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Chart the relationship of the Macbeths (Willaim Shakespeare's Macbeth) from the start...

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phillyd74 | Student, Grade 12 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 21, 2013 at 9:13 PM via web

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Chart the relationship of the Macbeths (Willaim Shakespeare's Macbeth) from the start of the play to each one's death. I will chart, just need information please. Thank you to any who help.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 21, 2013 at 11:23 PM (Answer #1)

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Since the question lacks what specific aspects of the relationship need to be charted (and how they would be charted), the answer will follow and illustrate the relationship between Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth (William Shakespeare's Macbeth). 

In the first scene where readers see Lady Macbeth, she fails to show much love for her husband. In fact, Lady Macbeth does not think very much of her husband at all.

Yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness(15)
To catch the nearest way.


Here, Lady Macbeth suggests to readers that her husband is less than a man, being too similar to a child/infant. She goes on, during her soliloquy, to state that she should be the one who should insure the throne passes to her husband. She, clearly, does not respect her husband. 

Macbeth, on the other hand, refuses to challenge his wife. He seems to understand that she is far more powerful than he, and he does not wish to question her. In fact, when she openly discusses her plan to murder Duncan, Macbeth simply states that they "will speak further" at another time, pushing the discussion to the side. He simply does not wish to be confrontational with her. 

As the play progresses, Macbeth's ability to stand up to his wife increases. At one point, after deciding to murder Banquo, Macbeth tells his wife to "be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck" (3.2.46). He has finally become a man and knows what must be done. He does not need his wife to look out for him any longer. Macbeth knows what must be done, and he takes a stand on his own. 

Once Lady Macbeth becomes apparently ill, Macbeth does begin to worry about her. He recognizes that her death will cause him great sadness, and her death does impact him. That said, Lady Macbeth's feelings for her husband are somewhat masked. Outside of her coming to his rescue at his celebration dinner (where she makes excuses for his questionable behavior), one can support the idea that she is only helping him because she wants the throne as much as he does. Her actions do not necessarily state anything about how she really feels about her husband. 

Upon Macbeth's death, nothing is said of his wife. Readers cannot assume that he misses her, that her life or death meant anything to him. In fact, one can more readily state that Macbeth's wife only helped him to get what he desired (the throne). After that, he no longer needed her (nor she him in reality). 

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phillyd74 | Student, Grade 12 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 21, 2013 at 11:33 PM (Reply #1)

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Thank you so much we havent finished the play but we finished some movie about it and this is due tommorow. Also im sorry about not being more specific my teacher wants the chart to go through each act. Once again thank you soooooo much

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