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Discuss the different techniques used by Shakespeare to portray Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship throughout the play.

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Introduction

Macbeth Coursework In the play Shakespeare uses different techniques to portray Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship throughout the play. These are: plot, language, characterization and setting. Shakespeare establishes Macbeth's character as a brave strong loyal and battle hardy soldier who would not betray or kill the king as he captures the traitor the Thane of Cawdor. Lady Macbeth first appears in act 1 scene 5 she is shown as a manipulative character, she makes clear right from the start her intentions to push Macbeth into killing Duncan. At the start of the play their relationship is shown as quite strong with Lady Macbeth in control. However, as the play progresses, Macbeth goes out of Lady Macbeths control and pushes her aside. This is one of the factors that drive her to insanity In Act 1 Scene 5 Macbeth has written a letter to Lady Macbeth telling her about the witches' prophecies. When she has finished reading the letter she decides that Macbeth is not ambitious enough to play dirty for the kingship. A quote that shows this is: "What wouldst thou highly That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false". This quote shows us that Lady Macbeth and Macbeth have a strong relationship as Lady Macbeth knows Macbeth well enough to anticipate his actions and what he will and will not do. Lady Macbeth then decides that she will have to talk him into killing the king, and will have to play upon the ambition which he already has. Here is a quote "That I may pour my spirits in thine ear And chastise with the valour of my tongue All that impedes from ...read more.

Middle

are both worried about the consequences of the killing and that Lady Macbeth is both losing her hold over Macbeth as she takes no action to calm him down. This shows that the relationship between the two is starting to fall apart because the relationship is obviously built on Lady Macbeth being a controlling force over Macbeth as she has great persuasion powers and can influence him. Later on in the scene Macbeth starts taking control of the dialogue, giving longer multilinal passages than Lady Macbeth whereas if we look back over the scenes previously Macbeth has always had a smaller part, speaking-wise and when Lady Macbeth is in the scene, than Lady Macbeth. This is an indication that Macbeth has some control over the relationship. However- L53 to L60 -Macbeth refuses to go back to smear the blood onto the guard's faces as he is to scared "I am afraid to...look on't again" so Lady Macbeth smears blood on the guard faces, showing she is still the most ambitious of the pair. After she has left Macbeth says "will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood Clean from my hand? No" this is symbolism as the blood represents the killing of Duncan and the hand represents his conscience, he is actually saying that his conscience can never be wiped of the deed. Also in this small soliloquy he says "The multitudinous seas incarnadine, Making the green one red" He is referring to the blood on his hands turning all the seas red instead of being cleansed. ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth does not appear in this scene and is not aware o this at all. At the end of the scene the doctor says that she needs god more than medical attention "More needs she the divine than the physician." This is interesting as it links back to act 2 scene 2 where Macbeth claims to have cut himself off from god as he cannot say amen "I could not say 'Amen' When they did say God bless us" This is this could be interpreted as that the two have both been cut off from God this would not be surprising because of all the sins they have committed worshipping idols (Lady Macbeth calling spirits to her in act 1 scene 5 L38-40) Committing multiple murders (Duncan, Attendants, Banquo, Murderers, Ross's family etc) talking to witches and so on. This may be why they have such bad fortune. The last scene which I am commenting on is act 5 scene 5 in which Macbeth is told that his wife is dead. Lines 16-27 are Macbeth's speech considering the death of his wife. Considering that someone he loved has just died this is a very small amount of text to express all his feelings. This shows that towards the end of the play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth grow rather far apart. In conclusion Shakespeare uses many techniques to portray this relationship however the main one is language, what they say to each other and how they say these things. The relationship throughout the play goes through many stages between their love, ambition, sorrow, madness and death they are always united reflecting each other and in this they have a strong relationship. 23 32 34 51 55 ...read more.

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