The relationship between the Macbeths


The Macbeths are initially close

The relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth makes for an interesting analysis. Unlike the lovers in Romeo and Juliet, they are not a young couple and have been together for a long time. We sense that they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and complement each other. 

The fact that Macbeth chooses to reveal the prophecy to his wife (the letter in Act 1, Scene 5) shows that they have a close relationship - perhaps unusually close for a time when most marriages were marriages of convenience. In the letter, he respectfully addresses her as “my dearest partner of greatness” (1.5.11). Later, he lovingly greets her with “my dearest love” (1.5.64). Right from the start we see that Macbeth seeks his wife’s advice.

Interestingly, Shakespeare indicates that Lady Macbeth is Macbeth’s “spur” - the one who makes him act on the prophecy. In Act 1, Scene 7 Macbeth reflects on the consequences of killing Duncan and arrives at the conclusion that he cannot do it because it would be wrong in every way. He says: “I have no spur / To prick the sides of my inten...

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