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How Does The Relationship Between Macbeth And How Does The Relationship Between Macbeth And Lady Macbeth Develop And Change Throughout The Play? The play I have been studying is Macbeth by William Shakespeare. I will be concentrating on the relationship between Macbeth and his wife and how this changes and develops throughout the play. I will be looking at their relationship from the point in the play that Lady Macbeth receives a letter from her husband to her death near the end of the play. ? ? ? ? Macbeth was one of Shakespeare? s last plays that he wrote in Elizabethan times somewhere between 1606 and 1611, but the actual play was set in Medieval Scotland.
The play as the title suggests was set around Macbeth, his wife and their ever growing ambitions and desires. The play begins when Macbeth meets three witches and is given three prophecies? one of which is that he will be king. Macbeth tells his wife the news and she persuades him to kill Duncan the present king. Macbeth then becomes king, but extremely paranoid with it so he has Banquo (his friend who also saw the witches) murdered. Macbeth returns to the witches who give him three more predictions in the form of riddles which later like the first prophecies also, come true.
Macbeth then has Macduff? s family killed so Scotland rises against him. Lady Macbeth dies and Macbeth dies soon after at the hands of Macduff. ? ? ? ? In act 1 scene 5 Lady Macbeth receives her husband? s letter about his victory in battle and his unexpected meeting with the three witches and their prophesies? that he would soon be Thane of candor and eventually king.
I think he must have been very intrigued by the hags and wanted to know more? when I burned in desire? the witches? fired?
his curiosity. The hags obviously captivated him because he wrote? while I stood rapt in the wonder of it? . Even though he seemed amazed by the sight he must have been apprehensive because at that time witches were greatly feared.
At this early point in the play I think they had a strong relationship and he was very close to his wife as he felt he could confide his news in her, as I think it is possible people loyal to the king could have seen him as a threat to the crown. I feel he also thinks of her as an equal, that he values her views on matters as he says? lay it to thy heart? - he wants her to think about it and give him her opinion. I also think they have a loving relationship as he refers to her in the letter as? my dearest partner of greatest? . He calls her dearest, which to me makes them sound like a very close couple, that she is a very special person to him and that he loves her.
He refers to her as his partner which to me shows that he thinks of her as an equal and that he respects her. She is his partner in marriage and ironically will soon be his partner in crime. I think his use of the word greatness shows his admiration for her? I think he almost idolizes his wife. Once again I think this is quite ironic, as soon she really does become? great? , she becomes Queen.
An Elizabethan audience would be quite disturbed by the fact witches were involved in the play. In those ages witches were looked on as workers for the devil, they were thought of as extremely evil and were therefore greatly feared. Many people would feel very uneasy about the witches and the apparitions? you could compare it to people nowadays going to see a chiller movie at the cinema. In this scene Lady Macbeth also calls upon spirits to make her evil and help her commit the crime to come, this might lead people to think that she was now possessed. ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? In act 1 scene 7 Macbeth can not decide whether to murder the king or not.
He knows that killing Duncan is the wrong thing to do in the eyes of man and in the eyes of God but his ambitions make him want to do it, however, in the end he decides against it. Lady Macbeth who is obviously desperate for her husband to be king then tries various ways to try and persuade him to murder Duncan. The first method of persuasion she users is asking rhetorical questions like? Was the hope drunk wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since? And what wakes it now to look so green and pale at what it did so freely? ?
She is asking him if he was drunk when he promised to kill the king but now he has got a hang over and regrets that he said he would do it. She is saying she would understand if this was the case but it is not. She is asking him questions she already knows the answer to, to try and make her point that he changes his mind too freely, that he is indecisive and goes back on his word. I think this would make Macbeth feel like he had let down someone whom he obviously loves and that would make him feel bad and maybe want to stick to his original promise. Her next method of persuasion is making him feel like an un-manly coward by saying? Art thou appeared to be the same in thine own act and valour, as thou art in desire? ?
And? When you durst do it you were a man? . Shes asking him if he is afraid to do evil and be evil like he is in his dreams and that now he has decided against committing murder he is not a man anymore. I think that it would hurt Macbeth? s pride to be called a coward and un-manly, especially by his wife and would maybe decide to kill the king to prove he was still a man. The last persuasion technique she users is a shock tactic when she says?
