Macbeth Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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How is Lady Macbeth Portrayed as unsymapthetic throughout the play? Don't give me basic answers like she wants to be "full of direst cruelty"

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At one point in the story, Macbeth has decided against killing King Duncan. He states that King Duncan has honored him. He seems to appreciate the honor of being named Thane of Cawdor. He has decided to bask in his honor and shares this news with his wife, Lady Macbeth. He declares that they will proceed no further in the decision to kill King Duncan:

We will proceed no further in this business.
He has recently honored me, and I now have the
Golden opinions from all sorts of people,
Which I want to enjoy for a bit longer, and
Not cast them aside so soon.

To this response, Lady Macbeth shows no sympathy toward King Duncan. She is firm in her resolution to kill King Duncan. She asks Macbeth if he is afraid to proceed:

Are you afraid
To be the same man in reality
As the one you wish to be? Would you have the crown
Which you believe to be the ornament of life,
And yet live like a coward in your own self-esteem,

Truly, Lady Macbeth is unsympathetic in her speech to Macbeth. She uses manipulation to control Macbeth. She insults his manhood, knowing or hoping to cause a reaction out of him. She is trying to get him to proceed with the murder. She has no sympathy for King Duncan or Macbeth. She has made up her mind . She desires the kingdom. She uses her bewitching ways to convince Macbeth to indeed proceed with the murder of King Duncan:

What beast was it, then,
That made you tell me about this plan?
When you “dared” to do it, then you were a man;
And, in order to be more than what you are, you would
Be so much more the man.

When she finishes her manipulating remarks, Macbeth seems convinced to follow through with the murder of King Duncan:

I’m convinced, and I commit
Every part of my body to this terrible event.
Let’s go and pass the time by pretending to be happy.
False faces must hide what the false heart knows.

No doubt, Lady Macbeth has no sympathy for anyone but herself. She is determined to be Queen of Scotland. She will settle for no less than the crown. Macbeth gives in to her manipulation and control. They agree to murder King Duncan.


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