Macbeth Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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In Macbeth, how does Macbeth's technique of persuading the murderers resemble Lady Macbeth's earlier method of persuading Macbeth?

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In act 3, scene 7 of Shakespeare's Macbeth, Macbeth is having second thoughts about murdering Duncan. He tells Lady Macbeth, "We will proceed no further in this business" (3.7.34).

Lady Macbeth is not pleased with this turn of heart, which she considers cowardly on Macbeth's part. Just a few minutes ago, Macbeth seemed ready, willing, and able to murder Duncan, and now he's backing out of the deal. Macbeth's excuses don't help to make him appear any less cowardly in Lady Macbeth's eyes.

MACBETH. ...He hath honor'd me of late, and I have bought
Golden opinions from all sorts of people,
Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,
Not cast aside so soon. (1.7.35-38)

Lady Macbeth isn't impressed with Macbeth's feeble excuses, and goes straight to the heart of the matter. Clearly, Macbeth doesn't love her, she says. She goads him, saying that he's afraid to put his desires into action and prefers to live the life of a coward.

LADY MACBETH. Wouldst thou have that [the shiny "golden opinions" from all...

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