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Lady Macbeth

Throughout the tragedy of Macbeth we observe two people on their attempt to gain power and glory through various foul actions. It can be argued that Lady Macbeth is the one responsible for triggering a slippage into this inevitable situation that led to their descent. From the moment Macbeth became aware of his “fate” Lady Macbeth started forming her own imaginary world in which her evil plans seemed likely to be effective. The thought of she and her husband being royalty makes her dismiss rationality and while being immersed in her corrupt intentions, she bares a great influence on Macbeth himself. During the play her personality is being subjected to a gradual and deteriorating transformation which leads to her demise. This essay will be examining Lady Macbeth’s character and how the use of imagery contributes to the portrayal of it through the play.

First of all, at the beginning of the play we are given the impression that Lady Macbeth bares a stronger character compared to husband. She is manipulative, strongly persuasive and without doubt the dominant one in the couple. If it was not for her Macbeth would have never summoned the courage to commit the murders. It is only after a certain point in the play where she shows her true colours revealing the fact that her previous qualities were taken up by her in order to get through her evil plans. In other words Lady Macbeth was never the person she appeared to be although the transition between these two, completely different states of character, is quite striking. Despite this, signs of her weak character can be traced earlier in the play. In fact, Macbeth, as the person closest to her, is aware her weakness “Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck” (III. II. 45). Moreover…

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…l never experience, at least not without taking drastic measures. Lady Macbeth committed suicide in order for her soul to be discharged from the torturous feelings of fear and guilt and finally manage to sleep, indefinitely.

In conclusion, aiming to encourage her husband to proceed with her vicious plans, she applies a mask on her character and goes through most of the play pretending to be someone she is not. This attempt of hers had disastrous consequences that led her to a dead end with suicide being her single and last chance of escaping. Maybe if Lady Macbeth had not taken the three witches’ words so seriously she, most certainly, would have saved her husband and herself from their otherwise inevitable downfall. Was it not for the deeper and deeper immersion into her dark thoughts, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth would have continued being a couple for years to come.

Comparing O’ Brien’s The Things They Carried and Ninh’s The Sorrow of War

Comparing O’ Brien’s The Things They Carried and Ninh’s The Sorrow of War

Bao Ninh’s The Sorrow of War is a contrapuntal reading to American literature on the Vietnam War. But rather than stand in stark contrast to Tim O’ Brien’s The Things They Carried, The Sorrow of War is strangely similar, yet different at the same time. From a post-colonialist standpoint, one must take in account both works to get an accurate image of the war. The Sorrow of War is an excellent counterpoint because it is truthful. Tim O’ Brien writes: “. . . you can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil.” (O’ Brien, 42) Bao Ninh succeeds in this respect. And it was for this reason that the Vietnamese government initially banned The Sorrow of War. A thorough textual and historical examination of both the war and post-war experience of Vietnam reveals that its experience was similar to, if not worse than, that of America.

One of the more remarkable counterpoints of Kien/Boa Ninh’s war experience is his view of American soldiers. For him, they were horrific, powerful, and inhuman. To American soldiers, the war was a journey into a strange world where snipers hid behind every bush. North Vietnamese soldiers had already fought for fifteen years and seen the country ripped apart. Now they were to go up against hundreds of thousands of fresh troops from the world’s technological superpower. A little more frightening. This historical aspect is reflected in the text. For Bao Ninh, the enemy was not always a man that could only kill other men. “The diamond-shaped grass clearing was piled high with bodies killed by helicopter gunships. Broken bodies, bodies blown apart, bodies vaporized.” (Ninh, 5) How…

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…sided fashion, one in which we have no sorrow for the “communists.” But what we see is that Vietnamese soldiers were not fighting for communism, they were fighting because the government ordered them to. “The ones who loved war were not the young men but the others like the politicians, middle-aged men with fat bellies and short legs.” (75) Repeatedly The Sorrow of War reveals the deep suffering of Vietnam. One can not say, however, that American soldiers returned unscathed. The most important thing we see when we read the two aforementioned works is not the differences, but the similarities. War is hellish and unnatural for both sides. In the aftermath, our common humanity becomes evident in universal suffering.

Works Cited:

Ninh, Bao The Sorrow of WarNew York: Riverhead Books 1993

O’Brien, Tim The Things They Carried New York: Penguin Books 1990

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