How is commitment shown between Macbeth and his wife, in Act 1 of Macbeth?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

When Lady Macbeth hears the witches' prophecy that Macbeth will be king, she immediately begins to conspire with him against Duncan. Macbeth and his wife show their commitment to each other as they agree to work together to murder Duncan. Lady Macbeth advises her husband to be friendly to Duncan when he arrives, but like her, to harden his heart and "be the serpent:"

Bear welcome in your eye,
Your hand, your tongue. Look like th' innocent flower,
But be the serpent under ’t.  
 
At the banquet that night, Lady Macbeth does her part by flattering Duncan in any way she can, which works to disarm him. Later, when Macbeth is beginning to have second thoughts about murdering Duncan, as he enjoys being in favor with the king, Lady Macbeth steels his resolve. She reminds him of his promise to kill Duncan and insists he will be coward if he backs out. She says to him that she would go so far as to dash her own baby's brains out if she had promised Macbeth to do so. She also reassures him that the murder will succeed.
 
Thus, from the start, we see that Macbeth and his wife are solidly in league and committed to each other in their murderous enterprise.  
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial