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Lady Macbeth is characterized as possessing ruthless ambition, much like her husband, and is fully complicit in the murder of Duncan in order to set Macbeth on the throne. In act 1, scene 5, she is shown reading a letter, in which Macbeth relates to her his encounter with the witches, and she voices concern that her husband "is too full i' the milk of human kindness / to catch the nearest way" (act 1, scene 5). Later, she will take initiative in planning Duncan's murder, and when Macbeth hesitates to go through with the plan, she will actively pressure him into going through with the murder, despite his objections. In this respect, she is actively complicit as a collaborator in Macbeth's crime.

In an Early Modern mindset, this murder actually would have been understood with a multiplicity of layers. In addition to the act of violent murder, Macbeth's crimes can be understood as a betrayal of hospitality (with Macbeth murdering his liege under his own roof), a betrayal of kinship, and a...

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