she makes us aware of his weaknesses. When we first meet her in Act 1 Scene 5 she informs us that Macbeth is ‘too full o’ the milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way’ suggesting her fear that he will allow his conscience stop him from killing the king and taking the throne. The audience is made to consider who has the power in their relationship at this point as although he is masculine, Lady Macbeth seems more capable of cruelty.
PEEP 4 Example • Lady Macbeth makes it very clear that she plans to convince Macbeth to take the action that she approves of by manipulating his thoughts. She is eager for him to return home so that she can ‘pour my spirits in thine ear’ and ‘chastise with the valour of my tongue’. Lady Macbeth seems very sure of her power over husband refers to herself as the brave one. Her confidence that her passion will convince him to murder shows that she is clearly in control at this point. Our understanding of the important role that Lady Macbeth plays in her husbands action and so downfall is cemented here.