Discuss the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. How does it change and why? To what extent is their relationship the engine that drives the tragedy.
The play Macbeth written by William Shakespeare presents a man faced with many hurdles caused by those around him, primarily his wife, Lady Macbeth. Shakespeare presents the play in such as way that the audience sees how progressively their relationship changes dramatically as a result of hoe they each handle their emotions following the murder of King Duncan. The play begins with the Macbeth’s seeming to be a devoted couple, this progresses into Lady Macbeth taking control over what Macbeth does, and what he should do in the near future. These roles eventually flip after the murder of King Duncan, where Macbeth becomes the more dominant of the two. Although their roles are ever changing throughout the play, they are consistently united by the crimes they have each committed, their mutual madness and their alienation from the rest of humanity. Their conjoined drive to be in power ultimately causes the great amount of tragedy present in the play.
It is evident at the beginning of the play that Lady Macbeth is the dominant character in the play. She is portrayed as ambitious, manipulative and overpowering by Shakespeare. When Lady Macbeth is first introduced into the play she is reading a letter from Macbeth, describing the Witches’ prophecy and her reaction does not display uncertainty or suspicion. Her only concern is of whether Macbeth is capable of fulfilling the prophecy, however she is certain that the “valour of (her) tongue” will persuade him. This letter shows the nature of Macbeths relationship with Lady Macbeth as he clearly trusts her to a great extent to have shared this potentially treasonous information with his wife. The letter shows a deep love between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as Macbeth refers to Lady Macbeth as “my dearest partner of greatness”, presenting that he sees her as an equal, which was incredibly rare for a couple in the era that Macbeth is set.
As the play progresses the roles begin to reverse as the murder begins to take a toll on Lady Macbeth, and Macbeth becomes more dominant as his drive for power becomes deeper and his paranoia starts to take control. Macbeth keeps secrets from Lady Macbeth, such as Banquo's death. Lady Macbeth becomes the one who is unstable and unsure, to the point where she goes insane because she cannot...