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model answers macbeth jekyll and hyde

does anyone have a grade 9 model answer for jekyll and hyde GCSE or Macbeth GCSE? thank you!
Reply 1
Starting with this extract (from act 1 scene 7), how does Shakespeare present the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth?

In Shakespeare’s eponymous tragedy ‘Macbeth’, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s relationship is a complex portrait of love, illustrating layers of utter devotion alongside overwhelming resentment. Though the couple begins the play unnaturally strong within their marriage, this seems to act as an early warning of their imminent and inevitable fall from grace, ending the play in an almost entirely different relationship than the one they began the play with.

In the exposition of the play, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth initially appear immensely strong within their marriage, with Macbeth describing his wife as ‘my dearest partner of greatness’ in act 1 scene 5. The emotive superlative adjective ‘dearest’ is a term of endearment, and acts as a clear depiction of how valued Lady Macbeth is by her husband. Secondly, the noun ‘partner’ creates a sense of sincere equality which, as equality within marriage would have been unusual in the Jacobean era, illustrates to a contemporary audience the positive aspects of their relationship. Furthermore the lexical choice ‘greatness’ may connote ambition, and as they are ‘partner(s)’, Shakespeare suggests that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are equal in their desire for power and control, further confirming their compatibility but potentially hinting that said compatibility will serve as the couple’s hamartia.

However, the strength of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s relationship falls into a rapid downward spiral in the subsequent scenes, as a struggle for power within the marriage ensues. This is evidenced when Macbeth, in act 1 scene 7, uses the declarative statement ‘we will proceed no further in this business’. Here, Macbeth seems to exude masculinity, embracing his gender role and dictating both his and his wife’s decisions. The negation ‘no’ clearly indicates his alleged definitive attitude. However, Lady Macbeth refuses to accept her husband’s rule, stating ‘when you durst do it, then you were a man’. She attempts to emasculate him to see their plan through. The verb ‘durst’ illustrates the risk taking behaviour that Lady Macbeth is encouraging; implying an element of toxicity within their relationship, and her harsh speech makes the cracks in their relationship further visible to the audience. It is also probable that a contemporary audience would be made severely uncomfortable in the presence of Lady Macbeth’s unapologetic display of power, and it is possible that Shakespeare attempts to paint Lady Macbeth as the villain of the play, playing upon the audience’s pre-determined fears of feminine power. Though Lady Macbeth appears to be acting entirely out of self-interest, another reader may argue that she influences her husband so heavily to commit the heinous act of regicide, as she believes that he crown may as a substitute for the child or children that Shakespeare suggests she and Macbeth have lost previously, and in turn better Macbeth’s life and bring him to the same happiness that came with the child, except in another form

.As the play progresses, Shakespeare creates more and more distance between the characters, portraying the breakdown of their relationship as gradual within the play but rapid in the overall sense of time on stage. For example, Lady Macbeth requests a servant ‘say to the king’ Lady Macbeth ‘would attend his leisure/ for a few words’. Here she is reduced to the status of someone far lesser than the king, having to request to speak to her own husband. It could be interpreted that, now as king, Macbeth holds himself above all else, even his wife, perhaps due to the belief of the divine right of kings. The use of the title rather than his name plainly indicated the lack of closeness Lady Macbeth now feels with Macbeth and intensely emotionally separates them. This same idea is referenced as Shakespeare develops the characters to almost juxtapose each other in their experiences after the murder of Duncan. For example, Macbeth seems to be trapped in a permanent day, after ‘Macbeth does murder sleep’ and his guilt and paranoia render him unable to rest. In contrast, Lady Macbeth takes on an oppositional path, suffering sleepwalking and unable to wake from her nightmare; repeating the phrase ‘to bed. To bed’ as if trapped in a never-ending night. This illustrates to the audience the extreme transformation Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s relationship undergoes, and how differently they end up experiencing the aftermath of regicide.

In conclusion, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth begin the play almost too comfortable within their marriage, which seems to invite the presence of chaos and tragedy into their relationship. Their moral compositions are opposing one another, which leads to the distancing and total breakdown of their once successful marriage and thus serves as a warning to the audience about the effects of murder, and what the deadly sin of greed can do to a person and a marriage.

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