How do Lady Macbeth and Lady Macduff compare/contrast in William Shakespeare's Macbeth?
Lady Macbeth and Lady Macduff are both pretty strong, formidable characters. While their husbands show weakness at vital moments in the play, they stand firm and resolute, doing what they believe is right.
Of course, Lady Macbeth's understanding of what's right is radically different from Lady Macduff's. Lady Macbeth believes that murdering Duncan is right—initially, at least—whereas Lady Macduff has a much more traditional understanding of what's right and wrong. She regards it as unconscionable that her husband has abandoned his family to go off and join with anti-Macbeth rebels in England while leaving her and her children to face the wrath of an increasingly blood-thirsty tyrant.
Despite their strength of purpose and resolve, however, both Lady Macbeth and Lady Macduff are unable to hold back the tide of events. Although Lady Macbeth's plan to murder Duncan goes off without a hitch, her subsequent sidelining by her husband precipitates a full-scale mental collapse that leads to her...
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