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How does Lady Macbeth describe her husband?In Acts 1 and 2

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kha101995 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 12, 2011 at 5:31 AM via web

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How does Lady Macbeth describe her husband?

In Acts 1 and 2

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

Posted September 12, 2011 at 7:42 AM (Answer #1)

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Lady Macbeth, from Shakespeare's play Macbeth, is very direct when speaking about what she thinks of her husband.

In Act I, Scene v, Lady Macbeth has the following to say about her husband:

What thou art promised; yet do I fear thy nature;/ It is too full o'the milk of human kindness/ To catch the nearest way.

Here, Lady Macbeth is saying that she does not think her husband it strong enough to take the crown by doing what needs to be done (murdering Duncan).

In the same act and scene, Lady Macbeth states that she knows she is going to have to convince Macbeth before he will take action on his own:

Hie thee hither,/ That I may pour my spirits in thine ear,/ And chastise with the valour of my tongue.

Lady Macbeth knows that she must be the one to convince him to murder Duncan in order to gain the crown. What she is saying here is that Macbeth is weak enough to be swayed.

One last time in Act I, Lady Macbeth, when speaking to Macbeth, tells him how to act. She states:

Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower,/ But be the serpent under't.

Here, Lady Macbeth is worried that Macbeth will not be able to put on the mask of the innocent. She, again, finds him too weak to pull off the murder of Duncan without accusations being made against him.

In Act I, scene vii, Lady Macbeth  calls Macbeth a coward. She tells him that he will

live a coward in thine own self-esteem,/ Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would.'

Macbeth rebuffs her by saying that everything he does is to prove to her so that "he may become a man."

In Act II, Lady Macbeth becomes even more relentless against her husband. After he murders Duncan, and he breaks down, Lady Macbeth states

You do unbend your noble strength.

She proceeds to belittle him stating that he has not finished to job. Macbeth tells her that there is no way he could re-enter the bedroom of the guards so as to frame them for the murder of Duncan. She takes it upon herself to plant the evidence.

In the end, Lady Macbeth still seems fearful of Macbeth's weaknesses. She tells him

be not lost/so poorly in your thoughts.

Basically, Lady Macbeth finds her husband very weak. She knows that she must take control so that he does not lose the crown due to his mental weaknesses. Basically, Lady Macbeth is not very supportive or sure of the character of Macbeth. She finds him too weak.

 

 

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