Macbeth Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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How does Lady Macbeth show control in act 2, scene 2 of Macbeth?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In act two, scene two, Lady Macbeth displays composure and maintains control over the tense situation by attempting to rationalize her husband's fears, calm him down, and finish executing the crime. When Macbeth initially leaves Duncan's chamber, he is visibly shaken and reveals his guilty conscience by saying, "This is a sorry sight" (2.2.20). Lady Macbeth corrects her husband by remarking that his comments stem from "foolish" thoughts.

Macbeth proceeds to say he heard one of the chamberlains remark "God bless us!" but laments that he could not reply by saying "Amen." Lady Macbeth continues to maintain composure and attempts to calm her husband's emotions by saying, "Consider it not so deeply" (2.2.30).

Macbeth then asks why he could not say "Amen," and Lady Macbeth tries to rationalize her husband's experience by encouraging him to forget about the crime and dismiss his active imagination. Despite Lady Macbeth's self-control and rational approach, Macbeth continues to grieve and elaborates on...

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Lady Macbeth first tries to distract Macbeth from his guilt over his murder of the boys, and tells him not to think about it anymore since it is done and over with. Then, since Macbeth is almost incoherent she physically takes the bloody daggers from him to dispose of the murder weapons by planting them on the grooms, in order that they take the blame.

In addition, she gives the distraught Macbeth commands on how they will literally clean the blood off their hands so they do not appear guilty. In essence, she takes charge of the situation, gets rid of the evidence and is prepared appear innocent when the murdered boys are discovered.