“The Help”

CHARACTER STUDY: Eugenia ‘Skeeter’ Phelan

  • A 22 year-old wealthy white woman
  • lives + grew up on a cotton farm/plantation
  • After school she went to study at Ole’ Miss (University of Mississippi)
  • She is very tall, lanky, and not very pretty – much to her mothers disaproval
  • She wants to be a writer – her mum wants her to be a wife
  • When she comes back from school she realises that her views on black + white segregation have changed. She becomes intrigued on the ‘helps’ views on what it’s like to serve for a white house hold every day, and be the inferior colour.
  • This idea is extremely dangerous but skeeter is determined and string willed!

Page: 89

Reading the letter from Harper & Row:

“Miss Phelan

You certainly may hone your writing skills on such flat, passionless subjects as drunk driving and illiteracy. I’d hoped, you’d choose topics that actually had some punch to them. Keep looking. If you find something original, only then may you write me again.”

Upset that Missus Stein’s letter was so negative. feeling discouraged because i have no better ideas

Pick up copy of ‘let us now praise famous men’ wondering if I’ll ever write anything that worth while or that holds such an impact.

My maid Pascagoula knocks on the door – THAT’S WHEN THE IDEA COMES

“no. I couldn’t. That would be… crossing the line.”



MACBETH – Act 5 Summary

Scene 1

Characters: Doctor, Gentlewoman, Lady Macbeth

Location: At night in king Macbeth’s castle

Events: The doctor and gentlewoman watch-on and discuss LadyMacbeth’s strange sleepwalking habits. They are both very concerned for her as it is clear she is going mad. She enters a trance and starts sorrowing over the deaths of her husband and herself. She keeps referring back to her hands, saying they will never be clean and rubs them hard trying to get the ‘blood’ she is imagining off them. Of course, the doctor and gentlewoman grow suspicious and wary of what she is saying but are more concerned about her health than anything else. She is slowing going mad and developing a mental illness as a result of the murders that have taken place.


“Out, damned spot! Out, I say!—One, two. Why, then, ’tis time to do ’t. Hell is murky!—”

(Lady Macbeth)

Lady Macbeth says this line while vigorously washing her hands. The murder of King Duncan and Banquo are starting to take their toll and are haunting her into a mental state. In this line, she is saying that she can’t and will never get the blood off her hands. She see’s spots of it all over her hands is trying to get it off but it won’t go away. This, of course, is just in Lady Macbeth’s head.

“Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, Oh, Oh!”

(Lady Macbeth)

She is saying that even the smell of blood haunts her. She says that not even all the perfumes of Arabia will get rid of the smell from her hands.

“To bed, to bed. There’s knocking at the gate. Come, come, come, come. Give me your hand. What’s done cannot be undone.—To bed, to bed, to bed!”

(Lady Macbeth)

She is reliving the moment when she and Macbeth killed King Duncan. The only difference is that in the scene when they actually did the murder she says ‘come to Macbeth clean your hands, once they are washed from this bloody witness it is as if we never did it’. But now she is saying give me your hand because want has been done can never be undone and we will forever be murderers.

Scene 2

Characters: Menteith, Angus, Caithness, Lennox

Location: Outside Macbeth’s castle

Events: A group of Scottish lords discusses the upcoming battle between England and Scottland. But really its a battle between England and Macbeth because they tell us that the Scottish army has agreed to meet the English troupes at Burnum wood to join forces and side against Macbeth.

Scene 3

Characters: Macbeth, Servant, Seyton, Doctor,

Location: Inside Macbeth’s castle

Events: Macbeth strides through the halls of his castle assuring himself and his servants that they must not fear the battle because of what the witches said (No man woman born could harm Macbeth and that he will not be defeated until Birnam wood moves to Dunsinane). The Doctor talks to Macbeth about Lady Macbeth’s health. And tells him that an illness like this can not be cured


