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The relationship between Macbeth and his wife, and how this could be represented on stage

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Introduction

Shakespeare Coursework 2001 - The relationship between Macbeth and his wife, and how this could be represented on stage Macbeth is given a wife in the first place because she is his "...great love (sharp as his spur) hath holp him...". Without her, it is very likely that the first murder would never have taken place as it is Lady Macbeth that overcomes his scruples and other hesitations. Lady Macbeth acts as a spur and also as a rein as she steers him towards what she believes is his/their destiny. This means Lady Macbeth has a very prominent part in the play. As a character, she is not wishy-washy or indecisive. She is also very determined as her goading shows when she is trying to persuade Macbeth to murder Duncan. As he decides "we shall have no more of this business" she scolds him severely. She is plainly literally spitting out the words as she questions his manhood. Lady Macbeth is a very meaty character which an actress can get her teeth in to. This is also due to the fact that Lady Macbeth is not a stereotypical woman, and in fact has more 'typical' male attributes than female. ...read more.

Middle

However, his fatal flaw (his ambition) starts to show through as he is disturbed by his own thought son becoming King. He is starting to contemplate murder even without his wife. When we meet Lady Macbeth she is shown to be cold and calculating who will stop at nothing to receive what she believes can be grasped by her and her husband. I do think that the couple are very close together as they can anticipate the other's actions. They are also seen to be very close by other characters. Duncan in particular "...and his great love (sharp as his spur) hath holp him.....fair and noble hostess..."comments on their closeness and says nothing but kindness for them. They help each other along at times when the other is lost or confused. Lady Macbeth is quite in control of the relationship but Macbeth is quite happy to let her be in command. Even though at times when he does disagree with her and they enter an argument it is always Lady Macbeth who triumphs. This may indicate Macbeth has little practise in being in command. However, control is not always in Lady Macbeth's court as shown in the post-murder scene when she shows vulnerability "...who would have thought the old man would have so much blood....". ...read more.

Conclusion

Macbeth dithers and hesitates for his morals and scruples and yet quite easily has the power to be strong and powerful. At the beginning it is Lady Macbeth who is cold and calculating while Macbeth is merciful and wishes only to show his loyalty to the king. However, by the end it is Macbeth who is cold and ruthless while Lady Macbeth finally slips from her strong image into someone wracked with guilt and only wanting an escape. At the death of Lady Macbeth, he looks at his life and achievements and finds it all so pointless. Without her he is leaderless and his motivation is gone. His cold sheath is lifted and you are left with a man that is filled with remorse and sorrow for his loss. His light of his life is gone and he is questioning just what is the point in life at all. This is the good side of Macbeth returned however it is too late. Macduff then fights him to the death, and of course, he loses. He only fights for his pride and his willingness not to die an unworthy death. The main tragedy of the play is the obvious love the pair have for each other, no matter what the type, and yet they died so far apart. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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