Act 2.2 of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth claims "That which hath made them drunk...". She did not do the deed herself.  How does she make up for this?

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Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In the quote you ask about from Shakespeare's Macbeth, Lady Macbeth just means that the drink others have been drinking that made them drunk, made her bold.  She is excited about what is in the process of happening at the moment--her husband is assassinating King Duncan.  Today we might say that she is experiencing an adrenaline rush. 

I'm not sure there's any connection to that quote and her having to make up for not killing Duncan herself.  In fact, I don't think there's any sense in the play that she has to make up for it at all.  Her killing Duncan was never the plan.  The plan was for her husband to kill him.  She was just supposed to drug the grooms, which she does.  In terms of the plan and the plot, her mentioning that she would have killed Duncan herself except that he reminded her of her father is almost an afterthought.  It is not central to the action.  The deed gets done.   

Her not killing Duncan because, while sleeping, he reminds her of her father is important for other reasons.  It reveals her sentimental side.  She apparently is not as evil and nasty as she would like to be.  Her spirits have not unsexed her or turned her into a male warrior. 

If you must think in terms of Lady Macbeth making up for not killing Duncan herself, however, you could think of her taking the bloody daggers back to Duncan's chambers because Macbeth refuses to.   Her husband stupidly brings the murder weapons with him, and she returns them to the murder scene.  You could say that makes up for her "mistake" before, if you think of it as such.  She also gets Macbeth to his chambers, presumably gets him cleaned up, and completes the cover up.  She stays in control when Macbeth gets out of control.

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