Macbeth and Lady Macbeth: A Complex and Fascinating Relationship in Shakespeare's Tragedy
Macbeth And Lady Macbeth Relationship Essay Plan
The relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is one of the most complex and fascinating in literature. In Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth, they move from being a loving and united couple to virtual strangers, each isolated in their own particular hell. The tragedy is that they bring this anguish and horror on themselves by succumbing to their ambition, guilt, and fear. In this essay, I will explore how their relationship changes over the course of the play, how it affects their actions and emotions, and how it contributes to the overall theme and message of the play.
Macbeth And Lady Macbeth Relationship Essay Plan telephonique scane f
"Look like th' innocent flower,
But be the serpent under 't."
(Act I, Scene V)
These words, spoken by Lady Macbeth to her husband, capture the essence of their relationship in Macbeth, a tragedy by William Shakespeare. Set in medieval Scotland, the play tells the story of Macbeth, a loyal general who receives a prophecy from three witches that he will become king. Spurred by his ambition and his wife's persuasion, he murders King Duncan and seizes the throne. However, his crime unleashes a series of bloody events that haunt him with guilt and paranoia. He becomes a tyrant who kills anyone who threatens his power, while his wife descends into madness and despair. Eventually, he is defeated by his enemies and dies without remorse or redemption.
In this essay, I will argue that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship is both fascinating and tragic. I will show how they start as a loving and ambitious couple who share a common goal, but gradually grow apart and become isolated and paranoid as a result of their actions. I will also explain how their relationship reflects the themes of ambition, guilt, fear, gender, power, madness, fate, and free will in the play.
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At the beginning of the play, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are a loving and ambitious couple who share a strong bond. They are on exactly the same wavelength - so close they can almost read each other's thoughts when they are apart. When Macbeth receives a letter from his wife informing him of the witches' prophecies that he will be king, he calls her "my dearest partner of greatness" (Act I, Scene V). He trusts her with his deepest secrets and desires, and values her opinion and advice. Lady Macbeth, in turn, is proud of her husband's achievements and potential, and is determined to help him fulfill his destiny. She understands his strengths and weaknesses, and knows how to manipulate him with her words and actions. She says, "Hie thee hither, / That I may pour my spirits in thine ear, / And chastise with the valor of my tongue / All that impedes thee from the golden round" (Act I, Scene V).
These examples show that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are close, equal, and ambitious partners who have a common vision of their future. They are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their goal, even if it means committing a heinous crime. When they meet, they immediately plan to murder King Duncan and frame his guards for the deed. Lady Macbeth takes the lead in devising the plot and persuading Macbeth to go along with it. She questions his manhood, his courage, and his love for her if he hesitates or shows any signs of remorse. She says, "When you durst do it, then you were a man; / And to be more than what you were, you would / Be so much more the man" (Act I, Scene VII). Macbeth, although he has some doubts and fears, is easily swayed by his wife's words and follows her instructions. He says, "I am settled, and bend up / Each corporal agent to this terrible feat" (Act I, Scene VII).
However, their relationship begins to deteriorate after they commit the murder. The act of killing Duncan not only violates the natural order of things, but also their own conscience and humanity. They lose their innocence and peace of mind, and start to experience guilt, fear, and isolation.
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After Duncan's murder, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth grow apart and become isolated and paranoid. They are no longer able to communicate or support each other as they did before. They are haunted by their guilt and fear of being discovered and punished. They also lose their sense of reality and reason, and become victims of their own imagination and madness. Their relationship is strained and broken by the consequences of their actions.
One example of this is the banquet scene in Act III, Scene IV. Macbeth has just ordered the murder of his friend Banquo, who was another threat to his throne according to the witches' prophecies. During the feast, he sees the ghost of Banquo sitting in his place at the table. He is terrified and starts to talk to the ghost, revealing his guilt and paranoia. Lady Macbeth tries to cover up for him by making excuses for his behavior and asking the guests to ignore him. She also tries to calm him down by telling him that he is seeing things that are not there. She says, "O proper stuff! / This is the very painting of your fear: / This is the air-drawn dagger which you said / Led you to Duncan" (Act III, Scene IV). However, she is unable to help him or control him as she did before. Macbeth ignores her words and continues to rant and rave at the ghost. He says, "Avaunt! And quit my sight! Let the earth hide thee! / Thy bones are marrowless; thy blood is cold; / Thou hast no speculation in those eyes / Which thou dost glare with" (Act III, Scene IV). The guests are shocked and confused by Macbeth's behavior, and suspect that he is guilty of something. Lady Macbeth realizes that the situation is getting out of control and ends the banquet abruptly.
