How does Lady Macbeth fully react to the death of King Duncan?I am writing empathetic writing for Lady Macbeth, and i am finding it difficult to find much information about her feelings fully...

How does Lady Macbeth fully react to the death of King Duncan?

I am writing empathetic writing for Lady Macbeth, and i am finding it difficult to find much information about her feelings fully straight after the event and long term.

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Lady Macbeth shows very little reaction immediately after her husband tells her he has committed the murder they both had planned. She is either repressing her feelings of guilt or pity or does not have any. In Act 2, Scene 2, she is only concerned that Macbeth will kill the King and get away safely. She has drugged the two grooms, but she is afraid they may have been awakened by her husband entry. She says: "I laid their daggers ready; / He could not miss 'em. Had he not resembled / My father as he slept, I had done 't." When Duncan finds the body and wakes the whole household with his outcries and ringing the alarm bell, she puts in an appearance in her nightgown and puts on a great show of surprise and alarm, all of which is obviously faked. Then she cries, "Help me hence, ho!" in order to distract attention from her nervous husband, and she "is assisted to leave" (Act 2, Scene 3). The only time in the play that she reveals feelings of guilt and remorse is in the famous sleep-walking scene (Act 5, Scene 1). She seems haunted by all the crimes she and her husband have committed. It is hard to understand why she has seemed so cold and cruel throughout the play and then so devastated with normal feelings of fear, guilt, and revulsion at the end; but any paper about her feelings would have to focus on what she does and says in Act 5, Scene 1, because she has shown no sympathetic feelings toward Duncan until that point. It is as if she has repressed all her real feelings except greed and ambition throughout the play and only breaks down under the strain of hiding her natural feelings at the end.

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