I have given suck and know how tender it is to love the babe that milks me: I would, while it was smiling in my face, have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums and dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you have to this? . When she says this she is trying to shock him into killing the king by using brutal imagery. She tells him how she would kill her own child by smashing it? s head open if she had promised to do so, for unlike him she would never break promise not even one that would hurt her so much. I think this image is especially brutal because there is meant to be no bond stronger than that between mother and child and if she was willing to kill her child for him he must mean a great deal to her. I think this would make Macbeth feel guilty because she is implying she must love him more than he does her if she is willing to do something so drastic for him and that this may encourage him to kill Duncan to prove his love for his wife.
I think the audience would also be shocked at this graphic description and would now definitely have the opinion that she was evil. At the end of the scene Macbeth finally gives in to all his wife? s persuasion and agrees to kill the king. I think throughout this scene Lady Macbeth is the dominant one of the two because she does nearly all of the talking without letting her husband hardly get a word in edgeways. She almost bullies him into listening to her? he has no choice but to listen to her point of view and feels there is no way after all she has said that he can go back on his word.
I think Lady Macbeth used very good persuasion techniques but is quite devious and would stop at nothing to get her own way. ? ? ? ? In act 2 scene 2 the pair commit Duncan? s murder, but both are strong (have courage) and are weak (act cowardly) at various points in the scene. While Macbeth has gone off to kill the King lady Macbeth has a drink which gives her guts as she says? That which hath made them drunk, hath made me bold, that hath quenched them hath given me fire? .
By this she means the alcohol that she drugged the King? s guards with to make his murder easier has given her confidence. Her mood then changes to weak when she hears an owl shriek? Hark, peace!
It was the fatal bellman which gives a stern? st good-night? the owl upset her quiet and probably made her jump, to her its cry was confirmation the king was dead. Macbeth enters and says? Who? s there?
What ho? ? ? I think he is being weak when he says this because he is afraid someone has seen him with the bloody daggers. Lady Macbeth is also being weak when she says? Alack I? m afraid they have awaked? she like her husband is also worried in case they have been spotted and she continues her cowardice by saying?
had he not resembled my father as he slept I had done? t? . Hear she is saying she would have killed the king but he reminded her of her father so she could not go through with it. Macbeth is both strong and weak in the next sentence when he says? I have done the deed.
Didst thou hear a noise? ? he has killed the king and is proud of himself so it makes him feel strong but straight away he becomes panicky, insecure and cowardly again because he is scared someone heard him. Next they go into a conversation which is short and detached which would sound jumpy and uneasy? just like how they are feeling. Lady Macbeth then becomes strong as I think she realises someone has to take control of the situation she says?
A foolish thought to say a sorry sight? with this she is scalding her husband for his weaknesses. Macbeth stays weak now to the end of the scene commenting on his inability to say Amen? I could not say Amen when they said God bless us? and?
I heard a voice cry? sleep no more Macbeth do murder sleep? . His mind is torturing him, he thinks he? ll never be able to sleep again. Lady Macbeth tries to snap her husband out of it by scalding him some more? You do unbend your noble strength?
she is telling him he? s been brave and courageous so why be cowardly now. Macbeth foolishly brought the daggers with him from the murder scene and won? t take them back so Lady Macbeth takes control, returns the daggers and cleans them both up with water. Macbeth then begins to hear knocking? Wake Duncan with thou knocking: I would thou couldst?
Macbeth regrets what he has done and wishes that he could wake Duncan back up. I think they were both weak when Macbeth returned from the king because they were worried that they would be found out but once Lady Macbeth realised they had to act quickly she took control of the situation. Just as in act 1 scene 7 where she persuaded her husband she once again took the lead. I think they had quite a good plan for the murder, they had arranged to drug the guards who would then take the blame but lots of things went wrong for them while they were carrying it out. They were both jumpy and Lady Macbeth could not kill him in the end because he reminded her of her father.
Macbeth brings the daggers away from the scene and refuses to take them back and then begins to regret ever being part of it. I think the audience may feel that Lady Macbeth may also be a witch and she is described as a fiend like queen but there is evidence in this scene to suggest that she was not as bad as she was made out to be, when she says that she could not murder the King because he reminded her of her father. The audience may also take Macbeth? s inability to say Amen as another sigh that they were evil and possessed by Satan. ? ? ? ? In Act 2 Scene 3 the murder is discovered by Macduff who then tells Macbeth and Lennox, but even before this Macbeth makes a slip up that could? ve aimed suspicion at him and his wife.
