explore the character lady macbeth in act 1 scene 5 and 7 and act 5 scene 1 ?

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nefranke eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the opening of the play, Lady Macbeth is a strong, ruthless woman who immediately accepts that Duncan must be murder for the Macbeths to embrace what is promised to them. She doesn't hestitate in her plotting, and demonstrates her ability to commit violent crimes when she discussing how she wishes for dark spirits to "unsex" her so that she is not burdened with the emotions of a weak woman. Likewise, she asks that she been filled with evil from head to toe and that her breastmilk be replaced with bile (making her literally toxic). She advices her reluctant husband to proceed in the murderous affair, many times by attacking his manhood and using hyperbole such as "bashing" a newborn's brains out as a metaphor for how Macbeth has treated her by doubting their ability to pull off the murder. She pointedly attacks his manhood and hisses insults at him until he relents and the plot continues. When Macbeth has committed the murder and mistakenly brings back the daggers, he is overcome with guilt and cannot go back into the chamber. Lady Macbeth scoops up the daggers and smears blood all over the guards to frame them, fearless and cold-blooded. However, by the end of the play, the tables have turned. Lady Macbeth is walking around the castle in mental decay, frantically attempting to wash the nonexistant blood from her hands, and obviously feeling overcome by the enomority of the situation she and her husband are currently in. At this point, the murders have escalated, and include Duncan, his guards, Banquo, Macduff's family, and others. Macbeth has become powerful and crazy, and when she eventually commits suicide, Macbeth doesn't even seem to mind because he is too busy battling Malcolm.