The Changing Relationship Between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

Essay by strawberry_qteeHigh School, 11th gradeA+, September 2004

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The Tragedy of Macbeth is a theatrical piece embedded with gloom, immorality, and misfortune. It is the story of a man who defies his conscience and commits a horrifying deed to gain power. However, he ultimately loses everything he holds dear, including the relationship he has with his wife, Lady Macbeth. Their marital relationship deteriorates with each murder that is committed.

The strong relationship that Macbeth and his wife held at the beginning of the play is evident in Act 1 Scene 5. The scene commences with Lady Macbeth reading a letter she has received from her husband. In this letter, Macbeth tells her of all that has taken place, and refers to her as his "dearest partner of greatness" (I.v.10) recognizing that he could not have gained such greatness without her guidance. Lady Macbeth's speech after she has read the letter, reveals her doubts that her husband can acquire to the title of King, since he "is too full o' the milk of human kindness" (I.v.16)

and illustrates just how close they really are. It establishes the nature of their relationship, and the depth to which Lady Macbeth knew her husband. She has faith in him, but is aware that he lacks the malevolence that compliments ambition. She knows that mentally he is too weak to carry out the murder of his king, and expresses her support and position by saying "leave all the rest to me" (I.v.72).

Lady Macbeth possesses a great deal of force and power over her husband, as is established in Act 1, Scene 7. Upon hearing of Macbeth's decision to remain loyal and not murder Duncan, she is outraged and begins to use their bond to manipulate him. She knows where he is most vulnerable and attacks him when he is at...