In William Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy ‘Macbeth’, Macbeth and his wife set out to kill king Duncan after finding out Macbeth’s future from the three witches. Macbeth is trusted by Duncan but eventually betrays his trust and is manipulated into agreeing to commit the crime by his ambitious wife Lady Macbeth. This conflict drives a wedge between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and creates tension all throughout the play. Eventually, towards the end of the play, their treachery is discovered and Macbeth and his wife both face terrible and guilty consequences.
The conflict between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth
The conflict first arises when Macbeth arrives home from the battle and on the way along with Banquo, they come across three weird witches who gave Macbeth three prophecies one of them being “king hereafter.” He is already the thane of Glamis and soon to be the thane of Cawdor making them realize that if already two of the three prophecies have come true then the third one must come true. His ambition is immediately made known where he admits his ‘black and deep desires” though he reasons with himself and comes to the conclusion that “if chance has me, king, why chance may crown me without my stir.”
However, Lady Macbeth is extremely ambitious and is already set out on murdering the king so that her and her husband can claim the crown. She gets angry at him when she discovers that he has changed his mind. She immediately sets out to change his track of mind by questioning his manhood and calling him a “coward.” Macbeth immediately regrets this deed and conflict has appeared between the characters as lady Macbeth has to step in and place the daggers on the drugged guards as her husband is too shaken and forgot to do it himself. Macbeth keeps rambling on to her saying that he has “murdered sleep” but she scolds his for being too week. Even though they have achieved their goal Macbeth isn’t satisfied. We see tension this time by Banquo and him because Banquo is suspecting that Macbeth is the murderer of King Duncan.
As well as the witches told Banquo “shalt get kings,” Macbeth needs to solve this problem and hires murderers to kill Banquo and his son Fleance. Macbeth does not consort his wife about this decision. This is one of the early signs we see that their relationship is beginning to deteriorate due to the tension brought up from the first murder of king Duncan. As from the Banquet scene we see a turning point for Macbeth as he commits to evil. When Macbeth see’s Banquo’s bloodied ghost it causes tension and his wife tries to pull her husband together and tells the people around them that he occasionally has such “visions.” When they are alone he yet again questions his manhood trying to manipulate him. Even though this worked before if doesn’t work now due to the murders changing him. As the play goes on Macbeth and his wife grow further apart and the two characters experience a role reverse. Lady Macbeth becomes the one “full of direst cruelty,” who seems ruthless and remorseless and lady Macbeth is the one who cannot have a peaceful sleep. Later on in the play lady Macbeth has experienced too much guilt and tension so she commits suicide. The conflict between her and her husband never ends up getting resolved.
In conclusion to the play. The conflicts between the two masin characters arrises when they decide to murder the king but Macbeth has a change in heart and lady Macbeth somewhat bullies him into proceding with the murder. Further tension is made after the murder as there is guilt. Macbeth and lady Macbeth envetually experience a change in roles and grow further apart. The conflict between the two is not resolved and there is not reconciliation between the characters.