Explore the ways in which Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth and Browning presents the speakers in Porphyria’s Lover, My Last Duchess and the Laboratory

1596 Words Nov 11th, 2013 7 Pages
Explore the ways in which Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth and Browning presents the speakers in Porphyria’s Lover, My Last Duchess and the Laboratory

Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth in such a way that she is shown as a strong and powerful woman. Her ability to manipulate Macbeth to murder Duncan in order to get more power is a key example of this aspect of her character. Browning also presents his speakers in a similar way to Shakespeare through their need to control. The main way that both authors achieve this is through the use of language. Techniques such as rhyming couplets and semantic fields are used to emphasise the control that the characters have or want to achieve. Additionally, a range of imagery is used throughout all of
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Through this juxtaposition, Shakespeare shows that lady Macbeth is willing to use her love as a means to manipulate Macbeth; she will use her love to control him, no matter what the cost.

In both Macbeth and Browning’s ‘The Laboratory’, the speakers use masks, both literal and metaphorical, to cover up their psychotic behaviour. An example of this is in ‘The Laboratory’ where the speaker says ‘Now that I, tying thy glass mask tightly.’ Here, her mind is becoming fragmented and she is literally hiding herself from others as she protects herself from the fumes. In Macbeth Lady Macbeth urges Macbeth to put the mask of a murderer back on- ‘Was the hope drunk/Wherein you’d dress yourself?’ –which suggests Macbeth is feeling guilty. If he adopts a façade he’ll be able to kill without feeling remorse and no one will suspect them. This also implies that they are hiding their true personality and putting on a mask to hide what they are really going to do. People today still put on an act to hide their true feelings; Shakespeare and Browning’s texts allow the modern audience to relate to this universal concept.

Browning and Shakespeare both present their speakers as mentally disturbed but use rhyming couplets as a way to create stability to cover up their true personality. In ‘The Laboratory’ the speaker and her motivations are seen as troubling and sinister so using rhyming couplets, which creates a predictable pattern acts as an attempt to
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