“I have lived long enough. My way of life
Is fall’n into the sere, the yellow leaf,
And that which should accompany old age,
As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have, but, in their stead,
Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honor, breath
Which the poor heart would fain deny and dare not.”
Macbeth is saying that his life is beginning to wither (like a plant drying up and falling away). Like a yellow leaf in Autumn. He says that things that should go along with old age like Love, honor, obedience, good friends, he can no longer have. Instead, he has cursed and is surrounded by people who honor him with their words and not their hearts. He says that his heart is tired of living like this and wishes his life was over. But he can’t let himself die so easily. 
Scene 4
Characters: Malcolm, Menteith, Siward, Soldiers, Macduff,
Location: Birnam wood
Events: Malcolm talks to fellow English lords about Macbeth’s decision to fight against them. Malcolm tells the soldiers to break off a branch off the trees in the wood (Birnam wood) and use it to disguise themselves so they can hide the numbers of their troupes until they battle.
Scene 5
Characters: Macbeth, Seyton, Messanger,
Location: Inside Macbeth’s castle
Events: Macbeth continues to order his servants around in preparation for the battle. A woman screams and Seyton reports to Macbeth that the Queen is dead; the scream was from Lady Macbeth. Shocked, Macbeth processes the news. A messenger arrives with news that it looks like Birnam wood is advancing to Dunsinane castle. Terrified that this is what the witches had told Macbeth he says that he would rather die fighting and prepares nervously for the battle.
“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”
Macbeth says this FAMOUS passage in reaction to hearing that Lady Macbeth is dead. He talks about the meaning of time and states that time is measured in words – meaning as the words run out (as we’re nearing the end of the play) time and life is running out too. He refers to pace/time as if it were creeping (personification) this indicates that time is like a slow motion/creeping preditor. This passage shows how Macbeth is mentally entering a state of despair, he is starting to doubt the importance of life and instead wonders what it must be like to die.
Scene 6
Characters: Malcolm, Siward, Macduff
Location: Outside Macbeth’s castle
Events: The battle begins and Malcolm orders his soldiers to throw down their branches and bring out their swords.
Scene 7
Characters: Macbeth, Young Siward, Siward, Malcolm
Location: On the batte field
Events: Macbeth kills every man he passes and holds on to the witches promise that no man woman born shall harm Macbeth. He even kills young siward, and continues fighting.
“Thou wast born of woman.
But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn,
Brandished by man that’s of a woman born.”
Macbeth says that he smiles and laughs (he will not be afraid) of any type of weapon held by a man born of woman.
Scene 8
Characters: Macbeth, Macduff, Malcolm, Siward, Ross,
Location: On the battlefield
Events: Macbeth and Macduff finally find each other and fight. When Macbeth finally states that he has no fear for no man woman born can harm Macbeth, Macduff replies with the news that he was NOT woman born instead he was born of c-serian. Macbeth is shocked by this and comes to the conclusion that he is going to die tonight as all of the witches promises have come true. He decides that if he is going to die then he will die to fight. Macduff kills Macbeth and walks to the others holding only Macbeth’s head. Ross tells Siward that his son died. The rest of them celebrate that Macbeth is dead and no Malcolm will become king of Scottland.

Macbeth – Act 4 Summary

Scene 1

Characters: First Witch, Second Witch, Third Witch, Hecate, Macbeth

Location: A dark Carven

Events: The witches appear around a bubbling cauldron, chanting a spell as they drop ingredients into the cauldron🔮. Macbeth enters (just as the witches had predicted) and asks the witches the truth behind their previous prophecies. In response to this 3 apparitions appear with a different message for Macbeth. The first is a floating head with 20 gashes on its face – This warns Macbeth to beware of Macduff. To this Macbeth says ‘he is already’. The second is a bloody child – telling Macbeth that no person woman born could ever harm him. And the third is a crowned child holding a tree – telling Macbeth that he is safe until Birnam Wood moves to Dunsinane Hill. Macbeth is happy to hear all of this because it makes him feel superior and powerful. Finally, the witches create a line up of 8 kings. The last king holding a mirror, Banquo’s ghost appears and moves to the end of the line. Macbeth is angered by this 😡 and demands to know the meaning behind it. Instead, the witches dance around and finally vanish leaving Macbeth to wonder what that all meant.


“Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff.
Beware the thane of Fife. Dismiss me. Enough.”
(First Apparition)
The first apparition says this passage as a warning to Macbeth. The head is saying he must beware of Macduff. Macbeth’s response to this is simply thank you for your advice you have said exactly what I fear. So, in other words, he was already wary of Macduff.
“Be bloody, bold, and resolute. Laugh to scorn
The power of man, for none of woman born
Shall harm Macbeth.”
(2nd Apparition)
The second apparition reassures Macbeth that he is powerful beyond measure. This bloody child says that no man woman born shall harm Macbeth. Meaning that no human born of woman can stand up to Macbeth because he is too POWERFUL. I feel like this apparition really follows what the witches previously said about giving Macbeth to much security. If he thinks that no man woman born can harm him them he has no reason to fear Macduff or any other person who might be suspicious or dislike him.
“Be lion-mettled, proud, and take no care
Who chafes, who frets, or where conspirers are.
Macbeth shall never vanquished be until
Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill
Shall come against him.”
(Third Apparition)
The third apparition tells Macbeth not to worry about who doesn’t like him, who fears him, or who is suspicious towards him because he will never be defeated until the woods move to a different hill.  We all know that trees don’t have legs and therefore can’t move so when Macbeth hears this news he is confident that he has A LOT of security.

