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My hands are of your colour, but I shame to wear a heart so white Discuss how Shakespeare presents the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, with particular reference to Act I Scene 7, Act II Scene 2 and Act III Scene 2.

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Introduction

Eliot Bryant "My hands are of your colour, but I shame to wear a heart so white" Discuss how Shakespeare presents the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, with particular reference to Act I Scene 7, Act II Scene 2 and Act III Scene 2. In this essay I am going to discuss how Shakespeare presents the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and will refer particularly to Act I Scene 7, Act II Scene 2 and Act III Scene2. At the time of the writing of this play, the roles of men and women were different from how it is now. Even though there was an unmarried woman on the throne at the time. In Queen Elizabeth, women were totally undermined and seen as the weaker sex compared to the 'higher', 'more powerful', 'dominant' men. However in Macbeth, Shakespeare could be seen to challenge this through Lady Macbeth's use of language in Act I Scene 7 and Act II Scene 2. Shakespeare's Macbeth also expresses James I's obsession with witchcraft that drove the country to the murder of thousands of women in the 17th Century. The witches in the play are a clear depiction of the country's attitudes towards the unknown at the time, and in Lady Macbeth, Shakespeare could be seen to present a character that can hide evil behind beauty. ...read more.

Middle

Lady Macbeth's speech at the start of Act II, Scene2 reveals that she could be starting to break down as she is getting paranoid and becoming worried. When there is simply an owl 'Hark Peace! It was the owl that shrieked', Lady Macbeth becomes paranoid and scared of every noise that she hears. Also in Act II Scene 2 Lady Macbeth admits that she could not kill Duncan because he looked like her father, 'Had he not resembled My father as he slept, I had done't.' This tells us that they aren't as close and that Lady Macbeth is beginning to have secrets from her husband and so this may have triggered the isolation that comes between them in Act III Scene 2. In Act II Scene 2, Macbeth start worrying about being punished by God and is beginning to go mad. 'But wherefore could not I pronounce"Amen"? I had most need of blessing and "Amen" Stuck in my throat' Macbeth fearing the eternal punishment and Lady Macbeth not, shows the 17th Century audience who is evil and who has still got good in him,yet they know he is evil as he has killed Duncan. On the other hand the modern audience might see this as a sign of regret from Macbeth, who sees the guards and thinks they will go to heaven, but not him as he has murdered Duncan. ...read more.

Conclusion

Their relationship is becoming less open as they no longer tell each other everything, as they did in Act I Scene 5. This is shown with Macbeth saying 'Thou know'st that Banquo and his Flaence lives'. In this line Lady Macbeth does not notice that he is shielding the truth from her, yet by saying this, he is getting it off his chest even if she doesn't understand what he is implying. It seems at the end of Act III Scene 2 that the only thing that is keeping them together is the fact that they are the only ones that know what happened. Yet as they are getting isolated, they cannot confide in each other as Macbeth seems not to allow this after his transformation and therefore they both begin to break down. Shakespeare presents the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as a very unusual one as it is based on deception and the change from the closeness of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to the isolation later in the play. This was very unusual and so would make the 17th Century audience think, which would keep them interested and create an atmosphere. It would also make the play dramatic and all the scenes important to their relationship, which is central to the story. The way that their relationship changes to the circumstances, allows the audience to understand and follow the play better. The relationship also conveys a message of the effects of evilness and shocks the audience to keep them interested. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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