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Explore how Duncans murder affects the relationship of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth

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Introduction

Explore how Duncan's murder affects the relationship of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth For many people the act of love is not an expressed emotion, but a grinding power that grips control on every direction of life. As a pair the Macbeths possess love but it is not directed at each other. Instead it is their love for power and their fuel for greed. They do not address each other as 'my dearest love' or 'darling', but flatter each others ambition with 'my dearest partner of greatness' and 'worthy thane'. This occurs both before and after the murder. From the beginning they are partnered in crime not in love as married couples are. They are united with a unique ambition that in end destroys the thin thread that united them as a couple. After receiving the letter but before Macbeth arrives back at the castle, Lady Macbeth realizes that in order for them to become King and Queen of Scotland, they will have to murder the present King, Duncan. Lady Macbeth realizes however that Macbeth does not have the 'courage' to perform such an act of treachery against his beliefs and religion. She uses the unusual metaphor "too full o'th'milk of human kindness" to describe him as she believes he's too much a moral man to kill his king for his own gain. Lady Macbeth however is so cruel that killing the king is an act that must be carried out. ...read more.

Middle

Instead he sends her away and says his "False face must hide what the false heart doth know": He must not show the deed on his face but store it in his heart, however Macbeth uses the word "false" meaning that he cannot hide it from himself. Lady Macbeth doubted Macbeth's ability to carry out the murder of the king before the murder and even after he reluctantly committed it she still doubts him. "I am afraid they have awakened and t'is not done. The attempt and not the deed confounds," spoke Lady Macbeth to Macbeth after the murder took place, proving the fact that she does not have faith in his courage nor ambition. She however is fueled by the murder and decides to place the daggers beside the guards which Macbeth had not done. This act is not done out of kindness to her husband, who might I add is suffering from severe trauma after performing such a treacherous act, but is done to ensure that they will end up as the King and Queen of Scotland. After touching the daggers Lady Macbeth enforces guilt into Macbeth and scrutinizes him for his weak courage: "My hands are of your colour, but I shame to wear a heart so white"; a great insult to a warior as it indicates a lack of bravery. Macbeth confides in Lady Macbeth that he could not say "Amen" however she does not show any reassurance and in some respects just tells Macbeth off for speaking so foolishly ("Consider it not so deeply, These deeds must not be thought of"). ...read more.

Conclusion

Lady Macbeth had no hand in these murders; however on hearing of these more appalling deeds Macbeth has committed, she goes increasingly insane. As observed by her doctor, Lady Macbeth repeatedly sleepwalks whilst imitating the action of washing the blood off her hands, blood that she seems to have because of Macbeth's deeds, yet she appears to be guilty. The next we hear of Lady Macbeth is her scream as she pushes herself out of a window high up in the castle. Macbeth's reaction to this is most interesting; on hearing that she is dead he says "she should have died hereafter": she should have died earlier. He ponders on the pointlessness of life and says that days endlessly merge together until there is no beginning and no end to life. The man Macbeth turned into after the murder of Duncan was fueled by power and ambition. Lady Macbeth on the other hand seemed weakened by the murder, ultimately leading to a extent where she took her own life. As for their relationship they grew further and further apart as they each took on new characteristics that pushed them away from each other. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were never going to be a happily married King and Queen, the fact that they could not conceive a child only implies this further. They married each other for the purpose of achieving power in the hierarchy of Scotland, and to potentially have the roles as King and Queen. However once they had achieved these roles, they no longer had each other. ...read more.

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