Scene 2

Characters: Lady Macduff,  Ross, Son, Messenger, First Murderer

Location: Macduff’s castle

Events: Lady Macduff meets Ross and asks why her husband fled. She feels betrayed 😔. Ross says that she must trust her husband’s judgment and not worry about him leaving. Ross leaves (he knows that the murderer is about to come but doesn’t warn or help Lady Macduff or her son…… Interesting?!). Lady Macduff tells her son that his father is dead (she thought it was better to tell her son that Macduff has died rather than he had left and didn’t care about them anymore). Her son doesn’t believe her and says that he is not dead. A messenger hurries into the castle and warns Lady Macduff that something dangerous is coming her way and they must both flee as soon as possible. Lady Macduff argues and claims nothing bad could happen because she had done nothing wrong. but as she says that a murderer appears, he talks badly of Macduff and the son calls the murderer a lier! The murderer stabs the boy and he dies ☠. In shock, Lady Macduff runs out of the castle and the murderer chases after her.


“My father is not dead, for all your saying.” (son)

The son denying that his father is dead, saying that his mother is wrong!

Scene 3

Characters: Malcolm, Macduff, doctor, Ross,

Location: England; A room in the king’s palace.

Events: Malcolm and Macduff talk, and at first Malcolm isn’t sure he can trust Macduff, as he fled from Scottland and could have easily sided with Macbeth. Malcolm lyes and says he doesn’t think he is a fit king – to see what MacDuff’s reaction is. When he finally agree’s that Malcolm isn’t a fit king of Scottland, he has passed Malcolm’s loyalty test. The two become allies. Ross enters from Scottland and tells Macduff that his family is well (not wanting to break the news) and urges Malcolm that he must come back to Scottland and help save his country from Macbeth. Malcolm says that he will return but with ten thousand English soldiers lent to him by the king to help battle. Eventually, Ross breaks the news to Macduff that his wife and son had recently been killed. Macduff is grief-stricken by this, but Malcolm’s advice is to turn that grief into and anger and they both promise to fight against Macbeth and pay revenge.


“Alas, poor country!
Almost afraid to know itself. It cannot
Be called our mother, but our grave, where nothing,
But who knows nothing, is once seen to smile;
Where sighs and groans and shrieks that rend the air
Are made, not marked; where violent sorrow seems
A modern ecstasy. The dead man’s knell
Is there scarce asked for who, and good men’s lives
Expire before the flowers in their caps,
Dying or ere they sicken.”
Ross is saying that Scottland – their home country is not the place it used to be. It is no longer the beautiful place they were born but the horrifying place they will die in. He says that only the fools smile because they aren’t aware of the despair the country is in. He says that ‘good’ men die before they have even fallen sick. This is referring to the fact that there is no reason for all of these deaths anymore. No one can explain why it’s just happening. It’s also a reflection on Macbeth’s mind because there is no sane reasoning behind that anymore either.


Scene 1

Characters: Banquo, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Attendant, 1 murderer, 2 murderer

Location: A room in a palace in Forres

Events: Banquo states his suspicion for Macbeth killing the king because that was what the witches had said. Macbeth and Banquo have a conversation about the feast coming up, that Banquo promises to attend. Banquo tells Macbeth that he and his son are going riding tonight. Macbeth brings in two murderers once Banquo has gone and convinces


