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In Macbeth, how does Lady Macbeth react to Duncan upon his arrival and later that night...

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babyargelia | eNoter

Posted October 30, 2013 at 5:37 PM via iOS

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In Macbeth, how does Lady Macbeth react to Duncan upon his arrival and later that night during the feast?

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 30, 2013 at 7:02 PM (Answer #1)

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Upon hearing of the witches' prophecies, Lady Macbeth has already begun to fantasize about conspiring to take Duncan's crown. In Act One, Scene Five, she gives the famous "unsex me" soliloquy in which she asks the spirits to make her more masculine and/or supernatural so that she will have the courage to carry out a strategy that will gain Macbeth the crown. To avoid arousing any suspicion, Lady Macbeth is extremely welcoming when Duncan arrives. She claims that she and Macbeth are his loyal servants. But behind the scenes, she and Macbeth are conspiring to kill him. During the feast, Lady Macbeth feels compelled to criticize Macbeth when he starts to have misgivings about killing Duncan. She tries to reawaken the greed ("desire") that Macbeth felt after hearing the prophecy that he might become king:

                                Art thou afeard

To be the same in thine own act and valour

As thou art in desire? (I.vii.l39-41)

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