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Compare and contrast the roles of Lady Macbeth and Lady Macduff in the play, giving close consideration to their relationship with their husbands.

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Compare and contrast the roles of Lady Macbeth and Lady Macduff in the play, giving close consideration to their relationship with their husbands. In the play 'Macbeth' we notice that the roles of Lady Macbeth and Macduff are very different. In the one scene that Lady Macduff is in we see that she is portrayed as a stereotypical woman of the Jacobean era. She was defined principally as a mother, was reliant on her husband and helpless when he is absent. At the beginning of the play we see these properties in Lady Macbeth. However she specifically called on the 'spirits' to repress her femininity thus taking away these properties to make her ruthless enough to kill Duncan. I feel that both of the characters seem quite strong but in different ways. Lady Macduff copes fine without her husband but Lady Macbeth is strong in different way. In Act 1 Scene 5 we see the relationship that Lady Macbeth and Macbeth had. It is noticeable that their relationship in this scene is much like that of what we would expect a couple of their era to be like. Lady Macbeth stays at home while the husband is out at work. We Lady Macbeth receives the letter from Macbeth we see the how strong their relationship is. ...read more.


We see here that Lady Macbeth is the imaginative one where as Macbeth is the practical person. We see this predominantly when Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth what to do and what not to do: "Only look up clear; to alter favour is to fear." As the reader we know that Lady Macbeth doesn't have the physical strength to carry out the murder. So she organises it but she tells him he will have to go ahead with it. Some readers at this point portray Lady Macbeth to be telling what her husband to do and she wants to just kill King Duncan for no reason. However I feel that that she is only doing what her husband has wanted for the whole of his life and he knows this. To fulfil his dream she has to take control of the situation as he does not have the mental strength to carry out and plan the murder. She knows this and therefore goes ahead with the planning: "Leave all the rest to me.". Again I feel that this shows us how much the Macbeths actually know each other. In Scene 6 we see the mental weakness that Macbeth holds. This is obvious when Duncan enters the castle and is greeted by Lady Macbeth. ...read more.


She uses extremely powerful imagery to overwhelm Macbeth into submission: "plucked my nipple from his boneless gums, and dashed the brains out". Immediately after this quotation we can tell that her violence has prevailed and then she starts to outline the plan upon which he agrees to. Some critics see this scene to show Lady Macbeth overruling Macbeth because she purely wants to kill the king out of spite. I feel that this is a very inaccurate view and Lady Macbeth is being so violent for the love of her husband. I know that she questions the strength of their love but I feel that this scene shows us the strength of their relationship and the lengths they would go for each other. The reason that I think Lady Macbeth uses such violent imagery and questions Macbeth's masculinity is because of his vaulting ambition. She purely wants to see her husband get what he has always wanted and what he has been promised. I am sure that if Lady Macbeth didn't love Macbeth to the extent of what some critics say she would not try and persuade Macbeth. For if they got caught they would be killed for treason and death I a big sacrifice for someone you do not love. In Act 2 Scene 2 we start to see a different type of relationship between the pair. ?? ?? ?? ?? Tom Ingle-Finch 10CP ...read more.

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