How does Lady Macbeth respond to Macbeth's outburst in act 3, scene 4?

Lady Macbeth responds to Macbeth's outburst in act 3, scene 4 by assuring the assembled guests that her husband often behaves like this, and has done so since he was a child. She then goes on to confront Macbeth directly by asking him if he's a man.

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You might say that Lady Macbeth’s responds to her husband’s haunted conduct with excuses, male chauvinism, and power.

Lady Macbeth excuses her husband’s conspicuous torment by making it seem like it’s connected to childhood issues instead of a malevolent and murderous stratagem. As Lady Macbeth says, her husband has behaved in such a way since “his youth.” She passes off the outburst as a “fit”: it’s no big deal, and it doesn’t require further examination. In a sense, Lady Macbeth responds with damage control. With simplistic excuses and explanations, she seems to be trying to counter any suspicion that her husband’s behavior might prompt in the minds of the people at the banquet.

Additionally, Lady Macbeth replies with machismo. She tries to compel her husband to act appropriately by appealing to masculine norms. As other Educators have noted, Lady Macbeth pointedly asks her husband, “Are you a man?” Lady Macbeth’s retort reinforces stereotypes about males. Men are supposed to be in control of their emotions and speech; they’re not supposed to prattle on about ghosts in front of important people.

Taking gender dynamics into account, you could also argue that Lady Macbeth responds with power. In other words, you might claim that her response to her husband demonstrates that she’s the one who has the bulk of the power in their relationship. She’s the one giving orders and directions.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 21, 2020
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When Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo at the banquet, he starts yelling at him:

Thou canst not say I did it. Never shake

Thy gory locks at me (4.3.54–55).

As no one else can see the ghost, his guests immediately think there's something wrong with Macbeth. They could be forgiven for thinking that the king is taking leave of his senses.

Somewhat diplomatically, Ross says that Macbeth isn't well. Lady Macbeth, who's convinced that her husband shouldn't display signs of weakness in front of his nobles, quickly tries to get a grip on a potentially embarrassing situation.

She bids the assembled guests sit down and assures them that her husband often acts like this and has done so since he was a child. The best thing for them to do, she cautions, is to ignore him. Otherwise, they're liable to make him angry. Given that Macbeth, by this stage in the play, has developed into a bloodthirsty tyrant, that's probably wise under the circumstances.

But whatever she might say to her guests, Lady Macbeth isn't pleased by her husband's odd behavior. She thinks it makes him look weak, not to mention unmanly. Speaking to Macbeth so that no one else can hear her, she flat out asks him if he's a man.

Once again, Lady Macbeth is trying to get her husband to do what she wants by calling into question his manhood. This is the exact same approach she adopted when Macbeth appeared to be getting cold feet over killing Duncan.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 22, 2020
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In Act Three, Scene 4, Macbeth holds a banquet and invites the Scottish lords to dine with him. During the banquet, Macbeth begins to hallucinate and sees Banquo's bloody ghost. Macbeth then speaks to the ghost, which disturbs and confuses the Scottish lords. In hopes of calming the strange situation, Lady Macbeth excuses her husband's odd behavior by telling their guests that Macbeth has suffered from similar strange attacks as a youth.

When Macbeth continues to speak to Banquo's ghost, Lady Macbeth chastises him for being afraid and losing his mind. She also encourages her husband to focus on entertaining their guests and urges him to forget about the hallucination. When Macbeth commands the ghost to get out of his sight, Lady Macbeth tells their guests,

"Think of this, good peers, But as a thing of custom. 'Tis no other; Only it spoils the pleasure of the time." (Shakespeare, 3.4.102-105)

Macbeth then begins to ask his guests whether or not they also see the ghost, and Lady Macbeth quickly intervenes. Before the situation can get any worse, Lady Macbeth tells the Scottish lords to leave the banquet because their presence is making Macbeth's condition worse. Lady Macbeth is clearly upset at her husband's behavior and lack of self-control at the banquet. She is also worried that his strange behavior will make the Scottish lords suspicious. After their guests leave, Lady Macbeth tells her husband to get some sleep.

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Lady Macbeth responds to her husband's outburst in Act III, Scene IV with a question: "Are you a man?", she asks him.  Again calling into question his masculinity just as she did when he told her he did not want to kill King Duncan.

She then exclaims, sarcastically to him that he is imagining something, just like he thought he saw the dagger floating in the air before he killed Duncan.  She continues to chide him about his fear and that he looks ridiculous and reminds her of a woman telling scary stories.    He is spoiling the party with his nonsense. 

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In this scene Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo during the banquet at his castle just after receiving confirmations that the murderer's he had hired had actually killed Banquo.  First Macbeth speaks to the ghost that no one else could see.  Lady Macbeth responds to this first scene of apparent madness by explaining to his guests that Macbeth has had such spells and visions since childhood and telling them to ignore him.  Taking Macbeth aside, she then tries to snap him out of his spell.  Macbeth makes a brief recovery until the ghost appears again.  Now Macbeth appears increasingly mad and Lady Macbeth is afraid that in this state he will actually confess his crime.  Thus she hurries the guests out of the hall explaining that his illness is growing worse.  At this point, Lady Macbeth herself is not really sure what is going on in Macbeth's mind.  She did not see the ghost herself.  As the guests leave, the ghost leaves also and Macbeth seems to come back to himself somewhat worrying about Macduff's absence from the banquet.  At this point Lady Macbeth urges Macbeth to get some sleep. 

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