 “He chid the sisters
When first they put the name of king upon me
And bade them speak to him. Then, prophetlike,
They hailed him father to a line of kings.
Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown
And put a barren scepter in my grip,”
Macbeth is concerned that Banquo knows that he killed the King because is the only other person that heard the witches prophecy. He also says that ‘they put a fruitless crown’ on his head – meaning his children will not become king, he will have no legacy because the witches had said that Banquo’s children would be kings, not his. Macbeth thinks – what is the point of being king if it helps Banquo’s children!
“It is concluded. Banquo, thy soul’s flight,
If it find heaven, must find it out tonight.”
Macbeth says that the deal is set (that his plan to kill Banquo and his son is put in place) and that if Banquo is to go to heaven then he will go there tonight (meaning he WILL die tonight!).
Scene 2
Characters: Lady Macbeth, Servant, Macbeth
Location: In Macbeth’s Castle
Events: Lady Macbeth is losing hope and wonders if what they did was worth it. She sends a servant to get Macbeth. Macbeth assure’s Lady Macbeth that it will all work out in the end. And the reason they both feel uneasy about the deed is that is is not yet complete. Macbeth has planned to have two murderers kill Banquo and his son Fleance tonight. He thinks this will finish off the job because he needs to kill the proposed future kings so that he can have his OWN legacy. He doesn’t tell Lady Macbeth this, instead, he says ‘a deed of dreadful note’ is put in place.
“Oh, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!
Thou know’st that Banquo, and his Fleance, lives.”
Macbeth refers to his mind as ‘full of scorpions’ because at this point in the piece he is experiencing many dark and evil thoughts. The scorpion metaphor illustrates that his mind is ‘full of poisonous insects’ that humans should FEAR and how this affects his train of thought and is making him react and perform acts of pure evil. This is also a benchmark for Macbeth’s mental state throughout the play and can be used to compare how his mental intentions and motives develop and change and the play evolves.
He also says that one of the main reasons why his mind is ‘full of scorpions’ is because Banquo and his son are still alive. This again proves that his evil motives are taking over his moral values. He feels although he can’t rest until the two of them are dead.
Scene 3
Characters: First murderer, Second murderer, Third murderer, Banquo,
Location: A wood just out of Macbeth’s castle (night)
Events: The three murderers hide in bushes, waiting for Banquo and his Son to pass through the woods on their horses. When they pass, the murderers light a torch and attacked them, bringing them off their horses and beating them. Banquo dies (‘with 20 gashes in the head’) but before he dies he tells fleance to RUN!!! The torch goes out and Fleance manages to escape. The murderers take Banquo’s body and leave the woods to tell Macbeth that the dead is done.
“O treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly!
Thou may ’st revenge —O slave!”
Banquo pleading his son to run away and hide.
Sence 4
Characters: Macbeth, Lords, Lady Macbeth, First Murderer, Lennox, Ross,
Location: In the dining hall in Macbeth’s castle
Events: Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are hosting a feast to celebrate Macbeth becoming king. All the good lords and ladies of the land are expected to attend. They come into the hall and sit down to start the great feast. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth put on a happy face and try very hard to host their guest and not give off any kind of suspicion regarding the king’s death. Macbeth lies by saying he is disappointed that Banquo didn’t attend the feast (Macbeth killed him). As the feast begins the first murderer appears at the front doors covered in blood. Shocked that he would make such an appearance Macbeth quickly moves over to talk to him without the guest’s noticing. The murderer assures Macbeth that Banquo is killed, and tells him that his son fled. Macbeth is angered that Fleance wasn’t killed because this means he is not secure in his position as king – knowing that Banquo’s son will still become king after him. Macbeth returns to the feast. His guests ask him to sit down, but Macbeth doesn’t see any free seats. “The table is full,” he says. His guests say that there’s one free seat at the head of the table for him but FOR MACBETH that seat is taken by the ghost of Banquo!! Macbeth starts to go CRAZY and yells at the chair, saying crazy things. This worries Lady Macbeth because she doesn’t want him to accidentally spill any news about Duncan’s death. She apologizes to their guests and says that Macbeth often does this. Lady Macbeth has a word to Macbeth privately and tells him to snap out of it and become a man! The ghost disappears. Macbeth returns to the feast and apologizes for his actions. The ghost reappears and this time Macbeth is saying truly horrifying things. Without hesitation, Lady Macbeth asks all the guests to leave at once as the king and become ill.
Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth that he thinks more ‘bloody’ are to be done. He wonders why Macduff didn’t come to the feast. Macbeth says that he is going to the witches tomorrow to hear his future fate and understand what he needs to do next.
“Then comes my fit again. I had else been perfect,
Whole as the marble, founded as the rock,
As broad and general as the casing air.
But now I am cabined, cribbed, confined, bound in
To saucy doubts and fears.—But Banquo’s safe?”
Macbeth’s reaction to Fleance not being killed. He says that he had otherwise been perfect, everything he had done was thought through and things were starting to work out for him. But now that he failed to kill Fleance he is stuck and is being swarmed with doubts and fears about what is to come next! In the last line of this passage he says ‘but Banquo’s safe’. I think this line is interesting because he is asking the murderer if Banquo has been killed. Shakespeare changes the word killed to safe. This reflects Macbeth’s mind at the time and also how it is changing. At the beginning of the play, he is a soft character who we thought would never intentionally do something bad. The past events have changed Macbeth’s characteristics and because of this the term killed of death is now referred to as safe !!!
“It will have blood, they say. Blood will have blood.”
Macbeth worrying about the consequences that could follow his previous and future actions.
” I am in blood
Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er.”
This is a VERY important quote as it illustrates a dramatic change in Macbeth’s head. In this passage, he is saying that he is so far in the blood (referring to the actions he has performed) that going back is just as far as continuing. He thinks…. well, I’ve gotten this far so I might as well continue. 
Scene 5
Characters: First Witch, Hecate
Location: The heath
Events: The witches meet up with Hate (the goddess and chief witch). She says that she is disappointed that they intervened with Macbeth without consulting her first. She tells them that she is now going to take control of Macbeth and informs them that when he comes to visit them tomorrow they will full him with a false sense of security and mess with his head.
“As by the strength of their illusion

Shall draw him on to his confusion.

