The authors of Macbeth and The laboratory also have different ways of portraying their characters to be disturbed. One way they do this is that one of the characters feel guilt whereas the other finds some sort of joy from what she is doing. One way Shakespeare highlights Lady Macbeth to be disturbed is in Act 5 Scene 1. This is when Lady Macbeth says “The smell of blood is still there. All the perfumes of Arabia cannot sweeten this little hand” This quote is very important in unveiling the difference between Lady Macbeth and the narrator of the laboratory.
The hyperbole “ all the perfumes of Arabia cannot sweeten this little hand” informs the reader that lady Macbeth believes that what she has done is irreversible and now is casted in iron, she is now coming to her sense and becoming more human like by feeling some sort of guilt, we know this as she is certain that “all the perfumes of Arabia” cannot take this guilt away, Shakespeare is also using “the smell of blood “ as a metaphor to educate the reader that lady Macbeth is now talking about the guilt she has bottled up within her and now she needs to ether let someone know or kill herself, we all know at the end that she commits suicide as she buckles under the fear of guilt.
In the phrase “the smell of blood” Shakespeare uses the noun blood to emphasis to the reader that she is feeling guilt, we know this as the noun “blood” implies she helped kill the king now because of this murder she has blood on her hands. Now the blood has been washed away no one can see it but herself. She is becoming crazy thinking she sees all this blood, and in scene 4 she spends her days washing her hands of the blood that is not there but has instead stained her soul.
This sudden found guilt backs up the argument from the Jacobean era that women were the weaker sex, both physically, mentally and emotionally , this is why the society was so patristic.
Robert Browning portrays the narrator of the poem in a different view, he makes her seem cheerful and enthusiastic about the murder she is about to commit. “Grind away, moisten and mash up thy powder – I am not in a haste! “ The poet use onomatopoeia in this quote, word such as “grind”, and “mash” make the reader feel that there is a little bit of excitement in the eyes of the narrator, this then leads to the reader realising that the narrator does not have any guilt but more of a heart made of stone.
Robert Browning also stresses the non-existence of guilt found in the narrators tone by using an assonance of the vowel “o”, this enhances the poem and creates a sonic like effect. When the narrator is talking to the male apothecary she is using very strong imperative verbs such as “mash” to make it sound as if she is ordering the male apothecary around. This is against the norm of the time, as during the Victorian era women were not meant to be homebodies, this was the man’s job – women were meant to be embodiments of pure virtue, humbleness and also be submissive. The narrator was completely different and was doing what a man should do.