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What is a good comparison/contrast of Lady MacBeth with Lady MacDuff in Macbeth?

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vjac | eNoter

Posted December 7, 2010 at 3:36 AM via web

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What is a good comparison/contrast of Lady MacBeth with Lady MacDuff in Macbeth?

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cetaylorplfd | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted December 7, 2010 at 5:05 AM (Answer #1)

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Lady Macbeth and Lady Macduff are similar in that they expect their husbands be protect and rule their families.  When Macbeth is considering whether or not to kill Duncan, Lady Macbeth tells him that he would be more the man if he were to go after his ambitions.  She expects that he would do whatever is necessary to advance their family's position.  Similarly, in Act 4 when Lady Macduff learns that Macduff has fled the country, she is angry with him for not staying behind to protect his family.  She thinks that he has made himself look like a traitor, and she feels that he is now worthless in his role as husband and father.  Despite these similarities, the two women are quite different in that Lady Macduff appears to have a good nature whereas Lady Macbeth exhibits a more evil, ambitious nature when plotting to kill Duncan.

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