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Show how the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth changes and deteriorates in the play 'Macbeth'.

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Introduction

Show how the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth changes and deteriorates in the play 'Macbeth'. The relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is very strange. In the relationship, throughout the play, both take it in turns to assume the role of being the dominant partner. What is unusual about this is the fact that at this period in time, it the man that was the one controlling the relationship, but in this case, for a lot of the time it is in fact Lady Macbeth that is the dominant force in their relationship. In Act 1, Scene 5 we can see that Lady Macbeth is very ambitious for Macbeth. I believe that the reason she is so eager for the prophecies about Macbeth to come true, is because she knows that if Macbeth becomes a more important figure in society, so will she. Lady Macbeth declares, "Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be what thou art promised." This tells us that she is very optimistic and confident of the prophecy coming true, and Macbeth succeeding Duncan as king. Although this statement shows that she is confident of Macbeth becoming King, she then goes onto show some signs of uncertainty over Macbeth's kind and gentle nature, by confessing, "Yet do I fear thy nature". ...read more.

Middle

She tells Macbeth "Consider it not so deeply", which means that the deed has been done, so just try and forget about it. Although Lady Macbeth seems to be very calm and calculated, I feel that she is not only trying to convince Macbeth that the part they played in Duncan's death is not so significant, but she is also trying to convince herself. Perhaps this is the first sign that Lady Macbeth is not the dominant ruthless, unemotional person that she thinks she is, and cannot cope with taking charge of the situation. What is ironic is the fact that Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth "These deeds must not be thought after these ways: so, it will make us mad". This is issued as a warning to Macbeth, but in fact this is what happens to Lady Macbeth. When Duncan is found dead, Lady Macbeth acts as though she is horrified, as most women of that time would be, and uses this act to manipulate the situation to her and Macbeth's advantage. She uses this act to great effect, and when things get a little out of hand, she faints, to take the focus away from the accusations aimed at Macbeth. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is what we have now come to expect from the now dominant and powerful Macbeth, but is a great dissimilarity to earlier, when he was described by Lady Macbeth as "full o' the milk of human kindness." From this essay I have come to the conclusion that Lady Macbeth and Macbeth were so successful in achieving their goal of becoming king and queen, as they both took it in turns powerful role in the relationship, and helped each other in their time of need. Before they became king and queen they worked together as a team, this is shown by the way that Macbeth calls Lady Macbeth his "dearest partner of greatness," however this is not the case after they gain the crown, as they both work as individuals. This may be a contributing factor to the deterioration of their relationship. Although parts of this play go against the way men and women behaved during relationships at the time, the final outcome is in keeping with the traditions of the time. This moral of this play is that women cannot handle a role of powerfulness and dominance, with Lady Macbeth yielding to the effects of her powerfulness, and eventually becoming insane, whereas men prosper with power and dominance, with Macbeth now stronger and more powerful than ever before. ...read more.

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