Macbeth Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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How does Lady Macbeth change from Act 1, Scene 5, to Act 5, Scene 1?

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In Act 1, Scene 5, Lady Macbeth is confident, decisive, and ruthless.  In this scene, she receives the letter from Macbeth that acquaints her with the Weird Sisters' statements that he would become Thane of Cawdor and king, as well as the fact that he was shortly thereafter named Thane of Cawdor.  After she reads his letter, she immediately resolves that he shall be king: "Glamis, thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be / What thou art promised" (1.5.15-18).  She initially worries that Macbeth's nature "is too full o' th' milk of human kindness / To catch the nearest way" (1.5.17-18).  In other words, she never doubts for a moment that Macbeth will be king; she only worries that he may be too gentle to be willing to kill Duncan in order to hurry the process along. 

When she learns from a messenger that Duncan's retinue approaches, she calls his arrival at her home his "fatal entrance," letting us know that she has already, even at this early stage, conceived of a plan to have him killed so...

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