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How Does The Relationship Of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth Changes Throughout The Play?

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Introduction

How Does The Relationship Of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth Changes Throughout The Play? Macbeth is a tragic play written by William Shakespeare during the English Renaissance in 1606. The outline of the play is true but it was adapted by Shakespeare in order to make the play more eventful. The play, at the time, was considered controversial. The idea of witches being portrayed was judged as alarming because at that time they were considered by most as real. Also the killing of a king was controversial, the king was considered to have been sent by God and was only answerable to God in his actions. Due to these issues the play has become well-known and there have been many films of Macbeth. There are many different interpretations of the text and this is reflected in the films as each one is different. Throughout the play the characters and their relationships with others change. It is necessary to outline these changes before looking more closely at the text. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is seen as a valiant soldier who is loyal to King Duncan. Yet, because of the weakness of Macbeth's character, he is corrupted by the witches' predictions and by Lady Macbeth's strong character and ambition. Macbeth's ambition is great but his conscience stops him from committing murder. However, due to Lady Macbeth's persuasive and calculating ways, she is not only able to convince Macbeth to be a part of the killing but actually make him kill the king. Fear begins to motivate Macbeth after committing the first murder. After the killing of Banquo it can be seen that he is not pure evil and his conscience brings him hallucinations of the ghost of Banquo. Lady Macbeth seems to be the complete opposite to Macbeth as she seems mentally strong. As already established, she is able to persuade Macbeth to murder the king as she shared the same ambition as Macbeth. ...read more.

Middle

She uses emotional blackmail to persuade her husband to proceed with this ambitious enterprise. Lady Macbeth often questions his courage: "...And live a coward in thine own esteem..."(Line 42). "When you durst do it, then you were a man."(Line 49). She makes an analogy to emphasise the importance of Macbeth keeping his word: "I have given suck and know/How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me/I would, while it was smiling in my face/Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums/And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you /As you have done this."(Line 54-59). After reassuring him that if he keeps his courage the plan shall not fail, Lady Macbeth suggests that they drug the king's chamberlains and then blame them for the killing of the king. Macbeth then tells Lady Macbeth that "I am settled"(Line 79). It is now necessary to study the murder scene. Lady Macbeth confirms in her soliloquy at the start that the guards have been drugged. She though has become energised by the same drink, as she anticipates the return of Macbeth. When Macbeth arrives she is concerned that he has not done the deed. She speaks of how easy it was to kill Duncan and how she would have done it if it did not resemble her "father as he slept"(Line 14). This shows that Lady Macbeth has some humanity. Macbeth reveals to Lady Macbeth that he has done the deed and asks if she heard anything. She replies that she heard "the owl scream and the crickets cry."(Line 15). Both of these are associated with death. However it could mean that she heard nothing unnatural. Macbeth begins to become obsessed. He insists that the guards woke up: "one did laugh in's sleep, and one cried/'Murder!'"(Line 24-25). He becomes preoccupied because after the guards said "'God bless us!' and 'Amen'..."(Line 29), he could not say 'Amen'. ...read more.

Conclusion

She then recollects the death of Macduff's wife and children: "Where is she now? What, will these hands ever be clean?"(Line 37). She also describes the murder of Banquo and the knocking at the door the morning after the death of Duncan. Lady Macbeth is consumed by fear and guilt. Not only is she guilty because of the part she played in the murder of Duncan, but also changing Macbeth from a faithful, fearless soldier to a cold, callous killer. Now, having studied the main scenes, it is necessary to reveal detailed changes of the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The weakness of Macbeth's character is his downfall, he is corrupted by the witches' predictions and by Lady Macbeth's strong character and ambition. He never loses his conscience or humanity, and it is fair, to say due to Lady Macbeth's persuasive and calculating ways, he kills the king. Macbeth obviously loves his wife at this stage and respects her because otherwise he would not have been manipulated by Lady Macbeth. After the first murder, fear begins to motivate Macbeth. His wife becomes of minor importance as he continues with his own quest. Throughout the play we see Macbeth, in times of desperation, need the help of Lady Macbeth. This shows that he still has respect for her. Their love for one another is unquestionable, even after Macbeth is lead astray by fear, he calls her "my dearest love", "my partner of greatness", "my dearest chuck". At the end of Act 3 Scene 4 they share a sentimental moment. Such is the extent of Macbeth's fear, they are never given the chance to recover, Macbeth becomes more reliant on the witches as Lady Macbeth feels more and more guilty, a feeling that even a woman of the strongest character cannot handle. The play suffers a lot of twists, as do the characters, but the one thing that can be applied from the start to the end: "Fair is foul, and foul is fair." ...read more.

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