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How convincingly does Shakespeare show the deterioration of the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth?

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Introduction

Charlie Lovell --How convincingly does Shakespeare show the deterioration of the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth? In your answer you should pay particular attention to * Shakespeare's use of language, especially imagery * Shakespeare's stagecraft, particularly his use of soliloquy * Shakespeare's awareness of his audience The first time we meet Lady Macbeth is in Act 1 Scene 5, she is reading a letter from Macbeth explaining what the Witches had prophesised. Shakespeare does not show the Macbeths together immediately so we can hear Lady Macbeth's real views of her husband. Her soliloquy allows us to read what Lady Macbeth thinks, which is important in helping us to understand her character. Until this point in the play, Macbeth is portrayed as a brave warrior, but Lady Macbeth has other views about her husband. She says he is "too full o'th'milk of human kindness" (line16) to take the crown from Duncan. She then goes on to call him "lily-livered". ...read more.

Middle

(Line 35) and "What beast was't then That made you break this enterprise to me? (Line 47). In Macbeth's soliloquy he is either using the 'royal we' or he is referring to Lady Macbeth and himself; but it is probably the royal plural, "We'd jump the life to come." (Line 7) and, "We still have judgement here..."(line 8) In Act 2 Scene 2 Shakespeare conveys to the audience the sense of tension between the two Macbeths by making them talk to each other with very short lines, "Did not you speak?" "When?" "Now" "As I descended?" "Ay." (Lines 16-20). In this scene the stronger character is Lady Macbeth; only for the reason that Macbeth has just killed the King of Scotland, and would obviously be very nervous and scared at this point. Shakespeare shows this by making all of Macbeth's speech correspond to the murder, which he just performed; he also makes him repeat words and phrases such as Amen and God bless us. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the sleepwalking scene, Shakespeare does not feel it necessary to show the Macbeths together to show how their relationship is falling a part. I doubt they have spent much time together since the Banquet scene. The obviously do not sleep in the same bed, or Macbeth would have heard Lady Macbeth sleepwalking and sleep talking, and told her to stop. Lady Macbeth is now being paid back for trying to be more of a 'man' than Macbeth because she took the bloody daggers from Macbeth and took them to the scene of the crime; complaining that he was a coward. Now she is sleeptalking about trying to get the blood of her hands. Lady Macbeth's words and actions in this scene include echoes of earlier scenes, such as her hearing the clock strike two: her saying, "To bed, to bed; there's a knocking at the gate."(Line 58) is very similar to, "I hear knocking At the south entry. Retire we to our chamber;" (Act 2 Scene 2 line 68-69) and "Hark, more knocking. Get on your night-gown," (line 72-73) ...read more.

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