Spousal Relationships in Macbeth and Oedipus the King Essays

Spousal Relationships in Macbeth and Oedipus the King Essays

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In Macbeth, by William Shakesphere, and Oedipus the King by Sophocles, the spousal relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, and Oedipus and Jocasta, play a major role in the events that lead to the tragedy. Their love, respect, and determination for each other reveal the nature of the relationship shared by them.
In Macbeth, the bond between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is strong. For instance, when he first hears the prophecy from the three weird sisters, he immediately writes to Lady Macbeth informing her about the prophecies. Further, he addresses her as “my dearest partner of greatness,” which gives the reader several views on their relationship. For instance, George Gerwig reports that “Lady Macbeth is the source of his mental strength and resolution, that they have talked over the situation of affairs in the kingdom, with all its possibilities, both those which may be depended upon to come unaided and those which may be forced to an issue.”
Although Lady Macbeth is commonly thought to be cruel, manipulative, and daring, she desires power equally for herself as well as for her husband. In Anna Jameson’s essay, she reports that Lady Macbeth upon reading the letter does not place her desire as first, but that of her husband’s. She wants him to be the King of Scotland. Further, she reports that it is Lady Macbeth’s affection towards her husband that strengthens her ambitions. Additionally, Lady Macbeth is Macbeth’s source of courage. Author William Maginn writes in his essay that Lady Macbeth feels that Macbeth is too soft at heart, and that he would never try to achieve his ambition through unholy ways. As a result, she feels that it is her duty to raise his spirits in order to attain their ambitions.
Macbeth and Lady Mac...

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...th which she has to look upon Oedipus as well as the public. When Oedipus sees her hanging in her room, he lets out a low sob, which indicates that although he was angry with her when he came to know about his true past, yet he pitied her for the pain he has caused to her for all those years.
Finally, in both the tragedies, it can be seen that the spousal relationship is a crucial part in the outcomes of the play. Both the central characters are influenced by their spouses. In Macbeth, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth both do the evil deeds in order to support each other for achieving their ambition. In Oedipus the King, Jocasta tries her best to prevent Oedipus from searching the truth about his past in order to prevent him from his own destruction. All the events that take place in both the plays are determined by the nature of the relationship shared between the spouses

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