In this essay I am will be analysing and comparing and contrasting how Shakespeare and Duffy portray madness in “Macbeth” and “Havisham”. Macbeth is a play by William Shakespeare. It starts off with three witches who tell Macbeth that he will become the king. Macbeth did not have as much as courage, but Lady Macbeth takes matters into her own hands and convinces Macbeth to kill the king. Macbeth kills the king and becomes king, just as the three witches said he would be. Lady Macbeth had been tormented by guilt and had soon gone mad. Banquo, a friend of Macbeth’s who was killed by Macbeth, torments Macbeth in ghost form.
Eventually, Macbeth dies after he was killed by Macduff and Banquo’s son becomes king, again just like the three witches Macbeth is beheaded by Macduff. “Havisham” is a poem written by Carol Ann Duffy. This poem is spoken by Miss Havisham, a character in Dickens’ Great Expectations. Abandoned by her scheming fiance on her wedding day, she continues to wear her wedding dress and sit along with the remains of breakfast for the rest of her life, while she plots her revenge and curses her fiance, she had shown vivid signs of madness throughout the story, which may be caused by the trauma, she may had received throughout the years.
I firmly believe in Act 5, Scene 1 of Macbeth, Shakespeare showed us that Lady Macbeth had been mentally affected by her guilt of killing The King. It can be said that she had shown signs of madness and also a mental disorder. This is because she had said many strange phrases that you wouldn’t have seen a normal state person to say, and also the fact that she had been talking to herself in terms of desperation and guilt showed more evidence of her madness. This idea can be supported by the following quote/s. ‘What, will these hands ne’er be clean? ’’ In the quote shown, Lady Macbeth had asked a rhetorical question to herself, epitomising her guilt and madness as she meant that she cannot rid herself of the blood she sees on her hands, and ultimately, the guilt that she feels. This was because what she was seeing was all an illusion. This may be classed as a dramatic irony as, Lady Macbeth thought blood stains were on her hand, but the reader knew there wasn’t any.
The language used in my quote that I had given, was very straightforward. By this I mean that in the quote, Lady Macbeth had asked a question, in which she wanted someone to answer her question, but because she was talking to herself it sounded like a rhetorical question which showed us more than glimpses of madness and guilt. Also this related more to craziness because, from an audience perspective, we would have been thinking ‘’what is Lady Macbeth talking about? ’’ This is how Shakespeare presented Lady Macbeth’s madness.
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