He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear
His hopes ‘bove wisdom, grace, and fear.
And you all know, security
Is mortals’ chiefest enemy.”
In this passage, Hecate is saying that their next plan is to confuse Macbeth into thinking he is so powerful and has so much security that nothing can harm him. This is interesting because it introduces the idea that security is human’s worst enemy. This is Macbeth’s worse enemy and because of this Hecate and the other witches plan to give him a false sense of security to mess with him.
Scene 6
Character: Lennox, Lord,
Location: Somewhere in Scottland
Events: Lennox runs into a lord and they discuss the events that have happened to their kingdom. They talk about Banquo’s death and how everyone thinks his son Fleance killed him as he has now fled. Both men still suspect that Macbeth could have been the one that killed King Duncan and now possibly Banquo. The lord tells Lennox that Macduff has left for England where he will meet up with Malcolm to try and convince England that they need to help. Both Lennox and the lord hope that England can come and save Scottland from Macbeth!!
“May soon return to this our suffering country
Under a hand accursed!”
This quote proves that the people of Scottland are becoming cautious and suspicious of Macbeth and they are scared of what he might do next. They refer to Macbeth as a “tyrant” which means ‘a cruel or obbsessive ruler’.


MACBETH – Act 2 Summary

Scene 1

Characters: Banquo, Fleance, Macbeth

Location: A court within Macbeth’s castle

Events: Banquo + Fleance set the scene by saying it is past midnight. The three of them are having trouble sleeping, and then say goodnight to each other. Macbeth see’s a dagger and talks about his next action of killing Duncan.


“I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters:
To you they have showed some truth.” (Banquo) Banquo talks to Macbeth about seeing the witches. This is significant because it means more than one person (Macbeth) has seen the witches and heard their predictions.
“Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? Or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressèd brain?” (Macbeth  – soliloquy) This is the start of Macbeth’s in-depth and metaphor-rich soliloquy. He see’s a dagger hovering in the air. The handle is towards him, referring to him using it to kill Duncan instead of him being killed. He can’t hold it but he can see it, meaning it must a figure of his imagination (like a hallucination). He says “a dagger of the mind” meaning his thoughts are creating this dagger that only he can see. his brain is so full of thoughts about the murder he is about to do that it’s making him go crazy! If I was to direct this play I wouldn’t have a literal dagger hovering above him, because I think that the purpose of this soliloquy is for the audience to listen to his language and it emphasizes that fact that ONLY HE can see the dagger!
“Witchcraft celebrates
Pale Hecate’s offerings, and withered murder,
Alarumed by his sentinel, the wolf,
Whose howl’s his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,
With Tarquin’s ravishing strides, towards his design
Moves like a ghost.” (Macbeth – Soliloquy) Macbeth metaphorically refers to MURDER as a WOLF. and describes how he plans to murder Duncan like a wolf hunting his pray.
“I go, and it is done. The bell invites me.
Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven or to hell.” (Macbeth) Macbeth hears a bell and thinks of it as a signal that it is time to kill the king.
Scene 2
Characters: Lady Macbeth, Macbeth
Location: A hallway/courtyard in Macbeth’s castle
Events: Lady Macbeth is waiting for Macbeth in the courtyard after he set off to kill King Duncan. She thinks she hears a noise and when Macbeth comes back and tells her he has killed the king, they both agree that they heard a noise and that must mean someone is awake. Macbeth says he feels very ‘unholy’ and ‘sinful’ he can’t believe what he just did! But he made a mistake, he didn’t leave the daggers in the bedroom with the guards to stage they were responsible. He refuses to go back (which shows that he is scared and cowardly) so LadyMacbeth goes (proving that she is strong and determined).
“The sleeping and the dead
Are but as pictures. ‘Tis the eye of childhood
That fears a painted devil. ” (Lady Macbeth)
This quote proves that Lady Macbeth has very dark, deep and ‘male’ (of the time) thoughts. she is saying that sleeping Duncan and Dead Duncan look just the same, it’s only a coward who sees’s the difference and is afraid of that. When she says ‘the eye of childhood’ she is referring to Macbeth because he is weak and is demonstrating childish behavior in her eyes.
“Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red.” (Macbeth)
Macbeth is saying that not even the greatest mass of water (the ocean) could not wash the blood from his hands. He says that there is so much blood on his hands that if he tried to wash his hands he would make the water red.
“My hands are of your color, but I shame
To wear a heart so white.” (Lady Macbeth)
Lady Macbeth is saying that her ‘hands’ referring to the deed they have just performed and the color of blood,  are the same as Macbeth’s but she refuses to feel bad or forgiving about it. She refuses to be a coward like Macbeth.
“To know my deed, ’twere best not know myself.” (Macbeth)
Macbeth is saying that when he thinks of the deed he has just done (killing the king) he doesn’t recognize himself and doesn’t like himself for doing it.
Scene 3
Characters: Porter, Macduff, Lenox, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Banquo, Donalbain, Malcolm
Location: A courtyard at Macbeth’s castle
Events: MORNING…..The guest’s in the house wakes up and the porter opens the gates to the castle. Macbeth shows Macduff where the king is sleeping and they find him dead in his bed and his guards holding bloody knife’s. They all react to the king dying and are very shocked. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth make up a cover story to how they ‘suppose’ Duncan was killed. Lady Macbeth faints and Malcolm and Donalbain plan to leave for England and Ireland to tell the office of this horrid news. Malcolm and Dolobain express their suspicion on whether it really was the guards that killed him!
“O gentle lady,
‘Tis not for you to hear what I can speak:
The repetition, in a woman’s ear,
Would murder as it fell.” (Macduff)
This quote is relevant because they are saying that Lady Macbeth can’t handle the news that Duncan is dead when she was the one who killed him!!!
Scene 4
Characters: Old man, Rosse, Macduff
Location: Outside the castle
Events: Rosse and the old man stand outside Macbeth’s castle and discuss the unnatural events that have lead to the king Duncan being killed. Macduff joins them and tells them that is it said Duncan’s son’s brided the bodyguards. He also tells them that Macbeth has already gone to Scone to be crowned as king.
“They were suborned.
Malcolm and Donalbain, the king’s two sons,
Are stol’n away and fled, which puts upon them
Suspicion of the deed.” (Macduff)
Saying that there is a suspicion that Duncan’s son’s paid the guards to kill the king. They think this is true because both brothers fled quickly when they heard the news.



