The Student Room Group

English Literature Macbeth essay, feedback pls

Hello could anyone give me some feedback on this english literature question i answered?

Starting with this speech, explain how Shakespeare presents the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Write about: how Shakespeare presents their relationship in this speech how Shakespeare presents their relationship in the play as a whole [30 marks]



Shakespeare presents the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as an equal partnership Although they are equal partners, there is a constant power struggle between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth throughout the play.



As soon as Macbeth hears the prophecies from the witches, his first action is to inform his wife of the exciting news. In the letter he regards his wife as “My dearest partner of greatness” Macbeth uses the word “partner” suggesting that he sees Lady Macbeth is his equal, this would be an unusual dynamic in the patriarchal Jacobean society where men were considered superior to women. He also uses the adjective “dearest” to emphasize that he not only respects his wife but loves her as well. Later in the play, they both work together to kill Duncan, Lady Macbeth plans the murder and Macbeth carries it out. in this speech, they are both use language such as “business” and “enterprise” which further connotes the idea of partnership.

However, Macbeth does seem to love Lady Macbeth at the start of the play as he regards her as “my dearest love” but Lady Macbeth does not seem to respond with affection as she is more fixated on the news that she could become queen. From this point on Lady Macbeths only goal is to become queen and so she disregards Macbeths feelings and belittles his guilt in order to achieve her goal. Their relationship becomes toxic as Lady Macbeth takes control and uses Macbeths insecurities to her advantage when she insults his masculinity and says “when you were a man you durst do it” she tells him to prove his masculinity through violent acts which is similar to the start of the play when he was being praised for the same thing. At this point in the play the power dynamic has shifted in Lady Macbeths favor as she controls Macbeth with the “valor” of her “tongue” which she was planning on doing from the beginning, this could suggest that she was prepared to go to any lengths to claim the throne even if it meant hurting her husband. This suggests that her love for Macbeth was absent or weak.

Further on in the play, the power dynamic shifts again as Lady Macbeth starts to lose control of what Macbeth does from the point when he killed Banquo without consulting his wife: his partner. At this point their partnership deteriorates as Macbeth continues to act on his own and Lady Macbeth loses her mind. Not only is the partnership decaying, but so is Macbeths love for his wife as when she dies, he doesn’t even go to see her. This is because Macbeth no longer needs Lady Macbeth as he can make decisions on his own now.

In conclusion, Macbeth and Lady Macbeths relationship started as loving partners in a healthy relationship to an imbalance and struggle for power which only resulted in the death of them both. Shakespeare has written it this way to warn the Jacobean audience of the consequences of regicide and the chaos and disorder it will bring.
Reply 1
Hi!

Would say to write a lot more and more broadly about the whole text.

You’ve got some good context but make sure to always specify what the language is. “The word…” should only be reserved for words where you’re unsure, otherwise name the technique (dearest is a superlative, business & enterprise are nouns etc etc).

I think the level of analysis could be deeper in places especially where you say “this suggests that her love for Macbeth was absent or weak” you could add on that perhaps her lust for power and control were stronger and persuaded her to manipulate her husband and his position as a “worthy gentleman” and valiant knight by preying on his masculinity to coerce him to commit regicide.

The embedding quotes are good.

The part about Shakespeare’s intentions right at the end also seems a bit like it’s bolted on, but it’s good elsewhere.

All in all, a good job!
Original post by gompachirochan
Hello could anyone give me some feedback on this english literature question i answered?

Starting with this speech, explain how Shakespeare presents the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Write about: how Shakespeare presents their relationship in this speech how Shakespeare presents their relationship in the play as a whole [30 marks]



Shakespeare presents the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as an equal partnership Although they are equal partners, there is a constant power struggle between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth throughout the play.



As soon as Macbeth hears the prophecies from the witches, his first action is to inform his wife of the exciting news. In the letter he regards his wife as “My dearest partner of greatness” Macbeth uses the word “partner” suggesting that he sees Lady Macbeth is his equal, this would be an unusual dynamic in the patriarchal Jacobean society where men were considered superior to women. He also uses the adjective “dearest” to emphasize that he not only respects his wife but loves her as well. Later in the play, they both work together to kill Duncan, Lady Macbeth plans the murder and Macbeth carries it out. in this speech, they are both use language such as “business” and “enterprise” which further connotes the idea of partnership.

However, Macbeth does seem to love Lady Macbeth at the start of the play as he regards her as “my dearest love” but Lady Macbeth does not seem to respond with affection as she is more fixated on the news that she could become queen. From this point on Lady Macbeths only goal is to become queen and so she disregards Macbeths feelings and belittles his guilt in order to achieve her goal. Their relationship becomes toxic as Lady Macbeth takes control and uses Macbeths insecurities to her advantage when she insults his masculinity and says “when you were a man you durst do it” she tells him to prove his masculinity through violent acts which is similar to the start of the play when he was being praised for the same thing. At this point in the play the power dynamic has shifted in Lady Macbeths favor as she controls Macbeth with the “valor” of her “tongue” which she was planning on doing from the beginning, this could suggest that she was prepared to go to any lengths to claim the throne even if it meant hurting her husband. This suggests that her love for Macbeth was absent or weak.

Further on in the play, the power dynamic shifts again as Lady Macbeth starts to lose control of what Macbeth does from the point when he killed Banquo without consulting his wife: his partner. At this point their partnership deteriorates as Macbeth continues to act on his own and Lady Macbeth loses her mind. Not only is the partnership decaying, but so is Macbeths love for his wife as when she dies, he doesn’t even go to see her. This is because Macbeth no longer needs Lady Macbeth as he can make decisions on his own now.

In conclusion, Macbeth and Lady Macbeths relationship started as loving partners in a healthy relationship to an imbalance and struggle for power which only resulted in the death of them both. Shakespeare has written it this way to warn the Jacobean audience of the consequences of regicide and the chaos and disorder it will bring.


Firstly I'd suggest expanding your introduction by laying out what you will be discussing in the essay. Afterwards, I think you should address the ways in which the question wants you to answer it, combining those elements in a clear way to show that you understand what your purpose in this essay is, and that you know what is required of you. For example you could start out by saying "Shakespeare presents the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in numerous ways." Following this, you can very briefly list what they are before you explain further in the body of the essay.

Their needs to be a broader approach to the essay, so that you can talk about the general aspects of it. Try to explain what the quotes you provided suggest about the characters and their intentions.

When you say "they both use language such as “business” and “enterprise” which further connotes the idea of partnership.", you should continue by suggesting what this means in the wider context of Macbeth.

I think you should break down the paragraph about Lady Macbeth's control of Macbeth.

The conclusion is tacked on and needs expanding. A conclusion needs to tie up everything you discussed in the essay. I think the essay could do without outsider context relating to the attitudes of the Jacobean society, unless it's tied to the quotes and attitudes of the characters in the play highlighted with specific examples.

Quick Reply

Latest