Shakespeare and Robert Browning

2066 words 9 pages
Shakespeare and Browning both present the theme of desire through their central characters. Lady Macbeth (and Macbeth) is motivated by the desire for ambition and authority in ‘Macbeth’ whilst in the Browning monologues; the monologists are driven by the desire of power and control in ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ and revenge in ‘The laboratory’. All of which seem to have fatal conclusions as a result of each of their desires. As the texts were produced over 400years ago, audiences may have found the works of Shakespeare and Browning highly thought-provoking and entertaining whilst contemporary audiences finding the different aspects of desire relatable to modern situations. Lady Macbeth’s need for authority in her famous soliloquy ‘unsex me
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LADY MACBETH * Act 1, Scene 7- ‘When you durst do it; then you were a man’ shows Lady Macbeths play on masculinity as she uses the perfect tense ‘were’ highlighting the difference now and before which provokes Macbeth and in turn manipulates him to go through with the execution of Macbeth with will get allow her to attain her desire for power (again shows how far she is willing to go to achieve happiness) * * Strong imagery and emotive lang-passionate * Blank verse instead of prose * Shakespeare uses a metaphor and contrast to show that Lady Macbeth is ruthless. In Act I scene 7, when Macbeth wants to back out of killing Duncan, she tells Macbeth “I have given suck, and know / How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me: / I would, while it was smiling in my face, / Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums, / And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you”. * First, Lady Macbeth uses feminine language, showing she knows what it means to be tender and nurturing with words like “tender love” and “milk”. But then, she shocks the audience by using violent language such as “dashed the brains out”. This is an upsetting image; it makes the audience understand that Lady Macbeth would put a promise before the life of her own


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