'TOPIC: Lady Macbeth has at first too much, and then too little, power over her husband'. Do you agree?'

Essay by BosshekHigh School, 11th gradeA, February 2010

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‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare illustrates throughout the course of the novel how the dominance in a relationship can change. Lady Macbeth is an ambitious character who initially portrays the role of a leading spouse over Macbeth but as the play progresses we witness an incredible shift in the orientation of power. The beginning involves an uncertain Macbeth who struggles to come in terms with the prophecy of the three witches. Macbeth’s indecisive nature proves to be an opportunity for the success Lady Macbeth’s objective. Originally both characters indicate their hopes and dreams for glory but it is Lady Macbeth who dominates and leads the ambiguous Macbeth into his drastic yet prophesized future. Macbeth’s chaotic rule begins a chain of decisions made without the influence of Lady Macbeth which ultimately destroys her power in the relationship.

The desire for glory and Macbeth’s uncertainty about his future allows Lady Macbeth to gain control of her husband.

News of Macbeth’s encounter with the three witches who prophesized his success reaches Lady Macbeth who willingly rids herself of human kindness in order to achieve her dreams. At this stage Macbeth exhibits hesitation to act upon the words of the three witches. Macbeth’s arrival is met with the overly ambitious Lady Macbeth who automatically declares her evil intentions: “Great Glamis, worthy Cawdor! / Greater than both by the all-hail hereafter!”, (I.VI.53-54). At this stage Macbeth fails to take authority as his ambiguity holds him back which therefore allows Lady Macbeth to overpower him: “We will speak further”, (I.VI.68). Lady Macbeth’s reply gives a concrete indication of her influence: “...To alter favour ever is to fear. / Leave all the rest to me.”, (I.VI.70-71). This is a significant element of Lady Macbeth’s outward display of power over her husband.

Similar ambitions allow the...