Loyalty And Loyalty In Macbeth

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In the 17th Century, when Macbeth was written , loyalty was highly regarded and had great value. The gunpowder plot in 1605, against King James I, shocked everybody . Treason against your own country was regarded as one of the worst crimes a person can commit and this is why Guy Fawkes was hung, drawn and quartered. In the play “Macbeth”, Shakespeare makes the themes of loyalty and family very clear to the audience in the first few scenes in the play. There are many examples of characters that were loyal and trusted, but that turned their back on the people that trusted them. With this becoming the case, it becomes very hard for people to put faith in others as in an instant they could turn their back and try and act on what they truly believe in.

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s relationship at the beginning of the play is not what a stereotypical relationship would look like during the 1600’s. Back then, it was a very patriarchal society where the Man was the strong and leading figure, and the female was a more of a submissive character. However, in Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s relationship, Lady Macbeth takes the role of the Alpha male in the first half of the play. We see this when she emasculates Macbeth, asking him, “Are you a man” in effort to get Macbeth back to reality instead of making himself look like a fool infant if everybody that has joined them for the banquet. However, as we get closer to the end of the play, the tables have turned and Macbeth's takes over the position of the Alpha Male and resumes the stereotypical marriage that we would expect from a couple that are married during 1605. We understand this when Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth to “Be innocent of the knowledge” and calling her dearest chuck. So now, Macbeth is belittling Lady Macbeth whereas before if was Lady Macbeth belittling him. It shows this as the use of the word “chuck” and using the imperative “Be innocent”, we can see how their relationship has changed. Moreover, at the beginning of the play, Macbeth devotes his loyalty to Duncan by inviting him over to stay at Macbeth's castle. Straight after Macbeth is first introduced to the characters of the witches, Macbeth says, “Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair” which shows

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