5.1 Gentle Woman

Character Report

  • What does your character want in this scene (this is the objective)?
    • In this scene, the Gentle Woman wants to cure Lady Macbeth and show the Doctor how Lady Macbeth is agitated in her sleep and sleep walks.
  • What is your character’s motivation for doing what he or she does?
    • Her motivation is the obligation and worry she feels as the servant of Lady Macbeth.
  • What obstacles stand in his or her way?
    • The limited power of the Doctor stands in the way of curing Lady Macbeth. The Doctor claims that the illness Lady Macbeth has cannot be cured by his practice.
  • What happens when your character confronts these obstacles?
    • She accepts the fact that even the Doctor can't cure the disease that Lady Macbeth has, and returns to her bedroom after the Doctor and Lady Macbeth exits. However, she seems determined to take good care of Lady Macbeth, in the hope to cure her disease, which is guilt.
  • Are there any distinctive elements in your character’s way of speaking? (Is his or her language elaborate, plain, musical, or what?)
    • The Gentle Woman doesn't have a particularly interesting tone, but her overall language sounds worrying. When describing Lady Macbeth's disease to the Doctor, she seems very worrying and considerate. She also sounds loyal and determined when the Doctor advise her to take good care of Lady Macbeth.
  • What is your character thinking during the scene (this is the subtext)? (How does he or she react to the other characters and events?)
    • She is thinking she should be loyal to Lady Macbeth, whom she is serving, and not tell the Doctor what Lady Macbeth says in her sleep walk since it could get Lady Macbeth in trouble. When she hears that even the Doctor can't cure the disease Lady Macbeth has, she seems somewhat disappointed but determined. From this part, we can see that she does care about Lady Macbeth, not only because she is her servant, but because she really cares about Lady Macbeth.

  • What happens in your scene? Out line the basic events.
    • In Act 5 scene 1, there are three characters that are present: the Doctor, Lady Macbeth, and the Gentle Woman. The Doctor is summoned by the Gentle Woman, serving Lady Macbeth, and asks the Doctor to observe the strange behavior of Lady Macbeth. The Gentle Woman and the Doctor hide themselves and observe Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth acts very odd; she rubs her hands constantly in her sleep. She murmurs things that is indicating the murder of Duncan and Banquo. The Doctor says he doesn't have the ability to cure the disease she has, since it is guilt.
  • What do you think are the key purposes of your scene? In other words, what is this scene important?
    • This scene is important because it shows the dramatic character change in Lady Macbeth. It is the first time seeing her nervous and feel guilty of the murder she participated in. The strange act of Lady Macbeth (rubbing her hands) indicate she wants her hands to be clean, and return to the days when she was innocent. She feels guilty and regrets that she committed such a crime. This new personality of hers contrasts with the old personality when she used to be bold and manly. Act 5 scene 1 shows a good contrast and a dramatic change in Lady Macbeth's personality.
  • What are your reactions to this scene?
    • I was very shocked by the way Lady Macbeth acted in this scene, since she showed a totally different personality from the old Lady Macbeth I knew. I was also a little bit worried, because acting out the craziness and possession of Lady Macbeth would be very hard. In addition, we were all pressured and overwhelmed after watching the film version of Macbeth, since the actor of Lady Macbeth was very good at portraying Lady Macbeth.

Student Reflection

1. Evaluate the performance of your group. What went well? What didn’t go well?
The lighting and positioning on stage (blocking) went well in our group. However, I think we needed to work on our lines more, since the emotions of the characters weren't so evident. The presentation of lines was monotone, and had no color. Also, the props were very simple, but I think that is due to the short scene we have.

2. How well did you contribute to your group?
I was an active member when reciting our scene, and brought my costumes and props needed. I also drew the stage setting and costumes for our group.

3. How well did you perform as an individual?
I don't think I expressed the diverse emotions of the Gentle Woman very well. I couldn't catch the variety in her personality, since she is not a main character of Macbeth. However, I think I performed smoothly and cooperated with Hannah (doctor) very well, since she is the only one I talk to in the play.

4. What could have improved your scene performance?
I think more props and better lighting could have improved our scene performance. Also, it would've been better if the actors read the lines smoother, and with emotion.

5. How did the scene performance help you better understand the play?
The scene performance made me understand how Lady Macbeth might have felt. This helped me to understand why Lady Macbeth's personality changed so dramatically and the objectives and motives of Lady Macbeth's sleep walking.