Macbeth Language techniques

Point: During Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy (act 1, scene 5) Shakespeare, through the use of metaphors,  illustrates the power and pure evil she is inviting to help conduct her sinful plan. The use of metaphors is a frequently used language technique in many of Shakespeare’s plays as i gives the audience a strong understanding of the characters internal thoughts and also the reasoning behind their actions, to add to Shakespeare’s other language features.

Example: When Lady Macbeth is devising her nefarious plan of killing king Duncan she calls upon the evil spirits and asks them to remove the kindness and good in her feminine being and replace it with evil thoughts and strong will. Because of this she wants to shield herself from heavens eyes, she knows what she wants to do is bad. In the passage she says:

“Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark
To cry “Hold, hold!” (Lady M, Act 1, Scene 5)
Explanation: This metaphor validates the idea of Lady Macbeth’s plan being sinful and unjust for the time period Macbeth was set in. During the 11th century god’s, the powers that be, and heaven were very much believed and actions that opposed these beliefs were dangerous and frowned upon. People believed that these external powers dictated the unknown and also controlled who was in power (i.e kings, queens, ,status) . Lady Macbeth’s plan to murder king Duncan (treason) was one of the most dangerous forms of betrayal to these beliefs at the time and therefore (during this passage) she is asking heaven to not watch over her as she does the deed. She describes heaven as if it’s a child, scared to ‘peep through the blanket’ and see the dark. This metaphor portrays heaven as scared or afraid, and the ‘dark’ is Lady Macbeth’s plan. So she is describing heaven as scared of her plan or of what she is about to do. This tells us her plan would provoke the audience and make them feel uncomfortable, and nervous to see her plan unfold. When she states ‘to cry “hold, hold”‘ she is referring to her conscious stopping her from killing the king. She wants heaven to stay hidden from her evil thoughts and behaviour because she knows that heaven, god, and the powers that be,  wouldn’t approve. This metaphor clearly outlines how Lady Macbeth’s plan is ambitious, evil, and dangerous, because of how she feels about heaven watching her. 


MACBETH – Act 1 summary

Scene 1

Characters : Three witches

Location : An open deserted space

Time: Unsure (some time before the battle?)

Events : Three witches stand around a steaming cauldron  and discuss when they are going to meet again.

Quotes: “fair is foul, and foul is fair”(all A1, S1)Paradox “When the hurly-burly’s done, when the battle’s lost and won” (Witch 2 A1, S1)Witch two is saying they will meet again when the noise of the battle is over and when one side has one and the other has lost

Scene 2

Characters: Duncan, Malcolm, Captain, Lenox, Rosse

Location: A camp near the battle grounds

Time: After the battle when Macbeth killed Macdonwald

Events: The battle has just come to an end and king Duncan is being informed on how the battle went down from his wounded captain. Ross tells the king that Macbeth was a courageous and valued fighter in the battle, and he killed their enemy Macdonwald. Ross also lets the king know they won the battle!

Quotes: “As two spent swimmers that do cling together, And choke their art.(Captain s2) this quote describes how the two enemies were neck in neck at the beginning of the battle and how it was hard to determine who would come out on top. “What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won.” (Duncan s2) Meaning the death of Macdonwald is Macbeth’s prize because i means he will become the thane of cawdor.


Scene 3

Character: 3 witches, Macbeth, Banquo, Rosse, Angus

Location: Upon the heath, the meeting place planned in scene 1

Events: The witches discuss their their plan to stop a sailor from completing his voyage because his wife has been rude to one of the witches. They then go on to talk about Macbeth’s future where they say he is going to become ‘the thane of cawdor’ and after that king. They are supposedly predicting the future. They also tell  Banquo his future will not be him being king but his descendants will be. Rosse and Angus inform Macbeth that in return to his bravery his is being crowned ‘thane of cawdor’, meaning the witches prediction was true. Macbeth presumes that the other predictions from the witches must also be true and starts to create a plan to kill the king (Duncan) so he can become king. Banquo warns the witches that Macbeth is turning evil because of their predictions.

