Thursday, August 22, 2019

The relationship between Macbeth, and Lady Macbeth Essay Example for Free

The relationship between Macbeth, and Lady Macbeth Essay This essay will look at the relationship between Macbeth, and Lady Macbeth. It will analyse the way their relationship changes throughout the length of the play and events of the story. The dominant partner will be found at different points of their relationship. Early on in the story, act one scene five we can see that Lady Macbeth is ambitious for Macbeth, but is aware of his gentle nature. This is evident when she says: Yet I do fear thy nature, This implies that she wishes, or even needs to change this nature of his if her plans for him are to be fulfilled. She goes on further to say: It is too full o the milk of human kindness, when describing his personality. This may also further support the theory that she feels he is too weak to do what must be done if he is to be king. In the same scene, she says: Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be what thou art promised. This shows she has no doubt whatsoever that Macbeth will become King. This possibly hardens her resolve that it is destiny, and therefore will happen. She also says: Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem to hath crowned withal, almost saying that with the help of the supernatural, he is certain to be crowned, which may indicate a firm belief in the supernatural. She comments that Macbeth: Art not without ambition, but without. This at first seems like a contradiction, but it could be taken as meaning that although Macbeth does have ambition, he would not kill for his own promotion. This is supported in a following line, which says: That wouldst thou holily; wouldst no play false. The line reading I may pour my spirits in thine ear shows how she plots to change Macbeths ambition and make him kill the King. Earlier, Macbeth calls Lady Macbeth in his letter my dearest partner of greatness, showing that at this point, he considers her an equal which may make it more likely that she will be able to influence him. Her position of influence is made more powerful since she often takes the dominant role in the relationship. This is seen when she refers to the castle as her battlements, suggesting she owns the castle, and also that she controls what goes on there. She is willing to deceive and compliment Macbeth to achieve her goals, which will become relevant later. The evidence for this statement is shown in the way she addresses Macbeth as Great Glamis, worthy Cawdor, in an attempt to win him over. Shakespeare uses alliteration on Great Glamis, which shows compliment. Her persuasion of Macbeth is very persistent. It is a theme throughout the text that she is constantly enforcing her own will onto her husband, influencing events. She uses language like Pry thee, which is almost like she is begging him. She persuades him by questioning his love for her, and his manliness, comparing him to symbols of femininity. When the time comes for Duncan to be murdered, Lady Macbeth is the one who has it all planned, as she claims it hath given me fire, She is the one who arranges the bell to toll, and she is still very practical and efficient when Macbeth panics. She does claim, however, Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had dont. This is the first time in the play that she shows any kind of sensitivity. The idea that her sensitivity is resurfacing, is backed up by the fact that she appears to faint upon hearing the news of the Kings death. However, this could also be interpreted in a different way. She may have once again been using her femininity as a tool, by fainting to take the attention away from her husband, and once again take control of the situation. This conclusion is reached because she considers it A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight, when referring to the Kings death. This shows the sight of blood does not affect her in an extreme a manner as fainting would suggest. Later, when Macbeth has become king, the relationship appears to have switched round. While earlier, it was Lady Macbeth who was plotting the murder of King Duncan, now Macbeth seems firmly in control. We can see this as he says to his wife: Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck. This is the equivalent of when she said, Leave all the rest to me. This all indicates that their roles in the relationship have totally swapped, to Macbeth being dominant. Also evidence to support this is the fact that, without consulting his wife, Macbeth took the initiative and hired the murderers. When Macbeth meets again with one of the murderers, it is during the banquet. Macbeth tells him, in a panic almost, Theres blood upon thy face. This implies that Macbeth is afraid to be seen with the murderer, and his fear begins to take control, as it did just after the death of King Duncan. We can tell because he bombards the murderer with questions, ensuring Banquo is dead he asks: Is he despatched? then But Banquos safe? This shows Macbeth is beginning to have doubts about the murder and the witchs predictions especially when the murdered says, Fleance is scaped. Possibly as a result of his new doubts and fear, Macbeth next sees the ghost of Banquo, and in fact speaks to it. He says: Thou canst not say I did it. He is paranoid that his deed will be revealed. Lady Macbeth once again takes control, covering for her husband quickly with Sit, worthy friends. My lord is often thus. This is like when she fainted to cover for him. She challenges his sense of manhood in an attempt to snap him out of it, she asks: Are you a man? Whereas earlier in the text, Macbeth was struggling to prove his manliness to her, now he is more in control, and responds: Ay, and a bold one. He actually orders the ghost Avaunt! And quit my sight! He is no longer fearful, which shows that he may be returning to his dominant, controlling, and hero like role. This may be shown as a hero is loyal. Despite the fact that Macbeth has seemingly reinforced his manliness here, he lost control at the sight of Banquo, and so it is Lady Macbeth who was more dominant here. It was she who ordered out the Lords, again having to cover for Macbeth, At once, good night stand not upon the order of your going, but go at once. This shows how commanding she can be. It also shows how quick of mind she is. In the earlier stages of the play Lady Macbeth says: Do not think of the deed or you shall go mad This is quite ironic as later she is observed by the doctor sleepwalking. We can see she has lost sanity, as the Doctor calls her behaviour: A great perturbation in nature. Also evidencing her growing insanity is the fact that the Doctor observes: Look, how she rubs her hands. This rubbing is taken as an irrational attempt to rid her hands of blood, signifying guilt. Obviously, Macbeth is now the dominant one, as Lady Macbeth has lost all control and sanity. Later, when Macbeth is informed Lady Macbeth has died, his response is a simple- She should have died hereafter. He is saddened by her death, but still in complete control. Their roles have once again been reversed. Lady Macbeth has been affected by their actions in such a way as she loses her mind, and ends her own life, whereas Macbeth is still in control. This is seemingly the opposite of earlier, and is here to show how Macbeth and his wife have changed right up to when they both die. In conclusion, we can see that the relationship went through many stages, in which dominance shifted. Lady Macbeth in control early on to strengthen the ambition deep within Macbeth, this done he becomes the dominant one. When her own femininity returned to her, Lady Macbeth lost control, and dominance. Their relationship changed from one of equals, to two people plotting and conspiring separately at different times, and the result was their demise.

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