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The Relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth forms a central concern in the play.

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Introduction

The Relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth forms a central concern in the play. This passionate relationship is put to the test by the sheer greed and ambition of the two. However, the real tragedy is that of Macbeth, who was essentially a good man torn apart by his horrendous crime. In Act 1 Scene 2 we are first told of Macbeth. King Duncan and his sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, anxious to learn the outcome of the battle, meet a bleeding Captain. He describes a strong and mighty warrior who turned around the battle, fighting fiercely he encountered the rebels' leader, MacDonwald, and slew him, ripping him open. The captain speaks of him with pride, "But all's too weak, for brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name" Macbeth is looked upon as a mighty and ferocious warrior. The King refers to him as "noble Macbeth". It appears that Macbeth has few problems killing on the battlefield and before we have even met him, we learn of his great courage and skill. His worthiness and bravery is further highlighted by images of valour and strength, "valour's minion". He is admired by his fellow soldiers and the king, "O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman". He is invincible in battle, ruthless and bloodthirsty. Listening to the captain, we picture him as revelling in the slaughter. Nevertheless, Duncan is overjoyed with Macbeths double victory and generously rewards him with the forfeited titles and lands of the traitor Cawdor. ...read more.

Middle

She urges him to hide his feelings and leave everything else to her. She knows that through the strength of her personality she can overrule her husband, "Only look up clear; To alter favour ever is to fear Leave all the rest to me". Macbeths meeting with his wife shows the sheer intensity of their relationship. She has a powerful hold on him. She focuses all her resources of mind and heart on the matter in hand and this allows her to bend him to her will. He shows he is troubled but still, he does not reject her plans, a menacing sign for the future. In the stage performance, we see Macbeth enter the bedchamber, where Lady Macbeth greets him enthusiastically. The actors portray a young couple who are very much in love. We then see a passionate embrace and strangely watch Lady Macbeth, not Macbeth, take the lead. Whilst she speaks, she slowly removes her husband's sword from its sheath and then his armour. They romantically fall onto the bed. She is clearly presented as the dominant partner and her height is used to an advantage in this scene. Those few inches are vitally important as we see Macbeth appear helpless with Lady Macbeth towering above him with sheer might and authority. She co-ordinates all Macbeths physical movements, a reflection of how she influences his mind also. She physically dominates the relationship, initiating the embrace and kiss; she cups his face in her hands. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lady Macbeth's fury is clear, she grows aggressive grabbing him by the hair and jerks his head back, she is furious and feels betrayed by him. She speaks in urgent whispers as she criticises his hesitation, she takes the goblet from him and proceeds to manipulate him physically and emotionally. The actress falls to her knees as she shrewdly twists her husband to her will. Macbeth appears visibly shaken as he gives in. His words here after seem feeble and false, those of a man who has given up and been defeated not those of a ferocious warrior. Again, the actress's height seems to emphasise her dominance and is used to an advantage and the deep red gown she wears in a sense reflects her forceful and passionate nature. As she sits beside him on the bed outlining her plan, the physical attraction between them is obvious. She caresses her husband slowly, as if rewarding him. She is pleased with her own success. Macbeth's final words in this paragraph are spoken confidently and are accompanied by discordant music, "I am settled..." To conclude, we have seen husband and wife grow apart in those scenes. Macbeth undergoes emotional trauma and often gives rent to his feelings towards murder of the King. The witches provide the spur for his vanishing ambition, but he is appalled at the idea of regicide. Lady Macbeth however appears to be emotionally stronger than her husband about the idea of murder. She is not sensitive to the nature of her husband's anguish, which suggests she does not understand her husband as well as she once thought. ...read more.

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