When Lennox asked if the king was going out that day Macbeth replied? He does? he did appoint so? but luckily this went unnoticed. When Lady Macbeth and Banquo join the group they discuss the murder for a while when she suddenly faints and being a woman they put it down to the news of the murder up setting her. I personally think she fainted on purpose but there are arguments for and against.
The reasons it could have been genuine are that throughout the conversation Macbeth had been getting them into deeper and deeper water and the worry couldve caused her to pass out, coupled with the fact that she had drunk a lot the night before and may have had a hang over. But I think the following ideas would be more probable. Because Macbeth was digging them in deeper I think she did it to divert attention away from him before he made a major slip up. I also think she was a very strong character as we can tell from her persuading and her control over the situation the night before and would not be as weak as to faint. Lastly Lady Macbeth is helping to cover her tracks because how could a lady who faints at the mention of the word murder have anything to do with the murder of the king? I definitely think that the reasons for her pretending to faint greatly outweigh the reasons for her to genuinely pass out. ? ? ? ?
In act 3 scene 2 Lady Macbeth is troubled because she feels they have gained nothing from murdering the King but actually lost everything? Noughts had, alls spent? . Despite this when her husband tells her of his fears? O, full of scorpions is my mind?
and that he even envies the peace that Duncan has she tells him? Whats done is done? and that he has to forget about it. I think Lady Macbeth changes from being weak when she is on her own to being strong when she is with her husband because she knows she is the stronger of the two and that he needs her strength. Although they are both afraid at the moment lady Macbeth is definitely the stronger of the two and still loves him because she is putting her own feelings aside so she can help him (even by scalding him if necessary). In this scene Macbeth also hints slightly that he is going to have Banquo killed.
You can compare this scene to act 1 scene 5 because here Macbeth does not tell his wife of his evil plans whereas in act 1 scene 5 he wrote the letter telling her the news and asked for her opinion. This shows that even though they still care for each other they are drifting apart and do not share things like they used to. I think Macbeth may refrain from telling his wife anything anymore because I feel he may blame her for the mess they are in because it was her who talked him into killing Duncan, if he had not told her of the meeting with the witches they would not be in this mess now. Also I think they is a change in language as before he called her?
my dearest partner of greatness? now he is just calling her? dear wife? I think this also shows how they are drifting apart. There are some similarities like in both scenes Lady Macbeth is the more dominant. We can also compare act 1 scene 7 with act 3 scene 4.
The Macbeth's are having a banquet when Banquo's ghost appears to Macbeth and sits at his place at the table, but Macbeth is unnerved by the ghost and talks to him out loud. Lady Macbeth covers for husband telling the Lords his hallucinations were due to a childhood illness? My Lord is often thus, and hath been from his youth? she also tells them not to stare? If you note him you shall offend him and extend his passion? . Once again she is desperately trying to cover for her husband.
She takes him aside and scalds him about his behaviour? Are you a man? ? and? Shame itself! Why do you make such faces? ? .
She scalds him like she does in act 1 scene 7 but this time he doesn? t listen to her, her persuasion techniques don? t work any more. Banquo? s ghost appears again and this time Macbeth becomes violent so his wife gets rid of the guests very quickly?
Stand not upon the order of your going, but go at once? . Macbeth tells his wife of his fear that there are more bad deeds to come and that tomorrow he is returning to see the witches. Lady Macbeth is still trying to make her husband forget what has happened and is still the strong one of the two who seems to be holding everything together just like she was earlier in the play. Macbeth tells his wife he is going back to see the witches whereas in act 1 scene 7 he talked to his wife about his problems, this proves how much they are drifting apart. Macbeth feels on his own in this scene as he talks with a lot of? I?
s in his speech? I am in blood, I stepped in so far that I wade no more? whereas in act 1 scene 7 he spoke of them as a couple? We will not fail? , ? When we have marked? and?
We? d still have? . The audience would see more confirmation in this scene that the pair were involved in evil goings on and had links with the devil as Macbeth calls upon darkness for help? Come, sealing night, scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day and with thy bloody and invisible hand cancel and tear to pieces that great sickening bond which keeps me pale? .
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