Why is the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth so important and how do other characters react to them?

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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The relationship between Macbeth and his wife is very unusual for the time in that, certainly in the early part of the play, she is the instigator and drives their fatal plans forward. Lady Macbeth is unusual - if terrifying - in her calculated planning to kill King Duncan in order to make her husband king. She is aware of her feminine humanity and asks to be 'unsexed' in order to be more resilient in executing their plan.

It is important thatMacbeth regards her as an equal rather than a subordinate. In his letter detailing the encounter with the weird sisters he addresses Lady Macbeth as-

my dearest partner of greatness.

When he returns to elabourate on his experience she has a plan in place, and he is directed to follow her lead -

you shall put
This night's great business into my dispatch,

Their unity does not last as Macbeth becomes more paranoid, organising Banquo's murder without telling his wife. Her mental decline shows also that the resilience she called for from the evil spirits was not delivered, or at least cruelly paid for.

Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are held in high esteem by Duncan and the court. It is to the Macbeth's castle that the King chooses to go to celebrate the recent military victory. He addresses Lady Macbeth as-

 our honor'd hostess!

He is also keen to continue his praise and thanks of Macbeth-

Conduct me to mine host. We love him highly,
And shall continue our graces towards him.
By your leave, hostess.

 

 

 

 

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