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What are three good adjectives to describe Lady Macbeth as she is developed...

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caitlinscott | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 3, 2011 at 9:21 AM via web

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What are three good adjectives to describe Lady Macbeth as she is developed in Macbeth?

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 3, 2011 at 11:41 PM (Answer #1)

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Lady Macbeth is surely as memorable as her husband in Shakespeare's drama. She is ambitious, clever, and domineering. Once Macbeth shares with her his encounter with the witches, she is consumed with ambition. She will not be content until he seizes the throne of Scotland. Completely focused on the goal, nothing deters her; no sense of decency makes her even question the murdering of King Duncan. In fact, she prays that her weaknesses as a woman will not prevent her from carrying out the murder.

Lady Macbeth is also a very clever woman. She plans Duncan's murder in every detail--its timing and execution. She drugs the King's attendants and lays out the instruments of murder. She also plans the murder so that she and Macbeth will appear above suspicion. She is very clever in her deceitfulness, knowing how to mislead others through her actions and appearance. After Duncan's body is found, Lady Macbeth seems to be overcome with grief and horror; after "fainting," she must be carried from the scene.

Finally, Lady Macbeth's domineering nature is often noted. Some readers hold her more responsible for Duncan's death than Macbeth because she exerts such power over him. When Macbeth expresses reservations about killing King Duncan and suggests they should simply enjoy their position and the honors he has been awarded by Duncan, Lady Macbeth becomes quite aggressive. She questions his courage and attacks his masculinity, manipulating him in every way, quite successfully. Her will is stronger than his; she dominates Macbeth and pushes him into carrying out Duncan's murder.

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