Relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Macbeth by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is a play about death, deceit, and corruption. At the centre of all this is Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth, and there is an on-going relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. This relationship is one of the functions of the play that creates most of the actions, reactions, moods, feelings and attitudes. As the play progresses, their relationship changes dramatically as a result of how each of them handles their emotions following King Duncan's murder.

The sleeping and the dead are but as pictures

At the beginning of the play, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were very close. For example, when he informed her about the witches prophesies in his letter, he referred to her "my dearest partner in greatness". Lady Macbeth has a dangerous desire for power and it was her mockery and persuasion that leads Macbeth to murder King Duncan.

In Act 2 Scene 2, when Macbeth has decided that he is going to stop what he is doing although he had already killed Duncan, he says,
"I'll go no more: I am afraid to think what I have done"
Then Lady Macbeth replies,
"Give me the daggers: the sleeping and the dead are but as pictures"
It shows that Macbeth was filled with guilt but his wife contradicted him and lead him down the path of evil. This is the example of the relationship at opposite ends, and Macbeth and his wife become partners in crime. Lady Macbeth loves her husband so dearly, and it is seen when Lady Macbeth lies to many noble guests to try to protect his secrets.

But lastly the relationship has slowly drifted apart and it is finally seen in Act 5 Scene 3 when the doctor tells Macbeth that Lady Macbeth is sick. Macbeth replies, "Cure her of that"This shows that Macbeth is so overrun with greed, and he just tells the doctor to cure her and that is all. Even Macbeth does not talk to her.

The relationship that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth had always directly affected each other decisions and actions. Sometimes this relationship is at peak and sometimes it is on the flat line. I believe that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth loved each other so much that they tried to hard to please each other and not to disagree that they forgot what exactly they were doing. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth enjoyed a close intimacy in the opening scenes. He looked to her for strength and motivation because both he and Lady Macbeth knew he didn’t have the required courage to kill Duncan. However, the closeness and intimacy suddenly diminish when he acts independently and Lady Macbeth loses control over him. In the end, they were like strangers on the opposite side of the spectrum. Macbeth: maniacally and ruthlessly ambitious and Lady Macbeth: crazy with fear for the future of her husband. She knew the Macbeth in the opening scenes but she didn’t know the Macbeth at the end of the play. It is their own foul deed of murdering Duncan that brings them together in teamwork and the same deed that leads to Macbeth’s tyranny, Lady Macbeth’s insanity, their consequent separation and the ultimate end of their life and love.

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