Explain how the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth has changed in Act III.

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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In the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth is the stronger of the two.  In Act 1, Sc. 5, she contrives to kill Duncan as soon as she receives her husband's letter telling her about the witches' prophecies.  She tells Macbeth, when he comes into the scene, of her plan.  He has doubts, but she has none telling him to "screw your courage to the sticking place, / and we'll not fail."  After Duncan's murder she tells Macbeth that she'd be ashamed to be as shaken by the deed as he is (Act 2, Sc. 1). In Act 3, Sc. 2, Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth that he is taking care of matters and that she need not worry about them ("Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck, / until thou applaud the deed."  By Act 5, Sc. 1,  Lady Macbeth is the one wringing her hands and talking to herself because guilt has driven her mad.