Discuss the Macbeths' relationship.Act 2

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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It seems as if the marriage portrayed in the play "Macbeth" by William Shakespeare is on rocky ground right from the start. For a start, it seems that Lady Macbeth is married to a flawed man - one who has personality and control issues right from the beginning. As we have already seen from his reaction to the witches' prophecies, his early experiences have left him feeling out of control of his own life, personality and destiny so he is suggestible, malleable and easily manipulated by others. First, the withches manipulate him with their weasel words, then lady Macbeth does it - adding fuel to the fire with a plot of her own hatching. The banquet scene marks the symbolic end of their "relationship" - we do not see her physically again - she has lost control of Macbeth and she has let looses a monster she can't stop.

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were very much in love with one another and completely devoted and loyal to one another.  In Act 1, sc. 5, the scene opens with Lady Macbeth reading a letter from her husband.  He thought enough of his wife to take the time to write to her and have the letter sent, by messenger, ahead of his arrival.  Lady Macbeth then vows that her husband "shalt be / What thou art promised."  She wants the crown for her husband.  She never talks of honor or glory for herself or what her position would be as the wife of a king; she only talks about what being king would mean for Macbeth.  Then, when Macbeth wavers and says he does not want to kill Duncan in Act 1, sc. 7, Lady Macbeth, in her drive to get the throne for her husband, attacks her husband where she knows it will hurt him the most - his masculine standing in her eyes.  She tells him that if he does not carry through with this deed, then he is not a man in her opinion.  That convinces Macbeth to go through with the plan to kill Duncan.  Those are all signs that the two Macbeths had a very deep connection with one another.  Later, in Act 3, sc. 2, after Macbeth has hired murderers to get rid of Banquo because of his suspicions about Duncan's death and to get rid of Fleance to stop the line of kings that the witches predicted for Banquo's heirs, he tells his wife to "Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck, / Til thou applaud the deed."  Apparently Macbeth is either trying to impress his wife with the fact that he can plan a murder without her or he is trying to provide her with plausible deniability.  Either way, this also shows he cares for his wife very much.  Two scenes later in Act 3, sc. 4, when Macbeth sees Banquo's ghost at the banquet and reacts in front of his guests, Lady Macbeth is quick to cover for him. Finally, in Act 5, sc. 3, Macbeth orders the doctor to cure his wife of her sickness.  That Macbeth called for the doctor and is demanding that the doctor tend to Lady Macbeth indicates that despite all that is going on, with Malcolm and the English forces advancing on Dunsinane, Macbeth is still very concerned for his wife.  When he is told that Lady Macbeth died in scene 5 of the final act, Macbeth shows his sadness and his current mental state of depression in his "tomorrow and tomorrow..." speech.  It's clear that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth had a very strong relationship with one another.

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