How the Characters of Macbeth and the Duke in My Last Duchess Can Be Considered to Be Disturbed Characters

1926 Words Sep 5th, 2013 8 Pages
I am examining the characters of the Duke and Macbeth and how they can be considered disturbed characters. The play, ‘Macbeth’ and poem, ‘My Last Duchess’ both show psychological truths and insights into the characters. While the Duke shows himself to be disturbed straight away in the poem, Macbeth’s mental deterioration takes place and develops as the play proceeds. ‘Macbeth’ written by William Shakespeare and set in 1050 contains themes of status, power and death while ‘My Last Duchess’ by Robert Browning written in 1842 shows how status, wealth and the marriage market can affect a man’s life.
Macbeth at first is a well-respected and liked character. He shows himself to be ‘brave’ and is given the position of the ‘Thane of Cawdor’.
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However as King, there is no-one who has a higher status than his which then leads Macbeth to associate with people of a lower class than the people he is obligated to. When talking to the murderers it is pointed out that ‘there is blood upon thy face’ which shows that Macbeth instigated the murder of a friends. The two scenes symbolise how Macbeth has become infatuated with power and is willing to do anything to keep it. This exhibits his obsessive nature.
Macbeth’s use of language in Act 5, Scene 5 infers that life is pointless. He suggests that life until we die means nothing. ‘Creeps in this petty pace from day To the last syllable of recorded time.’ During this scene he finds out Lady Macbeth died, showing the extent that he relies on his wife. Shakespeare uses the scene to tell the audience that you can’t control destiny and what happens in life. This relates to his disturbed mind as he tried to control his destiny. An emphasis is put on the fact the word ‘tomorrow’ is repeated. It implies that Macbeth won’t have a ‘tomorrow.’ Shakespeare uses language to show how much Macbeth has changed throughout the play. At first he was a respected character and gradually becomes more disturbed. Thus scene suggests that he is essentially lost and resigned to his fate.
The Duke however is a possessive and materialistic character. This is shown through the title ‘My Last Duchess’. ‘My’ displays how even
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