The Role of Intimacy in the Macbeths’ Marriage College

The bulk of the drama in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is based in murder. Throughout the play, much of the dialogue and action have to do with plotting a homicide, carrying out the terrible deed, or being haunted by the guilt of taking another human life. With this bloody violence ever-present, it comes as no surprise that the issue of intimacy within the realm of Macbeth is not often considered. Intimacy is, however, a major force in the play as its presence and absence shape not only the relationship between Macbeth and his wife but the final direction of the plot. The key to both the plot’s movements and the Macbeths’ relationship, regardless of the twisted and manipulative turns it takes, is the intimacy and closeness of the two. It is their devoted relationship that holds them together amidst their anxiety of their murderous deeds and political power plays. Ultimately, their loss of closeness and confidence within one another signals the unraveling of their rise to power and their impending downfall.

The initial rapport between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is characterized by a close affection for and a deep understanding of each other. This is seen in their interactions with one another early in the play. The first time any...

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