The Relationship Between Macbeth And Lady Macbeth
The Relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth
Throughout the play of “Macbeth” written by William Shakespeare there is an on-going relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. This relationship is one of the functions of the play that creates most of the actions, reactions, moods, feelings and attitudes.
Macbeth’s relationship with his wife was not always great. This is shown in one of there conversations;
MACBETH: “We will proceed no further in this business: He hath honour’d me of late; and I have bought Golden opinions from all sorts of people, Which would be worn now in their newest gloss, Not cast aside so soon.”(Macbeth,I,vii, )
LADY MACBETH. “Was the hope drunk Wherein you dress’d yourself? hath it slept since? And wakes it now, to look so green and pale At what it did so freely? From this time Such I account thy love. 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; Letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would,” Like the poor cat i’ the adage?”(Macbeth,I,vii, )
In these two quotes we see that there is a disagreement that continues through the entire scene. Macbeth decides that he does not want to murder Duncan and that is final and that the discussion is over. Lady Macbeth on the other hand feels that Macbeth is being a coward and that he should think about what he is doing before he makes up his mind. Slowly throughout the scene Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth that he should kill Duncan and he finally agrees. This goes to show that the relationship produces a sense of trust and openness. This is due to the fact that Macbeth listens to his wife and finally takes what she has to say into thought and carries through with it. The function of this is to create a sense of hostility amongst the audience. Everyone can’t believe that Lady Macbeth is encouraging her husband to kill someone and it really makes them uncomfortable and shifts there mood of love towards Lady Macbeth to hate. This mood of the audience is highened in Act 2 Scene 2 when once again Macbeth has decided that he is going to stop what he is doing although he had already killed Duncan;
MACBETH. “I’ll go no more: I am afraid to think what I have done; Look on’t again I dare not.” (Macbeth,II,ii, )
LADY MACBETH. Infirm of purpose! Give me the daggers: the sleeping and the dead Are but as pictures: ’tis the eye of childhood That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed, I’ll gild the faces of the grooms withal, For it must seem their guilt. (Macbeth,II,ii, )
This shows that Macbeth once again was filled with guilt but again his wife contradicted him and lead him down the path of evil. This is the example of the relationship at opposite ends. Macbeth wanting to do the greater good and Lady Macbeth wanting to do the most evil. Evil provails and it shows a sense of death and darkness through the couple.
Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are also on the same page at some points in the play. This is portrayed in Act III Scene iv when Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are talking about the feast that is about to take place in the castle;
MACBETH. “Ourself will mingle with society, And play the humble host. Our hostess keeps her state; but, in best time, We will require her welcome.”(Macbeth, III,iv, )
LADY MACBETH. “Pronounce it for me, sir, to all our friends; For my heart speaks they are welcome.” (Macbeth,III,iv, )
The joy of happiness has spread amongst Macbeth and Lady Macbeth after Macbeth has become king and once again they have been free of guilt and full of love. They talk of having their guests to the feast and the mingling that will take place with there society of Scotland. This shows that the relationship has taking a turn to the best but at the same time to the worst. Both, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, have cleared themselves of guilt from the killing of Duncan and have portrayed that they are pure evil wrapped in a loving exterior. This is a symbol of the step towards darkness that they are both taking and that they are both taking without stopping. The turn to good is that once again they are happy and are agreeable. This though which the audience fears is a horrific sight that will slowly lead them down to darkness. So while they are good now it seems that all of this evil will turn around and “nip them in the butt” so-to-speak. Their relationship is changed later in the scene again when Macbeth experiences a tale of woe and already it seems the evil has come back to haunt him. Again in Act III Scene iv Macbeth is visited by the ghost of Banquo which does not visit Lady Macbeth. This creates a sense of discomfort and urgency which is seen from Lady Macbeth;
LADY MACBETH. “Sit, worthy friends:–my lord is often thus, And hath been from his youth: pray you, keep seat; The fit is momentary; upon a thought He will again be well: if much you note him, You shall offend him, and extend his passion: Feed, and regard him not.–Are you a man?” (Macbeth,III,iv, )
