hi there, in Act 1 Scene 6, Duncan says"
See, see, our honored hostess!
The love that follows us sometime is our trouble,
Which still we thank as love. Herein I teach you
How you shall bid God 'ild us for your pains,
And thank us for your trouble. "
He groups Lady Macbeth as one of his subject, my question is that, back in the day, would the King have grouped his children as "his subjects"? Since I have changed my essay opinion, I'm trying to convince that Lady Macbeth cannot be Duncan's daughter.
Macbeth help again please - bobpursley, Saturday, April 4, 2009 at 10:43pm
I am not certain. Women were not treated much better than chattel property, and in fact, a adult married daughter would be generally treated as property of another man...after all , he did give her away.
But in reality, personal feelings have to be different than public feelings, so I can't answer your question well. I will see if I can get you some better help.
Macbeth help again please - Writeacher, Sunday, April 5, 2009 at 8:59am
Overall, a king's wife and children were treated like subjects, yes -- because they WERE his subjects. Only he was the king; everyone else was a subject of his.
I think this concept is clearest in King Lear when the king's daughters are told what he will do and nothing they do or say can change his mind. He is the king. End of discussion. (Until later, of course, when his madness becomes terribly obvious.)
Macbeth's relationship with his wife is no different, but he allows her to have more influence on him, I think. And I think he allows this because he is not king in the first place. He was never a strong, determined king such as Hamlet's father or King Lear; he was pretty much made the king by his wife's goading him into specific actions.
So ... yes, a king's wife and children were subjects, just like all the other nobles and commoners -- but in this particular story, Lady Macbeth holds a particular kind of sway with her husband.
Macbeth help again please - Writeacher, Sunday, April 5, 2009 at 9:14am
I should say --
Macbeth's formal relationship with his wife is no different...
Macbeth help again please - Jenny, Sunday, April 5, 2009 at 9:47am
Thanks so much for the in-depth explanations bobpursley & Writeacher! It helped me a lot.