Can someone please help me answer the question below about the novel, Macbeth by William Shakespeare. It is an essay question. Below is the question: Describe and illustrate the ways in which the...

Can someone please help me answer the question below about the novel, Macbeth by William Shakespeare. It is an essay question. Below is the question:

Describe and illustrate the ways in which the characters Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, are =upto murder of Duncan, paying special attention to the differences between them. Support using quotes from the book.

Expert Answers
linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This question has already been asked and answered.

kc4u | Student

Before I answer your question, let me correct you that Macbeth is not a novel; it is one of Shakespeare's immortal plays.

Macbeth, one of King Duncan's generals, wins widespread admiration for his exemplary courage and heroism in the battle against the rebels and intruders. He nurtures a 'vaulting ambition' to be the king of Scotland, and the Witches appear on the heath to predict that Macbeth would be the king . Old Duncan, however, declares his eldest son, Malcolm, to be the Prince of Cumberland, i.e. the heir apparent. Macbeth is divided between his ambition for the throne and his moral scruples & fears.

Lady Macbeth receives a letter from her husband to know Macbeth's ambition, and also about the prophecy of the Witches. As a true wife, Lady Macbeth invokes the forces of darkness and evil to invest her with all the cruelty so that she would be able to goad her husband to his goal. It is she who prepares the blue-print of Duncan's murder which she wants Macbeth to act upon.

Macbeth is an example of a divided self, while Lady Macbeth hardens herself into a fierce embodiment of cruelty and inhumanity. But for her strong persuasion, Macbeth could not have committed the crime of Duncan's murder.