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In Macbeth, what is Lady Macbeth's attitude to her husband in Act 1?

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darek987 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 10, 2010 at 9:10 AM via web

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In Macbeth, what is Lady Macbeth's attitude to her husband in Act 1?

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kristenfusaro | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted November 10, 2010 at 10:20 PM (Answer #1)

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Lady Macbeth's attitude toward Macbeth in Act I is of love, but a lack of respect. She describes him as

"fear[ing his] nature;
It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness(15)"

thus justifying her desire to "unsex" her. She feels that Macbeth's goodness will stand in the way of pursuing the witches' third prophecy -- which is to have Macbeth become king. She clearly believes that the only way to obtain power is through "foul" means, which, according to her, Macbeth doesn't possess, as can be evidenced when she states:

Art not without ambition, but without
The illness should attend it.

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fishfacts | High School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 11, 2010 at 11:02 AM (Answer #2)

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When the play opens first showing Lady Macbeth she has received news that her husband has been given the new title Thane of  Cawdor.  This news shows the true nature of Lady Macbeth and her feelings for her husband.  She instantly begins calculating a plan to  advance her status. In her calculating she takes into consideration that Macbeth may not be man enough to follow through.  She has to  use  Macbeth by manipulating him to get what she wants. She does love Macbeth, and because of this love, she is able to covince Macbeth to initiate her plan to kill Duncan.  Her love is definitely twisted and selfish.  Towards the end of the play, however, she has no  sense of love, it has been turned to guilt. 

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