Odera Obikwelu4/13/15Macbeth Unit 2 AssessmentThe Macbeths’ marriage, like the couple themselves, is something you could call typical, particularly by the standards of its time.
Yet despite their odd power dynamic, the two of them seem surprisingly attached to one another, particularly compared to other married couples in Shakespeare’s plays, in which romantic domination appears primarily during courtship and marriages tend to be troubled. Macbeth offers an exception to this rule, as Macbeth and his wife are partners in the sense of the word. Of course, the irony of their “happy” marriage is clear—they are united by their crimes, their mutual madness, and their mounting disembodiment from the rest of humanity. Though Macbeth is a brave general and a powerful lord, his wife is far from obeying to his will. Indeed, she often seems to control him, either by crafty manipulation or by direct order.
And it is Lady Macbeth’s deep-seated ambition, rather than her husband’s, that ultimately expands the plot of the play and helps to fuel most of the events. In my paper, even though I will be examining the duality of the two, I will also break down the things that made them such a duo in question.There are many traits that can be associated with Macbeth, but the first one that I looked into was signs of his ambition. As cowardly as Macbeth was in the play, he still from time to time showed signs of his ambitious and pompous ways in more ways in more ways than one. When he is informed that Duncan had made him Thane of Cawdor, he at once gives way to the temptation suggested by the words of the witches, and allows his ambitious thoughts to have full sway: “Why do I yield to that suggestion Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair, And make my seated heart knock at my ribs, Against the use of nature?” (act 1, scene 3 134-137.
)The words of Lady Macbeth in act 1 scene 7, clearly show that ambitious designs had been discussed at some point prior to the events recorded in act 1, scene 3. “Was the hope drunk Wherein you dress’d yourself?” (act 1, scene 7 35.) and also, “Nor time nor place Did then adhere, and yet you would make both.” (act 1, scene 7 52.)but sadly, even with Macbeth ambition to take the throne for his own, his own ambition is made inferior by lady Macbeth more dominant trait of her own presence of mind.
When she is informed of Duncan’s intention to stay at her castle, she betrays her joy at the opportunity presented her, and exclaims: “Thou’rt mad to say it.” (act 1, scene 5: 29). also, When her husband returns trembling and terror-stricken from the murder, she never loses her presence of mind, but remains calm and even tries to remove his fears. On discovering that Macbeth has forgotten to smear the grooms with blood, and that he has brought away the daggers from the dread chamber, she tells him to return and carry out the unfinished details of the plot. He refuses to go. At this she says,”Infirm of purpose! Give me the daggers: the sleeping and the dead Are but as pictures: ’tis the eye of childhood That fears a painted devil,” (act 2, scene 1: 116-119)Even with one of each of their significant characteristics, I also did a complete character analysis to it would be easier to understand rather from the first points that were given. Starting with Macbeth.
Macbeth is introduced in the play as a warrior hero, whose fame on the battlefield wins him great honor from the king. Essentially, though, he is a human being whose private ambitions are made clear to the audience through his long speeches. These often conflict with the opinion others have of him, which he describes as “golden” (act 1, scene 7, 33). Despite his fearless character in battle, Macbeth is concerned by the prophecies of the Witches, and his thoughts remain confused, both before, during, and after his murder of King Duncan.
When Duncan announces that he intends the kingdom to pass to his son Malcolm, Macbeth appears frustrated. When he is about to commit the murder, he undergoes terrible stages of conscience. Macbeth is at his most human and sympathetic when his manliness is mocked and looked down upon by his wife (see in particular Act I, Scene 7).However, by Act III, Scene 2, Macbeth has resolved himself into a far more “normal” villain and asserts his manliness over that of his wife.
His ambition now begins to spur him toward further terrible deeds, and he starts to disregard and even to challenge Fate and Fortune. Each successive murder reduces his human characteristics still further, until he appears to be the more dominant partner in the marriage. Nevertheless, the new-found resolve, which causes Macbeth to move onward into his self-created river of blood (Act III, Scene 4), is persistently alarmed by supernatural events. The appearance of Banquo’s ghost, in particular, causes him to swing from one state of mind to another until he is no longer sure of what is and “what is not”.