MACBETH. “Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that Which might appal the devil.” (Macbeth,III,iv, )
LADY MACBETH. “O proper stuff! This is the very painting of your fear: This is the air-drawn dagger which, you said, Led you to Duncan. O, these flaws, and starts,– Impostors to true fear,–would well become A woman’s story at a winter’s fire, Authoriz’d by her grandam. Shame itself! Why do you make such faces? When all’s done, You look but on a stool.” (Macbeth,III,iv, )
We see here that Lady Macbeth loves her husband so dearly that she will lie to many noble guests to try to protect his secrets. She urges that he has a sickness and that sometimes he just has fits and that it will go away. We can understand that in her speech she is sad and uncomfortable but at the same time full of love not wanting her husband to give himself away. Lady Macbeth continues this behaviour until all of the guests have left and it is just the two of them. Now we see that it is just the two of them and that it is them against the world and although the odds seem impossible they try to fight through the guilt, the rumours, and try to continue their love, ruling and try to keep their secrets amongst each other. This functions the story to more of a evil power manner. It seems that evil is trying to succeed and it scares the audience that if this is happening in this play, why can it not happen in real life? How is such a couple united and bonded but at the same time filled so much darkness.
Lastly we see a relationship that has slowly drifted apart and one that is more of a deed then a show of affection. This is finally seen in Act V Scene iii when the good doctor tells Macbeth that Lady Macbeth is sick and his mood of calmness and uncaring is a meer showing of his evil;
DOCTOR. “Not so sick, my lord, As she is troubled with thick-coming fancies, That keep her from her rest.” (Macbeth,V,iii, )
MACBETH. “Cure her of that: Canst thou not minister to a mind diseas’d; Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow; Raze out the written troubles of the brain; And with some sweet oblivious antidote Cleanse the stuff’d bosom of that perilous stuff Which weighs upon the heart?” (Macbeth,V,iii, )
This shows that Macbeth is so overrun with greed that not even his demon infested wife cannot take his eyes away from his ambitions. Macbeth just tells the doctor to cure her and that is all. He does not talk to her and think much of her and mean while she has commited suicide but the evil in Macbeth has greated such a smog that it is barely even noticeable to him that the woman he once loved so dearly is now gone. This portrays the evil and darkness and how deep Macbeth has actually gone down the staircase of hell. The function of this foreshadows the collapsing of an empire. Not only has Macbeth have soldiers leave him but now his most loyal and trusted companion has also left and abandoned him, he should feel alone and ashamed but he is so clouded by evil that he still carries on and feels that he can rule Scotland and everything else that gets in his way.
The relationship that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth had always directly affected each others decisions and actions. This relationship is a support block of the story. The audience knows that when Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are getting into a detailed conversation a decision is going to be made and most likely it is not going to be a good one. The function of this relationship is a mood changer, I believe that even when good decisions are about to be made this relationship acts as a curse for when one actually sees the holy way, the other convinces them into evil. This function of the story is quite ironic that evil can overpower good, but then again what happened to Macbeth in the end? This really leaves the audiences mind thinking and wondering whether or not this relationship was for love or to fufil ambition. I believe that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth loved each other so much that they tried to hard to please each other and not disagree that they forgot what exactly they were doing. This acts as the biggest function in the play, what if Macbeth were single? Would he still try to take over the kingdom? Unanswered questions that no one can answer are what we, the audience, are left with.
Throughout the play of “Macbeth” written by William Shakespeare there is an on-going relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. This relationship is one of the functions of the play that creates most of the actions, reactions, moods, feelings and attitudes. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are the two most main characters and thrive off each others actions and decisions. Sometimes this relationship is at it’s peak and sometimes it is on the flat line. Macbeth’s mind is fulling with greed which is then overfilled by Lady Macbeth which results in castrophe for the country of Scotland and all who serve there. This relationship feeds to the story and really is the main acting function of the story.
“The Relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.” 123HelpMe.com. 18 Apr 2008