In this essay I am will be analysing how Shakespeare and Duffy present 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 kills the king and becomes king. Macbeth is beheaded by Macduff who was born by Caesarean section which was not considered to be born of a woman.
The play was set in the Jacobean era. The Jacobean Era refers to the time in English and Scottish history that concurs with the reign of King James VI of Scotland, who also received the crown of England in 1603. Havisham” is a poem written by Carol Ann Duffy. This poem is spoken by Miss Havisham, a character in Dickens’ Great Expectations. Jilted by her scheming fiance, 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 on all men. She hates her spinster state – of which her unmarried family name constantly reminds her. In this section, I will tell you the similarities in Lady Macbeth and Miss Havisham.
Lady Macbeth and Miss Havisham share some similarities in their madness. For example, Lady Macbeth shouts, “Out damned spot! Out I say! ” This quote indicates that she sense that she is responsible for the murder of the king so she hallucinates and imagines that the king’s blood is still on her. Also Miss Havisham says, “Beloved sweetheart bastard. ” This quote shows that she still cares for him but she also hates him. This Language device that is used is called an oxymoron. Another Similarity is that metaphors are used in both texts.
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For example, Lady Macbeth says, “will these hands ne'er be clean? ” This quote suggests that she cannot get rid of her guilt like she cannot get rid of the blood on her hands. Miss Havisham says, “Ropes on the back of my hands... ” This quote represents her aging, as well as the years spent ‘wringing her hands’ with emotion, anger and nerves. In this section, I will tell you the differences in Lady Macbeth and Miss Havisham. Lady Macbeth and Miss Havisham also share some differences in their madness.
For example, Lady Macbeth deserves her madness whilst Miss Havisham didn’t. You can see this when Lady Macbeth says, “What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? ” This quote shows that she is feeling anxious about the killing of the king and is afraid that someone might challenge her authority. Whilst Miss Havisham says, “the dress yellowing, trembling if I open the wardrobe. ” This quote indicates that time has passed and that she literally trembles when she looks at the clothes of her past as she was an innocent victim.
Another difference is Lady Macbeth’s madness is rooted from her guilt of murder and repentance whilst Miss Havisham’s madness is rooted from revenge and the pain and sorrow she has felt. This can be seen when Lady Macbeth says, “Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him” This quote shows that Lady Macbeth has become delusional over the sin she has committed and is losing her mind and is going on a psychotic rant. Whilst Miss Havisham says, “Not a day since then I haven’t wished him dead.
This quote shows that Miss Havisham is being tormented by a memento from her wedding dress which reminds her of the betrayal of her fiance. Havisham also uses enjambment to show the feelings of her past are ongoing and is reflected through the use of the run on lines. In my opinion, I think that Miss Havisham deserves more sympathy than Lady Macbeth as Havisham was jilted on her wedding day and I think that having your lover leave you on the most special day of your life can leave you traumatised and upset.
I think that Lady Macbeth as an evil lady as she actually decided to kill Duncan when she saw Macbeth’s letter even though Macbeth didn’t decide to kill him and wasn’t ready to do it either. Lady Macbeth deserves to go mad since that is like her own punishment for her crime In conclusion, Shakespeare and Duffy both present madness in Lady Macbeth and Miss Havisham in a number of ways, both similarly and differently. Readers are bound to feel more sympathy for Havisham then they are for Lady Macbeth due to the fact that Havisham is the victim in her story whilst Lady Macbeth is portrayed as the villain.
Havisham is seen as the victim because she has been left by her fiance on the day of her wedding and then was left to suffer the rest of her life alone. Lady Macbeth is seen as the villain as she killed King Duncan with absolutely no remorse in her actions whatsoever at the time, she has just shown remorse after falling ill and ranting about the blood from the king being irremovable. It is common psychology that we feel more sympathy for Havisham as she has done no wrong and was betrayed. We view Lady Macbeth as evil as she killed a man out of greed and for her own gain.
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