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

How does Shakespeare use the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to emphasise Macbeths emotional conflict in Acts 1-3?

Extracts from this document...


How does Shakespeare use the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to emphasise Macbeth?s emotional conflict in Acts 1-3? Shakespeare uses the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to emphasise Macbeth?s emotional conflict throughout Acts 1-3. Macbeth starts the play on a high as a noble hero having recently emerged from battle victorious; these positive feelings are replicated in his relationship with Lady Macbeth. He loves and adores her and calls affectionate names, such as ?dearest chuck?. In act 2 they kill Duncan, something that they had hoped would not only bring them power but closer together. However it is the trigger event that leads to everything spiralling out of control, and by the end of act 3, Macbeth is in a state of emotional turmoil, which is reflected in his deteriorating relationship with his wife. Indeed they are never on stage together again. At the beginning of the play Macbeth trusts Lady Macbeth entirely. He confides in her with everything, indeed he considers her his ?dearest partner of greatness? and tells her so. Whilst he talks to her, Lady Macbeth often interjects and alters his ideas; she has the vast majority of the lines and controls their scenes. ...read more.


This would mean that they were more likely to pick up on his quickly changing state of mind. One moment Macbeth is strongly against killing Duncan, saying that ?We will proceed no further in this business? and the next strongly for it ?Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell That summons thee to heaven or to hell?. This is a key scene where Macbeth and Lady Macbeth?s relationship emphasises Macbeth?s emotional exhaustion, confusion and conflicting thoughts. Macbeth agonises over the killing of Duncan. However, directly afterwards Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are completely in tune with each other, and rely on each other. At this point their relationship is not so loving but has become functional; they are working in perfect harmony as demonstrated by continuously finishing each other?s sentences, sharing the beats in a line (Act II, scene II). Their self-satisfaction however is non-existent, as their short lines indicate how nervous and jumpy they both are. Shakespeare also starts the scene with the shriek of an owl interrupting Lady Macbeth, the sudden noise would cut through and almost break the tension on stage, it would also be used to symbolise Duncan?s death to the audience. ...read more.


Similarly, Lady Macbeth who originally used strong imperatives to order Macbeth around, in Act 3 has become less certain, and asks Macbeth ?What?s to be done?? and refers to him as ?my lord? highlighting the change in the balance of power. It is interesting that Lady Macbeth and Macbeth still refer to each other lovingly during their final scene together, saying ?my lord?, ?love? and ?dearest chuck?. This tenderness is juxtaposed against the dark language and imagery that they use to reveal what they have lost from killing Duncan (in respect of both their relationship and their mental health). Shakespeare uses the deterioration of their relationship to depict Macbeth?s turbulent emotions. The character of Lady Macbeth enables Macbeth to speak his true feelings and helps the audience to see the internal conflict and the battle that plays out in his head. After that the internal conflict has gone; Macbeth becomes sure of his intentions and all his actions, misguided though they are, are driven by his desire for power. He no longer has the insecurities seen earlier in the play. Shakespeare has used Macbeth?s relationship with Lady Macbeth to signpost Macbeth?s emotional conflict, and once this has drawn to a conclusion, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are never seen on stage together again. ...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. Was Lady Macbeth in control of Macbeth's fate?

    Lady Macbeth then pretends to faint. This cleverly draws attention away from Macbeth and again we see an example of how quick-witted she is. She is in control here. Macbeth has now been named king and at a banquet, after he has killed Banquo, starts hallucinating and seeing Banquo's ghost.

  2. How does Macbeths Character change during the play

    Later Lady Macduff and her children are killed. Macbeth has changed because at the start of the play he is killing people who are trying to kill him (in the battle) and protecting the king but throughout the rest of the play he is killing people who are entirely innocent of any crime.

  1. How does Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship change and develop during the play?

    "Stop up the access and passage to remorse..." She wishes to feel no guilt "Come thick night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, That my keen knife see not the wound it makes..." Her thoughts and actions must be 'cloaked' and secret - beyond interference from any

  2. How does Shakespeare use language and dramatic devices to present Macbeths changing character?

    Ross tells Macbeth that the king has made him thane of Cawdor (as the former thane is to be executed for treason). Macbeth, amazed that the witches' prophecy has come true, begins to ponder. He wonders whether the reign will simply fall to him or whether he will have to

  1. Lady Macbeth's Control over Macbeth

    Without the influence of women on Macbeth this play wouldn't have come to much in the end. Before each crucial stage of the play Macbeth has doubts of what he should do, and to prove my point to be correct, it is women in the end who convince him of what he should do.

  2. Lady Macbeth's Character in Macbeth.

    Malcolm further calls him "...bloody, Luxurious (i.e. lustful), avaricious, false, deceitful, Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin That has a name." * Defiance of His Enemies?- Is his refusal to fight after he had learned that Macduff is not "one of woman born" a sign of cowardice?

  1. Analyse the Macbeth's marriage during the play, and explain why and how it changed

    Macbeth feels like he completely trusts Lady Macbeth. He feels that it is his duty to inform her that the witches called to him "Hail King that shalt be!" It is also apparent in the letter of Macbeth's love for Lady Macbeth. He refers to her as "my dearest partner of greatness."

  2. How does the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth change throughout the play?

    "Thou know'st that Banquo, and his Fleance, lives" This shows the audience that Macbeth is being secretive towards his wife, but , what is not known is whether Macbeth tells his wife the full extent of his plans because he wants to protect her or whether it was because his

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