Dynamic Relationship of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth
An important factor in Shakespeare’s tragic play, Macbeth is the changing relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth throughout the play. At the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth is the dominant character in the relationship. As the play progresses the roles seem to reverse and Macbeth becomes the more dominant of the two. We can gain insight into the changing relationship by looking at the interaction of the couple.
The first time in the play where we can make reference about their relationship and their individual personalities in the relationship is in Act 1, Scene 5, where we first meet Lady Macbeth. She is seen alone reading a letter out loud, which Macbeth has written to her. It is telling her of his visit from the witches. The letter told how the weird sisters had come to him and Banquo on their way home after battle and how they also made it appear to him as though they could read his thoughts and how they tormented him with riddles. They showed him that they had the power of prophecy and they said that he would become the Thane of Cawdor and then king. They made him believe that his greatest prize, being king, was near and Macbeth who was already experiencing the desire to be king willingly listened to the witches.
Lady Macbeth desperately wanted to become queen and when the king made Macbeth the Thane of Cawdor they both thought the weird sisters must be right and he would become king.
When the question was vaguely brought up of killing Duncan to get the throne Lady Macbeth worked on this idea and in her eyes it seemed to be a good idea. Lady Macbeth then went about trying to persuade Macbeth into killing Duncan even though he clearly didn’t want to. I think she tried to persuade Macbeth into killing Duncan because she wanted the glory of being queen, but it could only be gained through him as in those days females were not allowed to play an important role in society because they were seen as the weaker sex. She is also a bit lazy and wants the power but not if someone can do it for her, and also I think that deep down she doesn’t possess enough evil to kill Duncan herself and can’t physically bring herself to stab him,
‘Had he not resembled
My father as he slept, I had done’t.’
Lady Macbeth didn’t give in and ended up convincing Macbeth after a little effort, it didn’t take much convincing because the thoughts were already in his head and she just had to make him overcome his fears that lay in his conscience.
Lady Macbeth uses various methods to persuade him. She hits at everything which he cares about. She says he’s a coward and not a real man and this makes him angry as he is a good soldier and has killed many people before. She also says to him,
‘When you durst do it, then you were a man’
this is when she questions his masculinity. She even says that she’d kill their own child.
‘I would, while it was smiling in my face,