Throughout the play Macbeth, there is an ongoing relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Right away you pick up that Lady Macbeth is a very cold controlling person, while her husband is very naive and weak. The relationship these two share is as what most people would see as unhealthy. There are never any agreements, there is never any reasoning, it’s one way, Lady Macbeth’s way, and that’s it. This is one of the biggest factors as to why all these tragedies happened.
She sparked Macbeth’s dark side, she brought it out of him and as the play progresses, you see how Macbeth is out of control and how Lady Macbeth loses all her power over him. The roles become reversed and it leads to one big mess spiralling out of control. Macbeth, once a meek, loyal man is influenced by his cold, cruel wife and from there, tragedy strikes. The relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, you can see right away is not a good one. She is the type of person who has to have it her way. She is making Macbeth live the life she wants.
When the three witches foresee him becoming King of Scotland, Lady Macbeth doesn’t even question if he will achieve it or whether to try, she orders him to be it saying “Shalt be thou art promised” (Macbeth 1, V). Besides her always taunting and ordering Macbeth, you never see any affection between the two. You never hear them acting like a normal married couple. It seems as if they are just two people with the label of husband and wife. They can never just have a normal conversation, it’s always orders and arguments. Macbeth never wants to let down or disappoint her, it’s almost like he is scared of her.
This relationship is what causes the tragedies. Lady Macbeth has a huge influence on Macbeth. Their relationship has to be the engine that sparked all the deaths. It starts off by Lady Macbeth ordering him to kill King Duncan, the King of Scotland. She first taunts him by saying “It is too full o’th’milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way” (Macbeth 1, V). This shows how cold Lady Macbeth is, as milk is the food of a new born child, she implies Macbeth is too much like a kind child to murder anyone, which is a method used to spur Macbeth on into killing the
King. When Macbeth finally finds the courage to tell her he doesn’t want to kill, she shuts him down instantly. She goes “And live a coward in thine own esteem” (Macbeth, 1, VVI). This is a huge insult to Macbeth, and this is what finalizes his decision to kill King Duncan. You can see how she starts rubbing off on him when he says “False face must hide what the false heart doth know” (Macbeth 1, VVI). As the play continues, Lady Macbeth is constantly telling Macbeth what has to be done. Killing after killing, she is in his ear about what to do next.
Eventually, Macbeth has no more control over his darkness and you quickly see things start to change. Once Macbeth started getting more confident by his killings, he realized he was gaining more and more power, and his ambition grew stronger and out of control. You start to see his and Lady Macbeth’s relationship change. Lady Macbeth starts feeling guilty in act three. “Tis safer to be that which we destroy, than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy” (Macbeth 3, II), this shows she realizes that getting what you want doesn’t bring peace.
Despite the fact that both are feeling guilty, Lady Macbeth tries to remain strong in front of Macbeth “Things with without all remedy should be without regard: what’s done is done”. This shows Lady Macbeth again telling Macbeth that the murder has happened and that he should get over it, as nothing can be done to change it. There is however a hint of remorse in Lady Macbeth’s voice, showing how she is losing her power over Macbeth, mainly because she is finding it hard to get over her guilt. It happens once again when Macbeth shouts out “O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife” (Macbeth, 3, II).
This is where we understand Macbeth cannot let go, he has to now take the matter of murder into his own hands. As the scenes go by, you see Macbeth making his own decisions. He starts killing firstly without conscience or guilt, and secondly, without Lady Macbeth’s consent. He stop telling her his plans and when Lady Macbeth hears word of her husband’s actions, she is overwhelmed with guilt and commits suicide. When he finds out about this, he shrugs off her death, he felt more guilty about the killing of the King, a person he hardly even knew, than the death of his wife, the woman he believed to have loved.
This proves that one, either Macbeth was in too deep with his evil side at this point, he showed no remorse, or two, he didn’t really love his wife, another point proving their unhealthy relationship. Perhaps it is Lady Macbeth’s cold hearted ways that have taught Macbeth not to care, perhaps if there was no Lady Macbeth, Macbeth would still be the man he started off as. Every person has a dark side amongst themself, it’s just a matter of how you contain it. By the end of the play we see how the relationship has deteriorated to such a state Macbeth loses all emotions.
He no longer cares who the person is, who will be affected by their murder, or if they deserve to die or not, if there is the possibility of them coming in the way of Macbeth and his dream, they are dead. Macbeth no longer has the fear of getting caught either. He believes he is invincible, that he can do anything. This just goes to show how much one person can have such a huge impact on your life and how the right amount of taunting and nagging mixed with a whole lot of ambition creates a very dangerous, deadly mix.
Courtney from Study Moose
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