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How does the relationship betweenMacbeth and Lady Macbeth develop and change throughout the play?

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Introduction

How does the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth develop and change throughout the play? Macbeth was one of Shakespeare's last plays that he wrote in Elizabethan times somewhere between 1606 and 1611, but the actual play was set in Medieval Scotland. The play as the title suggests was set around Macbeth, his wife and their ever growing ambitions and desires. The play begins when Macbeth meets three witches and is given three prophecies - one of which is that he will be king. Macbeth tells his wife the news and she persuades him to kill Duncan the present king. Macbeth then becomes king, but extremely paranoid with it so he has Banquo (his friend who also saw the witches) murdered. Macbeth returns to the witches who give him three more predictions in the form of riddles which later like the first prophecies also, come true. Macbeth then has Macduff 's family killed so Scotland rises against him. Lady Macbeth dies and Macbeth dies soon after at the hands of Macduff. In act 1 scene 5 Lady Macbeth receives her husband's letter about his victory in battle and his unexpected meeting with the three witches and their prophesies - that he would soon be Thane of cawdor and eventually king. I think he must have been very intrigued by the hags and wanted to know more 'when I burned in desire' the witches 'fired' his curiosity. The hags obviously captivated him because he wrote 'while I stood rapt in the wonder of it'. Even though he seemed amazed by the sight he must have been apprehensive because at that time witches were greatly feared. At this early point in the play I think they had a strong relationship and he was very close to his wife as he felt he could confide his news in her, as I think it is possible people loyal to the king could have seen him as a threat to the crown. ...read more.

Middle

By this she means the alcohol that she drugged the King's guards with to make his murder easier has given her confidence. Her mood then changes to weak when she hears an owl shriek 'Hark, peace! It was the fatal bellman which gives a stern'st good-night' the owl upset her quiet and probably made her jump, to her its cry was confirmation the king was dead. Macbeth enters and says 'Who's there? What ho?' I think he is being weak when he says this because he is afraid someone has seen him with the bloody daggers. Lady Macbeth is also being weak when she says 'Alack I'm afraid they have awaked' she like her husband is also worried in case they have been spotted and she continues her cowardice by saying 'had he not resembled my father as he slept I had done't'. Hear she is saying she would have killed the king but he reminded her of her father so she could not go through with it. Macbeth is both strong and weak in the next sentence when he says 'I have done the deed. Didst thou hear a noise?' he has killed the king and is proud of himself so it makes him feel strong but straight away he becomes panicky, insecure and cowardly again because he is scared someone heard him. Next they go into a conversation which is short and detached which would sound jumpy and uneasy - just like how they are feeling. Lady Macbeth then becomes strong as I think she realises someone has to take control of the situation she says 'A foolish thought to say a sorry sight' with this she is scalding her husband for his weaknesses. Macbeth stays weak now to the end of the scene commenting on his inability to say Amen 'I could not say Amen when they said God bless us' and 'I heard a voice cry "sleep no more Macbeth do murder sleep". ...read more.

Conclusion

and hath been from his youth' she also tells them not to stare 'If you note him you shall offend him and extend his passion'. Once again she is desperately trying to cover for her husband. She takes him aside and scalds him about his behaviour 'Are you a man?' and 'Shame itself! Why do you make such faces?'. She scalds him like she does in act 1 scene 7 but this time he doesn't listen to her, her persuasion techniques don't work any more. Banquo's ghost appears again and this time Macbeth becomes violent so his wife gets rid of the guests very quickly 'Stand not upon the order of your going, but go at once'. Macbeth tells his wife of his fear that there are more bad deeds to come and that tomorrow he is returning to see the witches. Lady Macbeth is still trying to make her husband forget what has happened and is still the strong one of the two who seems to be holding everything together just like she was earlier in the play. Macbeth tells his wife he is going back to see the witches whereas in act 1 scene 7 he talked to his wife about his problems, this proves how much they are drifting apart. Macbeth feels on his own in this scene as he talks with a lot of I's in his speech 'I am in blood, I stepped in so far that I wade no more' whereas in act 1 scene 7 he spoke of them as a couple 'We will not fail', 'When we have marked' and 'We'd still have' . The audience would see more confirmation in this scene that the pair were involved in evil goings on and had links with the devil as Macbeth calls upon darkness for help 'Come, sealing night, scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day and with thy bloody and invisible hand cancel and tear to pieces that great sickening bond which keeps me pale'. ...read more.

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