Another example is the sleepwalking scene in Act V, Scene I. Lady Macbeth has become so consumed by guilt that she cannot sleep or rest. She walks in her sleep and tries to wash away the imaginary blood from her hands. She says, "Out damned spot! Out I say!" (Act V, Scene I). She also reveals her involvement in Duncan's murder and other crimes that she and her husband have committed. She says, "Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him? ... The Thane of Fife had a wife; where is she now? ... Here's the smell of blood still; all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand" (Act V, Scene I). She is watched by a doctor and a gentlewoman who are shocked and horrified by what they hear. They realize that she is suffering from a mental disorder that cannot be cured by medicine or herbs. The doctor says, "This disease is beyond my practice; yet I have known those which have walked in their sleep who have died Conclusion
In conclusion, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship is both fascinating and tragic. It shows how a loving and ambitious couple can become estranged and isolated by their own actions and emotions. Their relationship reflects the themes of ambition, guilt, fear, gender, power, madness, fate, and free will in the play. Their relationship also affects the plot and the outcome of the play, as their decisions and actions lead to their downfall and destruction. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are ultimately responsible for their own fate, as they choose to follow their ambition and ignore their conscience. Their relationship is a cautionary tale of how ambition can corrupt and destroy even the strongest bond between two people.
What is the role of the witches in Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship?
The witches play a significant role in Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship, as they are the ones who plant the seed of ambition in Macbeth's mind. They tell him that he will be king, but they do not tell him how or when. This makes him curious and eager to fulfill his destiny. He shares the prophecies with his wife, who also becomes excited and ambitious. She encourages him to kill Duncan and seize the throne. The witches also influence their relationship by showing Macbeth more prophecies that make him paranoid and insecure. They tell him to beware of Macduff, that no one born of woman can harm him, and that he will not be vanquished until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane. These prophecies make Macbeth think that he is invincible and that he can defy fate. He becomes more ruthless and violent, killing anyone who poses a threat to him. He also shuts out his wife from his plans and thoughts, leaving her alone and miserable. The witches manipulate Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship by making them believe that they can control their own destiny, but in reality they are leading them to their doom.
How does gender influence Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship?
Gender plays an important role in Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship, as it challenges the traditional expectations and roles of men and women in their society. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are both ambitious and powerful, but they express their ambition and power in different ways. Macbeth is a brave and loyal soldier who fights for his king and country. He is respected and honored for his courage and valor. However, he also has a softer side that makes him hesitate to kill Duncan. He feels guilty and conflicted about his crime, and fears the consequences. He says, "I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition which o'erleaps itself And falls on th' other" (Act I, Scene VII). Lady Macbeth, on the other hand, is a strong and dominant woman who does not conform to the feminine ideals of her time. She is more ambitious and ruthless than her husband, and does not show any remorse or fear for her actions. She says, "Come you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts! Unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to th' toe top-full Of direst cruelty" (Act I, Scene V). She also challenges her husband's manhood and courage when he hesitates to kill Duncan. She says, "Art thou afeard To be the same in thine own act and valor As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life, And live a coward in thine own esteem?" (Act I, Scene VII). She also says, "What beast was 't then That made you break this enterprise to me? When you durst do it then you were a man; And to be more than what you were you would Be so much more the man" (Act I, Scene VII). These examples show that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth invert the gender roles of their society. Lady Macbeth takes on the masculine traits of ambition, cruelty, and dominance, while Macbeth shows the feminine traits of kindness, guilt, and fear. Their relationship challenges the norms of their society by showing that gender does not determine one's character or destiny.
How does power corrupt Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship?
Power corrupts Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship by making them lose their moral values and their connection to each other. As they gain more power, they become more greedy, selfish, and violent. They do not care about the consequences of their actions, or the feelings of others. They only care about maintaining their power and status. Power also makes them paranoid and insecure, as they fear losing what they have gained. They do not trust anyone, not even each other. They become isolated and lonely, as they have no one to share their thoughts or emotions with. Power also makes them lose their sense of reality and reason, as they become delusional and mad. They see things that are not there, such as the dagger, the ghost, and the blood. They also hear things that are not there, such as the voices, the knocking, and the cry. Power destroys Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship by making them forget who they are and what they once had.
How does madness affect Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship?
Madness affects Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship by making them suffer from guilt, fear, and isolation. Madness is a result of their actions and emotions, as they cannot cope with what they have done or what they have become. Madness also affects their relationship by making them unable to communicate or understand each other. They are both trapped in their own minds, and cannot reach out to each other for help or comfort. Madness also affects their relationship by making them lose their humanity and dignity. They are no longer the noble and respected couple they once were, but rather the hated and pitied tyrant and his wife. Madness also affects their relationship by making them lose their will to live and their hope for redemption. They both die without any remorse or repentance, without any love or sympathy from anyone. Madness ruins Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship by making them miserable and alone.
How does fate versus free will shape Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship?
Fate versus free will is a major theme in Macbeth, and it shapes Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship in different ways. Fate is represented by the witches' prophecies, which tell Macbeth that he will be king, but also warn him of the dangers that lie ahead. Free will is represented by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's choices, which determine how they react to the prophecies and how they pursue their ambition. Fate versus free will shapes their relationship by making them question their destiny and their actions. On one hand, they believe that the prophecies are true and inevitable, and that they are destined to be king and queen. On the other hand, they also believe that they have to take matters into their own hands and make their own decisions to achieve their goal. They are conflicted between following fate or following free will. Fate versus free will also shapes their relationship by making them responsible for their own fate. Although the prophecies influence their actions, they are not forced or compelled to do anything. They choose to kill Duncan and others, they choose to trust or distrust each other, they choose to face or flee from their enemies. They are not victims of fate, but rather agents of free will. Fate versus free will shapes Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship by making them accountable for their own actions and consequences.