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How did the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth change and develop during the course of the play?

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How did the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth change and develop during the course of the play? The relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth alters throughout the play. At the beginning of the play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were very close and loving. Lady Macbeth showed that she was supportive to Macbeth and encouraged him to kill Duncan in order to clear all obstacles that would get in the way of Macbeth becoming King! Macbeth is introduced as a brave soldier who is devoted to his King, while Lady Macbeth is introduced as a kind and loving wife, who underneath is actually a scheming and deceitful woman! At the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth receives a letter from her husband about the witches' prophecies. At this point in the play it is obvious that Macbeth and his wife are very close because in the letter Macbeth refers to her as "My dearest partner of greatness." While reading the letter, Lady Macbeth says, "Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o' the milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way." Lady Macbeth wanted to take the quick and dirty route to royalty by killing King Duncan, but she didn't think Macbeth could do it. Macbeth is not naturally inclined to perform malicious deeds, especially killing a good King and friend in order to gain power or wealth, but he is very ambitious and mentally weak. ...read more.


He is frightened and remorseful, and Lady Macbeth is forced to go back and cover up Macbeth's mistakes. I think that it is because of Lady Macbeth that the murder was successful. When Lady Macbeth hears Macbeth talking about his bloody hands, she says: "My hands are of your colour, but I shame To wear a heart so white." She meant that her hands are red too, but she would be ashamed to have a heart as white as Macbeth's. At this point in the play, it seems as if Macbeth would be helpless without his wife. It seems, however, that Macbeth's lack of self-control is only temporary. By the time Macduff has arrived, Macbeth seems to be composed, at least on the surface. After this point, Macbeth's character begins to gradually change. He becomes so absorbed in his mixed feelings about the murder, that he withdraws from the loving relationship he had with Lady Macbeth at the beginning of the play. Macbeth starts to shut Lady Macbeth out of his thoughts, and gradually she becomes less and less involved with him. It seems that lady Macbeth failed to see that one murder would inevitable lead to others. During the time between Duncan's murder and the banquet, the relationship between the Macbeth's becomes very troubled, and neither of them can sleep. ...read more.


After the banquet scene however, there is a long period when all Lady Macbeth can do is watch as her husband continues killing. When we next see Lady Macbeth after the banquet, she has become overpowered by her imagination. All the secrets of her conscious and unconscious mind have merged, and Macbeth does not seem to exist in her mind anymore; she becomes obsessive and re-runs her part in the murder of Duncan over and over again. Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking and speaking to herself. "Out, damned spot! Out i say!" Lady Macbeth can see Duncan's blood on her hands and tries to wash it off, but nothing will make it go away. Macbeth's moods are constantly fluctuating from one to another, and he doesn't see Lady Macbeth's suffering. Lady Macbeth eventually kills herself because she cannot cope with the guilt of killing King Duncan. When Macbeth is informed that his wife is dead, he feels that life has become meaningless. After all that they had been through, what had they actually achieved? His power and motivation seems to vanish. Everything that had seemed so important to him before - ambition, desires, fears - is reduced to nothing. When Macbeth's castle is beseiged, he realises that this is the end. However, he refuses to surrender, even though he knows he will lose, and is killed by Macduff. "Life is but a walking shadow..." By Suzanne Bowden - 10F ...read more.

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