• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Macbeth and Lady Macbeths relationship change throughout the play?

Extracts from this document...


How does Macbeth and Lady Macbeth?s relationship change throughout the play? In William Shakespeare?s play Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth?s relationship is widely explored, due to their distinctive character developments throughout. As the play progresses, due to the choices that they make and the actions they take subsequently, they undergo a role reversal. This takes the form of Lady Macbeth being the deciding force in the relationship and Macbeth being submissive to a fairy rapid change to Macbeth being in control of his own actions and paying no heed to his wife. At the opening of the play Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth as more dominant than Macbeth, and Macbeth as subservient to her. This is clear in the quotation, ?When you durst do it, then you were a man?. Lady Macbeth can be seen manipulating Macbeth by emasculating him, ?were a man?, to fill her ambition of gaining power, which she can only do so through her husband, being a woman in the 11th century. Shakesphere uses the past tense ?were? to emphasis that Lady Macbeth no longer sees her husband as a man. ...read more.


In this quotation the audience sees Macbeth as patronising to wife, showing how he now thinks he is more knowledgeable and powerful than her, and that he does not need to discuss his plans with her. On the other hand, the phrase ?dearest chuck? could show Macbeth's affection towards his wife, despite the fact that Shakespeare shows he is slowly losing his humanity and empathy towards others. Another possible interpretation is that Macbeth wishes to not tell Lady Macbeth his plan concerning Banquo and Fleance?s demise, as he is afraid she would try to stop him or protect him. In contrast Shakespeare shows Lady Macbeth?s fear when she says: ?You must leave this?, however Macbeth ignores her orders when he would have previously obeyed her commands. Overall from these extracts, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth?s characters have shown development. From his uncertainty of the plan to murder Duncan at of the opening of the play, Macbeth is taking his future into his own hands. Opposite to this Lady Macbeth now wants no further part in this business which she began at the beginning of the play. ...read more.


In the second quote, proclaimed by Macbeth, it is evident to the audience that he now no longer cares about his wife and is only focused on the battle which is about to take place. His only concern is to maintain the power he has gained. Also his statement shows the fragility of life, which Shakespeare explores further through Macbeth's character in the ?Out, Out? monologue. Overall, at the end of the play, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth?s characters have drastically changed. Lady Macbeth can no longer be seen as courageous, hard-hearted and powerful, but instead a confused woman overwhelmed by regret and remorse, whereas Macbeth has become a heartless killer, despite his loyalty to the throne and disaprovance of Duncan?s assassination at the beginning of the play. In conclusion, where Lady Macbeth can be seen as the most dominant in the relationship at the opening of the play and the initiator of their murderous intentions, to subservient to Macbeth and not wanting to continue with their plans, to a mad woman overwhelmed by remorse, Macbeth can be seen as constantly gaining more and more power throughout the play, to the point at which he no longer cares about his wife and shows little remorse after her death. 912 approx words ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. How does Shakespeare present Lady Macbeth's character and how does it change during the ...

    Later on through the play, it is evident that the character and conscious of Lady Macbeth is deteriorating dramatically. Lady Macbeth's mental state is affected so much that she starts to break down. An example of this break down is by the way she suddenly become afraid of the dark

  2. How does Macbeths character change throughout the play

    Next, Macbeth kills Duncan and frames the guards. He feels extremely guilty. this shows in the lines "I could not say 'amen'" and " 'Glamis hath murdered sleep'". He feels what he has done and begins to regret what he has done and cannot forgive himself as he feels he

  1. How does Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship change and develop during the play?

    her in her cause, to change her so that she doesn't suffer from her conscience and better judgement. "Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts! unsex me here..." By forgoing her femininity she hopes to have the ruthlessness necessary to commit the terrible deed.

  2. Analyse the Macbeth's marriage during the play, and explain why and how it changed

    She feels that Macbeth deserves the crown, that is why she says- "Thus thou must do, if thou Have it." Lady Macbeth has built this picture of Macbeth as kind, fair and honest and too noble to murder the king and innocent men.

  1. Compare and Contrast Macbeth and Lady Macbeth Throughout the play.

    Lady Macbeth says: - "Are you a man?" Macbeth says: - "Yes and a bold one, that dares to Look at what might Scare the devil." This reaches a climax in this Banquet scene, again its Lady Macbeth who steps in to save the situation but she hasn't got the same control over him.

  2. Lady Macbeth's Character in Macbeth.

    she says " Art thou afeard/ To be the same in thine own act and valour, As thou art in desire?" On the other hand, as the play progresses, and Duncan is killed, there is a reversal of natural order, and Macbeth becomes the dominating partner again.

  1. How does Macbeths Character change during the play

    lengths to achieve it but he doesn't want other people to know that. He talks about harming the king's son but not the king. Macbeth's dark desires are killing the king, so that he can become king even though he is not the rightful heir.

  2. Trace the development of Macbeth's character

    other part of him knows that killing the king will be against the Divine Rights. In soliloquy Macbeth reveals his innermost thoughts and the audience can see his reservations on the task of killing king. This shows a major turning point in his behaviour and at this stage he is heavily influenced by Lady Macbeth.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work