How does Lady Macbeth ultimately pay the price for her involvement in murder in the play Macbeth?

1 Answer | Add Yours

lentzk's profile pic

Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

You could definitely make an argument that her guilt in participating in Duncan's murder overwhelms her by the end of the play.  In Act 5, the audience sees a Lady Macbeth who is completely transformed from the strong, vibrant woman they saw in earlier acts; now Lady Macbeth seems plagued by her own delusions.  The Gentlewoman keeping watch over her confides in the doctor:

I would not have such a heart in my bosom
for the dignity of the whole body. (V.i.49-50)

Lady Macbeth's heart and mind are greatly troubled, as evidenced by her frantic washing of her hands, an attempt to remove imagined blood.  After observing her, the doctor is at a total loss to make a diagnosis.  Her case is so extreme and deranged that she is beyond his care.  In the end, Lady Macbeth's guilt over her involvement in the crimes committed prove her undoing; she suffers greatly for her wrong-doing, ultimately paying for her actions with her life.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,957 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question