‘At the beginning of the play, Macbeth writes to his wife as “my dearest partner of greatness”. How does this relationship change during the course of the tragedy?’
Exploring the human subconscious, Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ is a dark and sinister insight into one man’s “vaulting ambition”. Shakespeare explores the human condition and psyche by integrating themes such as ambition, desire and guilt. These main themes are closely aligned and are used to consider jealousy, love, identity, evil and the notion that appearances can be deceptive. The fall of the eponymous hero is interlinked with the demise of a once powerful and intense relationship. Macbeth and his “dearest partner of greatness” lose the equality that is the basis of their love, resulting in an inversion of their roles. The disorder of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s relationship mirrors the chaos brought to Scotland by “this dead butcher and his fiend-like queen”.
Opening upon a wild and desolate moor, Shakespeare promptly establishes a sense of darkness and foreboding. The Weird Sisters are ambiguous, speaking in paradox to emphasise the untrustworthy premonitions of which they speak. It is from these contradictory statements that Macbeth is introduced. This selective use of description given by the Weird Sisters arouses curiosity. It is from the contrasting depiction that the Sergeant gives of “valours minion”, that a sense of almost confusion is created as to Macbeth’s true character. Macbeth and Banquo are heroes returning from war; their loyalty towards their king is not questioned, until Macbeth dramatically echoes the words of the Weird Sisters with:
“So foul and fair a day I have not seen”.
This reiteration of the Weird Sister’s riddles almost immediately aligns “noble Macbeth” with the prophecies of which they speak. Macbeth who is already “Thane of Glamis”, will become “Thane of Cawdor” and finally “King h...