Mister versus Missus

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Marriage is a sacred legal union in which both parties involved vow to compromise, trust, communicate thoroughly and take care of each other until death does them part. In the beginning of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and her husband share life’s anxieties and vexations while also maintaining a normal marital relationship. As greed and envy begin to slowly encroach their minds, they succumb to behavior that is impure and not usual of their characters. Throughout the play Macbeth gives in to one immoral activity right after another, and he is much of the time prompted by his wife. Because Lady Macbeth suggests such foul and loathsome activities in the first place and Macbeth mindlessly goes along with them, their husband and wife relationship is unhealthy and harmful to others. Lady Macbeth refuses to listen to her husband’s wishes in Act 1 scene 5, immediately after she reads the letter describing of his experience with the 3 witches (La Belle). She says, “Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be/What thou art promised” (1.5.15-16) meaning that she expects for Macbeth to be king. She desires for Macbeth to fulfill the witches’ second prophecy, no matter what it takes. Macbeth does not feel right about murdering his fellow man. When Lady Macbeth tries to change her husband’s mind, she does not support Macbeth, and support is a quality that is needed to help a marriage survive (Fontaine). Once Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to follow through with the plan, she does not leave him alone until the plan is completed to her exact specifications. In the beginning of Act 2, Macbeth is weary. Deciding to commit murder is a very serious action so he progresses with the plan slowly, trying to sort out the situati... ... middle of paper ... ...el guilty and afflicted by Macbeth’s actions. It is she in Act 1 who puts the idea of murder in his head and it is she who prods him into committing the other heinous and unjust murders. While redeeming qualities like regret and sorrow are seen in her throughout the play, it is unfair to consider her on the sidelines of Macbeth’s sinister actions. Throughout the play she taunts and manipulates her husband and provokes him to act without thinking of the consquences, demonstrating that their relationship is unhealthy and will cause harm to everyone around them. Works Cited Fontaine, Maria. “Qualities of a Good Marriage.” Activated Ministries. 2006. Web. 27 March 2010 La Belle, Jenijoy. “A Strange Infirmity.” Folger Shakespeare Library. 1980. Web. 27 March 2010. Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Washington Square Press. New York, 1992. Print.

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