Scene 4

Character: Ducan, Malcolm, Donalbain, lenox, Macbeth, Banquo,

Location: A room in the kings palace

Time: After the battle

Events: Duncan’s son Malcolm tells everyone that the execution of the former thane of cawdor has been done, and Duncan thanks Macbeth and Banquo for their job well done (killing him). Macbeth believes his actions will award him Duncan’s throne but Duncan awards him as the the new thane of cawdor and Duncan announces that the next king is to be his eldest son Malcolm. Macbeth is suprised and angered by this news, as he wants to be king.



“The prince of Cumberland! That is a step
On which I must fall down, or else o’erleap,
For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires;

Let not light see my black and deep desires.

The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be
Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.

” (Macbeth)

Macbeth says this passage to himself and to the audience. This is an important aside because Macbeth is reacting to the king giving the thrown to his eldest son and not Macbeth.  He talks about the stars, heaven, god shielding or hiding and not watching his actions because he is about to bring out his dark side. When he references ‘eyes’ he is referring to himself and how he has self denial about his thoughts about killing the king.


Scene 5

Characters: Lady Macbeth, Macbeth

Location: A room in Macbeth’s castle

Events: Lady Macbeth reacts to a letter from Macbeth about what has happened and the witches predictions. She reflects on what Macbeth has said, and decides she needs to take action if her and Macbeth are to be king and queen. She thinks Macbeth is to weak and to kind to hurt anyone, so she is glad to hear that the king Duncan will be staying in their castle tonight, she plans to kill him. She asks the spirits to help her with this bad deed and when Macbeth enters tells him to leave it up to her.


Explore language techniques throughout lady Macbeth’s passage

Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood.
Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect and it! Come to my woman’s breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murd’ring ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances
You wait on nature’s mischief. Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark
To cry “Hold, hold!”
(Lady Macbeth)
“It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great,
Art not without ambition, but without
The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst highly,”
(Lady macbeth) Lady Macbeth thinks Macbeth is to kind to kill someone, he is weak and she is not.
“Look like th’ innocent flower,
But be the serpent under ’t. ” (Lady Macbeth)
referencing how she wants Macbeth to be perceived on the outside and his thoughts on the inside.
“Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here” (Lady Macbeth) She asks the evil spirits to help her do this bad deed and asks to be stripped of her famine perceptions so she is not perceived as weak but strong and capable. 
“Only look up clear.
To alter favor ever is to fear.
Leave all the rest to me.”
(Lady Macbeth) Leave it to me and remain calm
Scene 6
Characters: Duncan, Banquo, Lady Macbeth
Location: Outside Macbeth’s castle
Events: King Duncan arrives to Macbeth’s castle and is welcomed by lady Macbeth. They enter the castle and Duncan admires it and thanks Lady Macbeth for letting him stay.
“See, see, our honored hostess!
The love that follows us sometime is our trouble,
Which still we thank as love.” (Duncan A1, S6)
Duncan is saying that the love of his subjects can sometimes trouble him or bring troublesome events, but never the less he excepts it as love anyway. This quote is important because he almost predicts that Lady Macbeth is putting on a ‘fake’ love when welcoming him into the castle because she has planned to kill him during his stay. 
Scene 7
Character: Macbeth, Lady Macbeth
Location: A room in Macbeth’s castle
Events: Macbeth is second guessing lady Macbeth’s plan, because he is related to king Duncan, he fought for king Duncan, and he thinks king Duncan is a good and honourable person. When Lady Macbeth enter Macbeth tells her that he doesn’t want to go ahead with their plan. Lady Macbeth is furious and disappointed in Macbeth and tells him how weak, and delicate he is. She convinces him to keep the plan.
Quotes: “Might be the be-all and the end-all here,” (Macbeth) This is a common saying used today that was created by Shakespeare
“Was the hope drunk
Wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since?
And wakes it now, to look so green and pale
At what it did so freely?” (Lady Macbeth)
Lady Macbeth is disappointed and angry that Macbeth has changed his mind, she says ‘were you drunk when you agreed to killing the king, have you now woken from your sleep and are now full of fear’ she is trying to understand why Macbeth has changed his mind
“Bring forth men-children only,
For thy undaunted mettle should compose
Nothing but males.
Bring forth men-children only,” (Macbeth)
Says this to Lady Macbeth and is saying that a lady with such strength, and evil thoughts can only produce men (because their strong and woman are not)

False face must hide what the false heart doth know.
 (Macbeth) Macbeth says this line when lady macbeth has convinced him to kill the king




We can determine the relationship between people through the language choices they make in the conversation.

Essay plan:

  1. Build context (to make intro more interesting) – How society has changed to back your hypothesis, How language has changed, how does the hypothesis  link to the world..NZ..Wanaka, use famous quotes that back your hypothesis.
  2. Persuasive / rhetorical language
  3. Select some interesting or intriguing results from your research .


