Macbeth Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Macbeth book cover
Start Your Free Trial

How does Lady Macbeth use emotional tactics to motivate her husband as Macbeth appears to have second thoughts about murdering Duncan in Macbeth?

Expert Answers info

Bridgett Sumner, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from Hofstra University

calendarEducator since 2016

write1,747 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

After Duncan arrives at Macbeth's castle at Inverness, Macbeth develops second thoughts about murdering him. In act 1, scene 7, he tells Lady Macbeth "we will proceed no further in this business" because Duncan has honored and promoted him, and he is enjoying his new renown. Lady Macbeth's reaction is instantaneous and angry. She asks him a series of questions that all imply that if he fails to act, he is in her eyes, a coward. She calls into question his manhood and loyalty to her, claiming that if she had made a promise to him to kill their infant, she would have done so without fail. Lady Macbeth also reassures her husband that if he can summon his courage, they will not fail, detailing how she will do her part to frame the guards. She convinces him that the plan is foolproof.

The emotions that Lady Macbeth plays on are her husband's masculine pride, and guilt and shame should he disappoint her. At the end of...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 521 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write15,967 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial