Relationship of Macbeth and His Lady

    Bradley states “the presentation of M and LM is an exploration of deep, ‘long-engrafted’ relationship, as well as the story of a great crime, the tragedy develops through a progressively revealing series of encounters between them”. The play is incomplete without either of them and the combination of the ‘Valour’s minion’ and the ‘fiend-like queen’ is lethal for each other as well as the people around them. They are of utmost necessity to each other for without her presence and her constant provocation, macbeth would be the criminal that he later becomes. LM exerts an incontestable influence both on her husband and the plot.
            Their relationship goes through two completely distinctive stages. In act 1, ‘She reads her husband’s momentous letter without pausing to react audibly’. The eagerness of macbeth to disclose the prophecies of the witches to LM shows the relationship they share and establishes her as his confidante. Her memorable soliloquy at the end of the letter shows her ambitiousness nature like her husband’s but also establishes the essential difference between the two. Her assessment of her husband’s character shows just how well she knows him. But Bernard McElroy argues “LM knows her man perfectly or not at all…his strength comes as a surprise to her”. She reveals the ambitious nature of her husband but also his weakness for he is ‘too full o' the milk of human kindness’. She deplores his nature that enables him to desire the crown but prevents him from doing the ‘The illness’ that should ‘attend it’. She appears as a strong willed, alert and ruthless woman wielding a considerable influence on her husband. She wishes to ‘chastise with the valour’ of her tongue which ‘impedes’ macbeth from holding the crown. Thus, she is aware of the influence that she has on her husband and this is a key to understanding their relationship in the first part of the play.      
      She is a determined, opportunistic lady and the...