• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Analysis of the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

    3 star(s)

    In Act5, scene 5, Macbeth is told of Lady Macbeth's inevitable death. If at any point much earlier in their relationship Macbeth had been given such news, he would undoubtedly have been distraught. It would have been of great loss to him.

  2. The relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

    At the start of the feast in which Banquo's ghost appears, Lady Macbeth is isolated from the rest of the group. This isolation, which is more mental than physical, comes from her dejection. Lady Macbeth's misery is reflected in her speech - it becomes brief and perfunctory.

  1. To what extent is Macbeth wholly responsible for his ruin, which destroys not only ...

    Macbeth shows a very split personality, when he is in soliloquy or with Lady Macbeth, he is somewhat forthcoming with his ideas; 'My dearest love, Duncan comes here tonight'. However, on the other hand he is subdued and humble towards his counterparts.

  2. Lady Macbeth's Character in Macbeth.

    As the dagger appears Macbeth turns from a self-doubting man with a strong moral code into the murder that takes Duncan�s life. These glimpses into the future open a few questions. Firstly what are the witches intentions and secondly would this have happened if not for their intervention.

  1. King Duncan's murder marks the beginning of MacBeth's downfall - Who can be held ...

    done, 'These deeds must not be thought of after these ways; so, it will make us go mad'. This is significant in the play, as in the end, Lady MacBeth does herself go mad. She starts to sleep walk and tries to wash imaginary blood off her hands.

  2. Discuss Shakespeare's presentation of Duncan's character in Macbeth

    the audience with fear and tension, once again, this is dramatic irony, audience know more then everyone on stage except Macbeth. We listen to his inner mind and only we, the audience can hear what he says. Duncan arrives at Inverness, Macbeth's castle.

  1. 'My dearest partner of greatness'. Explore the Relationship Between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth Throughout ...

    She says, 'Woulds't thou have that ... (you) live a coward in thine own esteem, Letting "I dare not" wait upon "I would"?' and, 'When you durst do it, then you were a man; And, to be more than you were, you would Be so much more the man.'

  2. The relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

    lose the dues of rejoicing' (Act 1, Scene 5:11), that he loves his wife. He calls her his 'dearest partner of greatness', he talks of 'what greatness is promised thee' (Act 1, Scene 5:5,11) and from the moment the murder is committed, apart from an interlude at the banquet, it is he who tries to protect her.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work