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

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Introduction

Caitlin Davies How does the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth change throughout the play? 'Macbeth' was written by William Shakespeare in the seventeenth century, however it was set in the eleventh century. 'Macbeth' was first preformed in August 1606. A woman's role in the eleventh was to produce an heir to her husband's estate. Women had few rights and were said to be easy targets for the devil to seduce. Men thought that only women that were saints were good. In a typical marriage, the woman was to take care of her husband and to always be at his side. The man was obviously the 'superior' of the sexes therefore he was in control. This was obviously not the case with the Macbeths, at least in the beginning of the play. My answer to the question above is the relationship between the Macbeths changed dramatically throughout the play. After the murder of Duncan, the relationship dramatically deteriorates. In act 1 scene 5 Lady Macbeth receives a letter from Macbeth informing her of his new title. The fact that Macbeth writes to his wife to keep her informed shows that their marriage is good. It shows that they share information with each other and keep the other informed of any transactions. ...read more.

Middle

To an eleventh century audience a controlling woman would have to be using witchcraft to rule her husband and plan a murder. First impressions of the wife would have to be that she is an evil, crazy and ambitious woman, who will do anything to achieve greatness, both for her and her husband. In act 1 scene 7 Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to kill Duncan, she does this by telling Macbeth he is a coward, taunting him with; 'Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would', Like the poor cat i' the adage?' This makes Macbeth angry, as she has challenged his manhood. He tells her to stop but she does not, and once again she plays on his pride. 'When you durst do it, then you were a man;' Basically this means when you dare to kill, you will be a better man. She also tells him she would kill her own baby if he asked her to, because that is how much she loves him, 'I would while it was smiling in my face, have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums, and dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done to this.' This is quite disturbing and from this the audience's first impression of her wouldn't have changed much. This shows Lady Macbeth would do anything for her husband, including murder. ...read more.

Conclusion

She is speaking what she really feels on the inside. From the sleepwalking you can tell Lady Macbeth has a troubled mind. When she speaks, she says what Macbeth said in act 2 scenes 2, except it is from her, and she is scared and she can see and smell the blood on her hands. When she is in a trance she reveals her regret of killing Duncan and that she can undo it. 'What's done cannot be undone.' While this is happening to his wife Macbeth is away fighting, showing that Lady Macbeth does not have her husband to support her through this difficult time. In act 5 scenes 5, Lady Macbeth dies. And judging by his reaction Macbeth had stopped loving her a long time ago. 'She should have died hereafter.' In the end, the murders and deceit killed their marriage and it was inevitable it would happen, as in the beginning Macbeth loved Lady Macbeth but the feeling was not mutual. Towards the end Lady Macbeth loved Macbeth more but he was to busy ruling his kingdom. So throughout the play the marriage changed because Macbeth and Lady Macbeth wanted different things and their relationship suffered because of it. As the play went on, Macbeth became fearless and Lady Macbeth became more and more insecure. Therefore there slow, but sure separation indeed going to happen. ...read more.

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