Macbeth is a play full of darkness, evil, and tragedy. It is the story of a man who goes against his conscience and commits a horrible deed which leads to his destruction and loss of everything he has around him. This includes the relationship he has with his wife, Lady Macbeth. In the beginning we see Lady Macbeth playing the more superior, more dominating role of the two. She comes across as a woman, who is persuasive and manipulative. She seems willing to trample anyone in order to get what she wants.
She lays all the plans and all Macbeth has to do is obey her commands. Macbeth on the other hand is fickle-minded and unsure. We discover that the man, who is praised so highly by the public is actually a weak man. We see that he is not the brave loyal man he is portrayed to be in the beginning. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have a very strong relationship but this later deteriorates. Act 1 Scene 5 is a key scene which shows just how close Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were at the beginning of the play ;it shows their original relationship.
Macbeth has written a letter to Lady Macbeth telling her of everything and in this letter states “my dearest partner” which shows that she helped him and they are in it together. . The following speech where Lady Macbeth doubts that he can get to the title of King “he is too full of the milk of human kindness” shows just how close they were. It establishes the fact that she knew him so well, she knew what he was like and it emphasises the closeness of their relationship. She speaks of how he has enough ambition but not enough courage. His “overiding ambition” is not enough.
When Macbeth and Lady Macbeth speak, they speak to eachother with such closeness and bond ;he calls her his “dearest chuck”, his “partner of greatness”. She knows that he is too weak to do anything and states her position in the murder “leave the rest to me”. In Act 1, Scene 7 shows the force and power that Lady Macbeth has over her husband. Upon hearing of Macbeth’s decision not to kill Duncan, she is outraged and starts to work her force and power upon him. She knows where he is most vulnerable and attacks him at his weak spot. She strikes him at his manhood and courage.
This of course works on Macbeth and she knows that it will. No one calls Macbeth a coward. She says that he is a coward and attacks his manliness. “to be more than what you are, you would be so much more the man”. She challenges his love for her and says that she would rather “dash the brains out” of her own child than break such a promise as Macbeth has to her. At this point in the play, Shakespeare re-confirms just how close the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is and that she has the power and he listens to whatever she has to say.
Lady Macbeth is s major influence on Macbeth, but this of course changes later. After the murder, Macbeth is still carrying the daggers and he seems to be quiet and uneasy. Lady Macbeth has to clean up what he has done wrong and has to return the daggers herself. Lady Macbeth is still very much in control. Here, Shakespeare defines both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth’s strong and weak characters. Lady Macbeth being the strong one yet as a duo, he tones them down to be nothing but two whispering, frightened villains. Later on, when Macduff discovers the body of Duncan, Macbeth acts suspiciously and draws attention to himself.
It is then that Lady Macbeth has to help him out and draw the attention away from him and to her by fainting. She does this later too, during the banquet scene. Lady Macbeth is always there to take the attention away from Macbeth. However, towards the end of the play, Lady Macbeth, comes across as one who has succumbed to her guilt. She discovers that nothing that she does could rid her off her guilt, by admitting that even the ‘sweet-smelling erfumes of Arabia’ would not be able to remove the stench of blood from her ‘little hand’.
She now takes up the role of the weak, submissive partner in the relationship, who is unsure of herself and very frightened of the future. Macbeth, on the other hand, now makes all his decisions by himself, and reaches the extent whereto he does not even bother to inform his wife of his plans. He gains false confidence from the witches second predictions and builds castles in the air. He becomes a tyrant and a man, despised and hated by his public. He becomes ‘insane’ and goes out of control.