Comparison of Miss Havisham and Lady Macbeth Essay

1347 WordsMar 11, 20136 Pages
Throughout both ‘Great Expectations’ and ‘Macbeth’ surroundings are used to influence and define Miss Havisham’s and Lady Macbeth’s characteristics. These surroundings are not only physical, but also psychological; found in their relationships and trauma from past events. Although both women are presented in different forms Lady Macbeth is also strongly influenced by her physical surroundings. Like Miss Havisham, her home is metaphorical of her characteristics. She lives in a great castle from which we never see her leave. Like the castle she first comes across as strong, powerful and intimidating with strong walls, yet we later see these crumble and leave her as nothing but a wreck of what she used to be. The castle also lures King…show more content…
She also goes on to call on spirits ‘Come, you spirits’, this gives the impression that she believes in the superstitious, and not only that but sees it as a source of help. She does not fear it like the vast majority of people in the 1600s. Miss Havisham is also greatly influenced by her psychological and emotional surroundings. The paramount influence over her life was her relationship with Compeyson, as this is what led to her incessant need for revenge, strained relationship with Estella and subversion from conformity. The enormous impact that Compeyson jilting Miss Havisham had on her perception of love can be seen when she describes love as ‘Giving up your soul to the smiter-as I did’. The use of the word smiter emphasises just how deeply she was hurt; her heart was not just broken, but deliberately crushed. She never heals from this pain so dedicates her whole life onwards to breaking men’s hearts. She even goes to the extent of raising Estella to do this ’’You can break his heart.’’. Yet she shows signs of regretting bringing Estella up ‘so hard and thankless’ and robbing her of the ability to love, like Compeyson did to her. This failing relationship leads her further into depression, but does not stop her need to inflict pain on Pip, suggesting she cannot

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