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Free Essay on Shakespeare's Macbeth - Relationship between Macbeth & Lady Macbeth

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Changing Relationship between Macbeth & Lady Macbeth 


In the beginning of the play Lady Macbeth shows us that she is supportive to Macbeth. When deliberating the plans surrounding King Duncan's murder she says to Macbeth 'Leave all the rest to me'. Lady Macbeth also regards her husband as ‘too full o'th'milk of human kindness'. She is claiming that her husband is very kind and a worthy gentleman. Macbeth uses affectionate words to Lady Macbeth at the beginning of the play, 'my dearest love'. These statements show that Lady Macbeth and Macbeth dote on each other at the beginning of the play, although this does change as the play progresses. Lady Macbeth knows that her husband's kindness makes him weak and susceptible to guilt that could prevent the murder of King Duncan. Lady Macbeth begins to manipulate Macbeth and challenges his feelings of guilt and pity for King Duncan and replaces them with malicious and spiteful feelings: 'look like th'innocent flower, but be the serpent under't’. Lady Macbeth now instructs Macbeth on how he should act, encouraging him to be deceitful to King Duncan, his loyal and trusting leader. Macbeth becomes so absorbed in his mixed feelings about the murder that he withdraws from the loving relationship that he had with Lady Macbeth in the beginning of the play. 'First, I am his Kinsman and his subject, strong both against the deed; then, as his host, who should against his murderer shut the door, not bear the knife myself’. This quote from act 1 scene 7 shows how Macbeth is in conflict with what Lady Macbeth is instructing and his loyal personality is urging him not to fulfil the 'horrid deed'. Towards the end of the play Lady Macbeth is overcome by guilt and becomes patently mad. She hallucinates 'out damned spot! Out, I say!' Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking and is speaking to herself; she can see blood and tries to wash it off but nothing will make the blood disappear. I think the blood represents the guilt she feels because of the realisation of her plot to kill King Duncan. Macbeth is still trying to come to terms with his relentless remorse because of his involvement in the killings of King Duncan, Banquo, Lady Macduff and her children. Macbeth doesn't see Lady Macbeth's suffering.

Lady Macbeth does, however see Macbeth's emotional anguish when they are holding a party. Macbeth sees an apparition of Banquo, his trusty and loyal friend who he ordered to be killed. Macbeth starts to rave at Banquo's apparent ghost 'Prithee, see there! Behold, look, lo! How say you!' Lady Macbeth then tries to excuse her husband’s behaviour to all the guests, 'think of this, good peers, but as thing of custom. 'Tis no other, it only spoils the pleasure of the time.' Lady Macbeth is not necessarily worried about Macbeth and his mental state because of her love for him, she is merely worried about her husband exposing the secret that only her and Macbeth know about, killing King Duncan. After Macbeth's outburst she shows feelings of embarrassment and being ashamed of her husband's behaviour as he was showing that he was weak and not worthy of becoming King. 'You have displaced the mirth, broke the good meeting with most admired disorder'. This comment was to humiliate Macbeth and make him feel ashamed and guilty of his lack of self.

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