For my monologue project, I selected lines from one of the most important scenes from Shakespeare’s play, “Macbeth.” I chose to learn Act 1, Scene 7, lines 39-49 as my monologue since I think it is one of the most intriguing monologues regarding how it introduces the dominance LM desires, and it starts to show how ruthless LM can really be. 

The monologue consists of one of the protagonists, Lady Macbeth speaking to another protagonist Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is trying to convince Macbeht to kill Duncan.. This monologue is heard by Macbeth, and it was said out loud by LM directly to Macbeth. It was only between the two of them, no one overheard. The monologue takes place in at their home where, after Duncan is killed, which makes LM feel guilt. The main conflict in this scene would most likely be that Macbeth is refusing to kill Duncan but LM continues to try and persuade him. I say this because after LM received the letter from Macbeth it is clear what she intends to do, but she doesn’t want to act alone. Additionally Lady Macbeth continues to try to convince Macbeth from different perspectives. Lady Macbeth starts to feel angry for what she has done. This is part of a pattern for LM where she feels strong emotions and can’t let them go. LM clearly is a strong woman and does not want to feel weak. Over time this builds up to be a major conflict in the story of Lady Macbeth

The character speaking in this scene, Lady Macbeth is quite a conflicted character. This is because after Duncan was murdered Lady Macbeth becomes guilty and remorseful This seems to contradict her previous state of mind. In the monologue, words like “art thou afeard” as well as the word choice in the sentence “And live a coward in thine own esteem” reflect that LM is committed to kill Duncan and become king. The words “Like the poor cat i’ the adage” represents the feeling of desire that LM is experiencing after she discovered she has the chance to become queen contributing to her overall power hungry self.

If it was up to me to stage this scene, I would most likely make the actors playing Lady Macbeth and Macbeth stand. They would stand close to each other and Lady Macbeth would circle Macbeth while staring right at him and at the same time say her lines. Macbeth would stand in place and watch LM as LM circles him. This would happen in a room that is not very bright in order to set an envious mood. This might represent LMs feelings of jealousy after she realizes that she may never be able to have a child would also perhaps add some props to the scene, for LM to perhaps truly want to kill Duncan in order to show her resentment after losing a child. If I were to direct the actors, then I would most likely encourage LM to be saying these lines as if she didn’t convince Macbeth that it would be the end of the world and give off a feeling of being in power in an effort to make his character believable.

In this monologue, Shakespeare used certain poetic elements to enhance the emotion being portrayed in the scene. As I mentioned before, the main theme in this scene would be that LM needs to convince Macbeth to kill Duncan and the use of poetic elements really reinforces the impact of LMs emotions. For example, Shakespeare used iambic pentameter as a feature in his writing to provide emotion as well as a rhythm

All in all, the monologue in Act 1, Scene 7 is a prime example of an effective piece of writing by Shakespeare that is very important to the plot of the play. If Lady Macbeth hadn’t convinced Macbeth to kill Duncan the story would have gone a completely different direction. But LM isn’t trying to kill Duncan so Macbeth can be king she does it for herself. She wants to forget her troubles and she thinks this can be done if she just has power.  

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CC BY-SA 4.0 A Complicated Tragedy by Maevon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

2 Comments
  1. Max 3 days ago

    Your stress for certain words that convey the integrity and mood of the monologue is well done, and well executed. However, I feel that this monologue calls for further intensity in the voice of the speaker, the overall tone of your performance is adequate in my opinion, but I think you could improve this by lowering the tone of your voice, or speaking harshly rather than softly, Lady Macbeth is scolding her husband using her words as daggers not a soft pillow. Wonderful job though! I think that your analysis outlines the core elements of this piece of text to a T.

  2. Milo 3 days ago

    I like how you put emotion into the monologue, stressing certain words, and pausing between sentences and phrases. It makes it more believable that you really are trying to persuade Macbeth to go through with killing Duncan. I also like how you would stage this scene. It goes along well with the mood that this scene has.

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