The medieval and renaissance view of the world saw a relationship between order on earth, the so-called microcosm, and order on the larger scale of the universe, or macrocosm. Thus, when Lennox and the Old Man talk of the terrifying alteration in the natural order of the universe ” tempests, earthquakes, darkness at noon, and so on ” these are all reflections of the breakage of the natural order that Macbeth has brought about in his own microcosmic world.
Macbeth is set in a society in which the notion of honor to one’s word and loyalty to one’s superiors is absolute. At the top of this hierarchy is the king, God’s representative on Earth. Other relationships also depend on loyalty: comradeship in warfare, hospitality of host towards guest, and the loyalty between husband and wife. In this play, all these basic societal relationships are perverted or broken.
Lady Macbeth’s domination over her husband, Macbeth’s reacherous act of regicide, and his destruction of comradely and family bonds, all go against the natural order of things. Clearly, gender is out of its traditional order. This disruption of gender roles is also presented through Lady Macbeth’s usurpation of the dominate role in the Macbeth’s marriage; on many occasions, she rules her husband and dictates his actions. Macbeth is very rational, contemplating the consequences and implications of his actions.
He recognizes the political, ethical, and religious reason why he should not commit regicide. In addition to Jeopardizing his afterlife, Macbeth notes that regicide is a violation of Duncan’s “double trust” that stems from Macbeth’s bonds as a kinsman and as a subject. On the other hand, Lady Macbeth has a more passionate way of examining the pros and cons of killing Duncan. She is motivated by her feelings and uses emotional arguments to persuade her husband to commit the evil act.