I recently checked to see if my students were doing their “Macbeth” reading. The task was pretty simple—describe Lady Macbeth in just one word (a task which shouldn’t be too hard after reading two acts, considering how strong a character Lady Macbeth is). Some answers that I received:
- Malicious (that was a good one)
- Smart (I’ll take that one too)
Even if you don’t know this play, I think you can figure out which one of these things is not like the other. Also, Lady Macbeth urges her husband to kill the sleeping king/his father-figure, and the man who has just showered him with a title and land, and who is peacefully in bed in Macbeth’s castle. Or anyway, polite Lady Macbeth is not, and this answer struck me as pretty funny.
After that exercise I had all the students explain their choices, and “polite” was justified because “Lady Macbeth is so nice and dainty,” or something to that effect. So my best guess? The student in question simply saw the word “Lady” in the character name, and went with it. Not that it was a huge deal, since this was a low-stakes assignment to prepare for a quiz. So this was a pretty good lesson on why students should always do their reading, and on why a character’s name/title doesn’t always mean much. Now onward with this amazing play!
–Jeff and Leah
2 thoughts on “Describe Lady Macbeth in Just One Word”
haha yeah somehow I don’t quite see Lady Macbeth as polite 😉
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