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What is one example where Shakespeare shows or hints at Lady Macbeth’s goodness in...

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jsbrin | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 3, 2008 at 4:13 AM via web

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What is one example where Shakespeare shows or hints at Lady Macbeth’s goodness in Act 1?

Hi, so i figure that like Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is not to be seen as completely evil. Otherwise, there would be no “fall from grace” and, thus, no sense of tragedy, but ican't seem to find where there is an example in scene 1.

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cybil | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted April 3, 2008 at 4:37 AM (Answer #1)

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When Lady Macbeth reads her husband's letter in Act 1, scene 5, she fears he is "too full of the milk of human kindness" to do the easiest thing, to kill the king. Therefore, she chooses to defeminize herself:

Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here;
And fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full
Of direst cruelty!

She calls on evil spirits to take away her femininity and make her hard and cruel. This request and her apparent subsequent change into a cold, conniving woman reveal that, like Macbeth, Lady Macbeth was originally a good person, his "dearest partner of greatness."

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