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At the beginning of the play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are fused in
there craving to over throw the throne. Once they accomplish the deed
however, the torment that the guilt brings is too much for the Macbeth
but he gets used to the evil of killing of people but the opposite
happens to Lady Macbeth who becomes paranoid about the killing Duncan.
The first sight that we see of Macbeth's love for his wife is when he
writes the first letter to her he writes,
'my dearest partner of greatness'.
The fact that he refers to her as his 'partner' tells us that he sees
her as equal and that there is no secrets between them. Another word
that shows that Macbeth is affectionate to Lady Macbeth is the word 'dearest'
which shows that he loves her greatly.
The first sight we see of Lady Macbeth's love for Macbeth is when she
greets him after he has been given the honour of thane of Cawdor by
'Great Glamis! Worthy Cawdor!'
The fact that she uses the word 'great' shows that she has a lot of
respect for him. The other word that signifies her love for him is
'worthy'; this shows that she acknowledges how good he is how lucky
But after that the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth
changes. Firstly the balance in power changes, it is as if she is
ordering to do things the way she wants things to be done.
'Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under 't '
It is very revealing that she uses 'innocent' because it shows that
she is telling him to change into something that he isn't. This also
shows that the relationship is starting to deteriorate. It is also
visible that they have reacted different to that situation which
drives them further apart. It would appear that Macbeth is the
innocent flower and Lady Macbeth is the serpent. This is a good
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we see that the serpent of Lady Macbeth eats up the innocent flower in
Macbeth and plants the seed of a weed. When the weed sprouts it grows
apart from the serpent and the serpent shrivels and dies from
loneliness and guilt. It is ironic that
Lady Macbeth shows that she is the dominant character in organizing
the murder of Duncan.
' you shall put
This night's great business into my dispatch'
It is easy to see how Lady Macbeth feels about the deed that they are
going to do. She refers to it as 'great' which shows its importance to
her and how this affects the power in the relationship.
The relationship is very close at the start of the play and it is
noticed by Duncan.
' His great love, sharp as his spur, hath holp him
To his home before.'
This tells us that their relationship show to the outside world is
Macbeth's 'great love' for Lady Macbeth. Duncan also uses the simile
'sharp as his spur' which tells us just how great his love must have
been because he would have had a very sharp spear.
For the first time in the play we encounter Lady Macbeth and Macbeth
having disagreements about what they are just about to do. Macbeth in
his soliloquy thinks of many good reasons to no kill Duncan and
because of those thoughts he tells lady Macbeth that they are not to
proceed any further in this business. Despite this Lady Macbeth
cunningly changes Macbeth's mind by unleashing her deadly weapons on
The first technique that she uses in emotional blackmail:
' From this time
Such I account thy love.'
This is Lady Macbeth questioning Macbeth's love for her. The term
'account thy love' means to know how much you love me so Lady Macbeth
is forcing Macbeth to do the deed or otherwise she will know that he
does not love her.
The second weapon that Lady Macbeth is a taunt of cowardice towards
' Art thou afreard
To be the same in thine own act and valour
As thou art in desire?'
This is the most powerful technique out of the two because in this
technique she is questioning his manhood and his ability to do his
duty. 'Art thou afreard', this is very strong because Macbeth has just
become Thane of Cawdor as well as being Thane of Glamis, so to say
that he is a coward is out of the question. This shows how well each
other knows each other because they know each others weaknesses and
Macbeths acknowledges her 'undaunted mettle' and praises it. However
this fake power which has been given by the spirits and later on that
reliance on the spirits will lead her into torment. Although Macbeth
is hesitant he is overwhelmed by the unnatural power of Lady Macbeth
and might feel under a bit of pressure to equal or even top that
amount of power.
After Duncan's murder Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have different views on
the subject of guilt and having dirty hands.
"the multitudinous seas incarnadine'
This means that if Macbeth was to dip his hands into the ocean then
the oceans would all turn red from the blood and guilt of the murder
on Duncan whereas Lady Macbeth says the total opposite:
'A little water clears us of the deed.'
The difference in the two approaches to the theme of guilt is
enormous. Macbeth is talking about 'multitudinous' which means all of
and Lady Macbeth uses the term 'A little' in response. There is
another difference between the to their attitudes, Macbeth says 'seas'
but Lady Macbeth says 'water'. There is a lot of difference here
because one sea is made up of millions of gallons of water and Macbeth
is saying lots of seas. It is ironic that Lady Macbeth says that a
little water will clean them of the deed now but later on in the play
we she goes crazy and comes to the conclusion that her hands will
never be clean.
As the play goes on their relationship deteriotes more and more. A
good example of this is when Macbeth plans to kill Banquo and his son
but does not tells his wife.
'Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck'
This is a very good example of how their relationship has deteriorated
because in the beginning of the play when Macbeth knew about the
knowledge of him becoming King the first thing he did is tell his
wife, but now his wife has to ask him and also he has not told he
which shows that Macbeth doesn't feel that they are equal in their
relationship anymore. He also refers to her as 'dearest chuck' where
as at the beginning of the play when he wrote the letter he refered to
her as 'dearest love'. When you call someone chuck you thing lowly of
Another example of the relation deteriorating is when the nurse says
that Lady Macbeth requests a candle to be on all the time. This shows
that Macbeth is that candle and has been blown out so now Lady Macbeth
has to have a substitute.
In the play 'Macbeth' we see the destructive force on evil and how it
can brake up even the strongest of relationships, ie Macbeths and Lady