Act III – Scene.ii
As the hired murderers make their way towards Banquo,
the audience sees a short scene involving the Macbeth’s.
Lady Macbeth attempts to take the burden of guilt away from her husband.
The couple is facing more difficulties than they expected now that they are King and Queen, and she is amazed to find out that Macbeth has plotted to murder Banquo.
We now see a change in the make-up of the murderous
couple from that shown in Act I – Scene.v.
Now Macbeth has taken the initiative from his wife by plotting Banquo’s murder on his own. The couple is clearly not at rest and they worry about the future. Lady Macbeth is concerned about the murder of King Duncan, while Macbeth anticipates the next murder.
Shakespeare makes a clever study of the relationship between husband and
wife and the power struggle that takes place. Remember that in Act I – Scene.v, Lady Macbeth spoke about the raven and the serpent.
Now Macbeth uses language of horror by stating that his mind is ‘full of scorpions’. You will also recall that Lady Macbeth made a plea to the spirit world for the loss of her femininity, to be unsexed. Now Macbeth also desires to be rid of his humanity, calling for the dissolution of the bond between him and the natural world.