Bobcratchit26
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The relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth was thoughtfully constructed to serve as a direct opposite to the stereotypical 17th century husband/wife dynamic. Shakespeare created this dynamic through Lady Macbeth's characterization as a ruthless cruel woman and Macbeth being pale in comparison to his Lady. The clear juxtaposition between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth accentuates how strong Lady Macbeth really is as she "shames to wear a heart so white" as Macbeth's, reinforcing that she as a woman and meant to be inferior to her husband would "shame" to be seen as innocent as he appears. Here, Shakespeare gives Lady Macbeth a scathing tone as she scorns her husband showing signs of weakness and not reaching for the power in his reach, Shakespeare does this as Lady Macbeth who has a burning desire for this power cannot get it because of her gender and proceeds with her plans through Macbeth, this is done by Shakespeare as she, a 17th century woman would have to live out her desires through someone else as she cannot possess enough power as a woman without calling on supernatural forces. Shakespeare has purposefully characterized Lady Macbeth as exploitive at this point to act as a tool in epitomizing the confusion and absurd nature of the relationship and a 17th century audience would cast shame upon Macbeth as he has gone from being a noble warrior viciously slaying the enemy to a weak man controlled by his wife that brings him down to his knees. This characterization of Macbeth as enigmatic could emphasize that Macbeth can be a different person in order to please people around him, a noble warrior in the presence of fellow soldiers, a curious man to the Witches however Lady Macbeth bends Macbeth to do her bidding and he has no power over her, a display of Lady Macbeth's astonishing power. Shakespeare's "heart so white" description of Macbeth is symbolic of the good and loyalty in Macbeth as it brings light to his character despite having been convinced into committing the sinful act of regicide, the murder of a Monarch. Once again, Macbeth is characterized as enigmatic perhaps to create a sense of foreboding atmosphere as the audience have no idea what the Macbeth's are going to do next, Shakespeare has written this play to create tension and expectancy in the audience as Macbeth has so far in the play presented multiple personalities and behavioural traits and Lady Macbeth also has a strong influence over this. The philosopher John Locke theorised that the outside world has a more significant influence on human behaviour than inherent nature and the presence within us. Therefore it could be argued that the fact that Macbeth has to be coerced by his wife to commit the murder could suggest that he is not inherently evil, his wife's manipulation, challenging his masculinity and pride, pushed him towards committing an act he immediately regretted. This confusing and absurd nature of the relationship would lead a 17th century audience to cast shame upon Macbeth as he is controlled by his wife - a cause for severe embarrassment. Shakespeare has clearly done this to defy 17th century expectations and also to contrast the later events of the play when Macbeth begins to hide things from Lady Macbeth as he is now in control. Although it is constantly reiterated that the power dynamics are shifting perhaps Shakespeare has done this to show that they as a couple, Thane and wife act as one, partners together and at the start Macbeth acts as the metaphorical subconscious behind the plans whereas Lady Macbeth is the conscious planning out their deeds and taking charge, however these roles reverse as the play progresses.
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username3610674
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Which extract?
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Saliak
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It contains a lot of good context but I think you could’ve added more quotes to expand on how their relationship had changed e.g. “partner of greatness” to “dearest chuck”
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