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Trace the Relationship of the Macbeths

  • Date Submitted: 10/18/2010 10:39 AM
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Macbeth GCSE Coursework Harriet Roddy

Trace the development of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s relationship in the play.

Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are one of the most well known couples in English Literature because of their notorious relationship and acts of evil. Through Shakespeare’s use of conversation, asides, soliloquies and dramatic irony the audience notices the relationship between them both develop and deteriorate. The relationship between these two characters is one of duplicity and this is visible to the audience throughout the play. Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth display their ambition to be great in the way they conduct their evil plots, though it is at the end of the play where we can see this evil engulfing them. We can see their ability to manipulate characters with ease and precision develop too, just as their evil characteristics are.

The relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is first shown in Act 1 Scene 5 when Macbeth writes a letter to Lady Macbeth telling her about the prophecies he had just received from the evil witches, “who all hail’d me, “Thane of Cawdor”, by which title before these weird sisters saluted me, and referr’d me to the coming of time, with “Hail king that shalt be” the use of the equivocation is especially effective because to a 16h century audience it would carry more weight. The combination of the witches and the afore mentioned equivocation would be of particular interest to the audience at the time of Shakespeare. James VI was especially intrigued by the Supernatural and therefore Macbeth’s association with the human form of evil would have been captivating. This letter to Lady Macbeth shows complete trust in his wife because such a letter would have been construed as treasonous. It could be suggested that their relationship from now on is based on ambition from these prophecies. We as the audience notice that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are affected by these prophecies and this is the basis of the...

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