The use of language allows us to express and convey information to each other. Over time the language we use and how we use it has been modified to fit how society has evolved. We can determine many elements of a person’s life experiences, emotional state, and connection to other people through their personal language choices. For the purpose of this study i have investigated how we can determine the relationship between people through the language choices they make in a conversation. This essay will prove how different relationships communicate differently with each other through the use of vocabulary, phonetic sound, linguistic language, and paralinguistic modifications. Also why we use language and how the reasoning behind conversations have changed over time, along with what has changed in society and the distinctive link between this and how we communicate with each other. All of these language features work together to create individual and unique language relationships between different people and determines how contrasting relationships communicate differently with each other.

Language over time – draft

Over time things change and evolve. Simple as that. Language is no exception to this, and as time goes on our language has modified to suit the way society are communicating at the present moment.  This effects how different relationships communicate with each other.

Body paragraph 1 – draft

Through the use of diverse language techniques the message being portrayed can mean very different things.  As humans we gravitate towards particular language techniques subconsciously , and this in turn creates our unique mannerisms and way of using language. Not two of use speak, deliver or communicate language in the same way, and this means every conversation we have with other people is different. It’s like the human mind. We all think and process information differently which gives us each personal strengths and weaknesses. When people collaborate on a project together they are utilising  everyone’s strengths to create an original and completely unique end result. This is just like our relationships with other people. We also adapt or modify the language we use to suit who we are talking to. This also makes for a unique language relationship. I mean think about it… Do you use the same language or communicate the same with your best friend AND your grandma?

Vocabulary is a language technique that gets over looked, however it plays a huge role in differentiating relationships.  When we speak we use different vocabulary as a way to express or convey a message in different ways. Depending on the words we use when delivering the message can determine how the person receiving the information processes it. An example of this is when your at an old friends house and you ask for the butter across the table at breakfast.  The vocabulary you use in this situation would be very different to how you would ask for the butter at home. This isn’t because your rude at home or you disrespect your family, it’s simply that different relationships make you speak in different ways. At your friends house your vocabulary would be something like “Excuse me, would you please pass me the butter…..thank you.” The vocabulary used in this spoken language is quite formal and gives the impression that your trying to be polite and impress your friend. On the other hand your vocabulary choices at home would probably be along the lines of “hey, will you pass me the butter….. thanks.” Even though your saying almost the exact same thing the mood and feeling around the vocabulary choices made really define the kind of relationship you have with the person your delivering your message to.






Text Transcript

Hey! (punctuation added for effect) The girls and i have organised to see pitch perfect 3 on the 1st of Jan .(logograms – shortened words) I’m about to book the tickets, do you wanna (merged words) come ?

Hey x (emoticons) what time is it?

It’s at 6

Yes sounds great xxx (emoticons) i was just checking the time cause (contractions) i’m working till (abbreviation) 3 but yes please xx 🙂 (emoticons) were u (logograms) at the lake today, i think i saw u (logograms) but i wasn’t sure? Xx(emoticons)

Ok great! (punctuation for effect) It’s  (abbreviation) going to be so much fun. I can’t wait!! (two exclamation marks for even more effect) Yes i was at the lake xx(emoticons)

Hehe (speech like interjections) yaaasss (repeated letters for emphasis) i’m soo (repeated letters for emphasis) excited xx (emoticons) haha (speech like interjection) i was going to say hi but it would’ve been awkward if it wasn’t you 🙂 🙂(emoticons)

Hahaha.(speech like interjection) Fair enough

:) (emoticons) k (logograms) gtg ttyl (acronyms) can you pls (contractions) txt (contractions) me when and where we r (logogram) going to meet if u (logogram) find out xx(emoticons)

Yes i will. See you soon xx(emoticons)

K (logogram) thanks bye (contractions) xx (contractions)


Sammy: yea (colloquium) we went to his office and there was like (none specific – broad/unsure response of how many were there) 12 of us

Zelda: really?(Shocked/inquisitive)

jaimee: what did you do though?

sammy: is was like,(verbal filler) kinda like (hedge – makes the point sound weak) one person who did all the talking

libby: who was it?

Zelda: haha (speech like interjection) everyone else was just backing them up

sammy: yea (colloquiums) it was ruby (No capital = less formal)

jaimee: ruby burke?(back-tracking)

sammy: yep,(colloquiums) and everyone else in there like hmmm (backchannelling) and she was like (verbal filler) talking and making her wee (slang) points

Zelda: yea,(colloquiums) do you reckon like (verbal filler) they will actually change anything.

sammy: i don’t know, because he was like (verbal filler) well… (ellipsis – emphasises pause) her classes got good grades, i was mmm (backchannelling – sassy) cause they went to kip

Everyone: hahahahahaha(speech like interjection)

Zelda: riiiiiiight (repeated letters for emphasis)

sammy: i know.