Homework Help

What is the relationship between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth from the beginning of the...

user profile pic

polio | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 25, 2009 at 1:46 AM via web

dislike 0 like

What is the relationship between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth from the beginning of the play to the end?

Focus on strengths, weakenesses, changes and impacts of one on the other.

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

terridudley | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted October 26, 2009 at 11:50 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 2 like

As the play Macbeth begins, the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth seems to be one of trust and commitment. Macbeth finds himself caught up in the predictions the witches make and he confides what he has learned from the witches in a letter to Lady Macbeth. She pridefully boasts and begins to allow her ideas of his possible power to spin out of control. She uses all of her womanly influence to manipulate him into killing his cousin, Duncan, to become king. She goes so far as to question his manhood if he does not kill him. She realizes that the sleeping Duncan reminds her of her father and cannot do this herself. As Macbeth gets deeper and deeper into  his plots of murder and power, he confides less and less in Lady Macbeth, which at this point she realizes that her influence is not as powerful over him and she becomes frightened of the ghosts that he begins to see. He does not tell her of his murderous exploits that drag him further and further towards total destruction as a character. He does orders killings of women and children, which seem our of character for the war hero that we meet in the beginning of the story. Murder and lies begat murder and lies. She realizes that she has lost control over Macbeth and her feelings of guilt over the murders leads her to hallucinate that she has blood, which represents her guilt, that she cannot wash away. This leads to her destruction and suicide.

user profile pic

bhawanipur | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted February 6, 2012 at 10:23 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 1 like

Man is the servant of inherent aspirations either good or bad. Macbeth was a brave soldier and rendered his duty in the battle field with valor and rare courage. Until then his ambitions were unknown to him, hidden in some parts of his heart without his knowledge. But the promotion to the post of Thane of Cawdor was the seed which germinated in his heart and aspired for more. The predictions of the witches worked like booster to his ambitions and wrote in a letter to his wife. His nature of loyalty to the king began to think of trechery. As he was bold enough as soldier, he did not hesitate to murder the King.

On the other hand Lady Macbeth is shown as highly ambitious woman but she has weaknesses. As she had never confronted with such situations, she felt guilty for the murder herself and the sight of blood effected her mind. Therefore she went made and always an illusion of that scene flated infront of her eyes.

Now when we talk about the relationship between two, in the beginning they worked together for achieving their end. In the later part naturally Lady Macbeth fall victim to her normal nature. She had never witnessed a murder and bloodshed and so she became mad at the sight of that.

Though ambitions, to achieve higher and higher, are tamed  in every heart, all cannot resort to such actions as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth worked together. Some succeed in controlling their minds and thus get rid of the evil consequences. Others fall victim to their ambitions and suffer the end like the Macbeths.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes