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As seen in William Shakespeare's Macbeth, explore the ways that Lady Macbeth expresses...

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Help123xd | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 1, 2013 at 5:33 AM via web

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As seen in William Shakespeare's Macbeth, explore the ways that Lady Macbeth expresses feelings of desire and guilt through her speech.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 1, 2013 at 3:18 PM (Answer #1)

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William Shakespeare's Macbeth is a tragic play which illustrates the destructive nature of being overly ambitious. lady Macbeth, like her husband, wishes to possess the power of the throne. Upon hearing about the prophecy of the three witches, Lady Macbeth's own character shines through. She is truly too filled with desire for power to fell guilt over her actions. 

In act one, scene five, Lady Macbeth reads the letter sent to her by Macbeth. The letter tells her of the prophecy. Immediately, Lady Macbeth begins to scheme to fulfill her desire to be queen. She thinks her husband to be far too weak to do what must be done. She asks the spirits to "unsex her" in order to give her the power to do what must be done. She will do anything, even change herself, in order to get what she desires.

When Lady Macbeth approaches her husband about her plans (to murder Duncan), he asks to wait. He would like to remain the Thane of Cawdor longer. She persists, and Macbeth goes through with murdering Duncan. Lady Macbeth's lack of guilt is most prominent in act two, scene two. When Macbeth voices his concern about what they have done and the blood on their hands, Lady Macbeth states that "a little water clears us of this deed." She feels no guilt at all. 

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