In act 1, scene 7, how does Lady Macbeth respond to Macbeth's decision to not murder Duncan, and how does she manipulate him?

Lady Macbeth responds to Macbeth's final decision by challenging his masculinity, proving her resolve, and assuring him that they will get away with the crime. Lady Macbeth manipulates her husband into feeling ashamed and cowardly for refusing to assassinate the king but eventually convinces him to follow her instructions.

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As other Educators have already explained, Lady Macbeth responds to her husband’s choice to not murder Duncan (i.e, “proceed no further in this business”) by questioning his masculinity. She calls him a “coward” and tells him he’d be “much more the man” if he did proceed with their lethal business.

Though Macbeth was created in the early 1600s, Lady Macbeth manipulates her husband by espousing contemporary concepts. One of these modern concepts is toxic masculinity. Toxic masculinity refers to the ways males can reinforce one another’s violent, predatory behavior.

In the context of Macbeth, it’s a woman who’s encouraging the man to act in a stereotypical violent and dominant fashion. Lady Macbeth uses the aggressive, destructive male trope to push Macbeth into sticking to their plan.

By evoking such a normative, noxious version of masculinity, someone might also argue that Lady Macbeth responds with sexism. If Macbeth is not acting manly, the implication is that he’s acting like an alternate gender—an inferior gender that might be called female. Indeed, to push her husband to effect their plan, Lady Macbeth appears to have no qualms with tacitly disparaging her own gender.

In general, Lady Macbeth’s response and manipulation is based on a mix of sexism and a conventional, dangerous interpretation of masculinity. Alas, it could be argued that the pressure that Lady Macbeth puts on her husband turns her into an unconventional, atypical female character.

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After Macbeth refuses to go through with their murderous plot, Lady Macbeth responds by calling him a coward and challenging his masculinity. Her character is cruel, heartless, and ambitious. Early in the play, Lady Macbeth does not let her emotions get in the way of her lofty goals, and she goes to great lengths to persuade her husband into taking action. Lady Macbeth questions if Macbeth was drunk when he initially agreed to kill King Duncan and mentions that he has woken up "green and pale." This remark suggests that Macbeth is weak and afraid and is meant to ridicule his manhood.

She then challenges her husband to act upon his desires and asks if he is willing to "live a coward in [his] own esteem." Macbeth is unmoved by her comments and responds by defending his final decision. However, Lady Macbeth continues to insult his masculinity by saying,

"When you durst do it, then you were a man;
And to be more than what you were, you would
Be so much more the man" (Shakespeare, 1.7.49–51).

Lady Macbeth is trying to convince her husband that a real man is willing to do anything to achieve his goals, even if it means committing a terrible crime. Her worst fears are being realized, because Macbeth "too full of the milk of human kindness."

Lady Macbeth goes on to tell her husband that she would instantly bash her child's brains out if she made the same commitment as him. After withstanding his wife's insults and witnessing her resolve, Macbeth asks what will happen if they fail. Lady Macbeth responds by assuring him that they will succeed and get away with the awful crime. She successfully persuades her reluctant husband to follow her bloody instructions, and Macbeth can only say,

"Bring forth men-children only,
For thy undaunted mettle should compose
Nothing but males" (Shakespeare, 1.7. 73–74).

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Macbeth, as you rightly point out, has decided not to go ahead with the murder: he will, he says "go no further" in the business. Lady Macbeth is clearly frightened by this refusal to do the murder. And she immediately, without hesitation, attacks him as a coward:

Art thou afeard
To be the same in thine own act and valor
As thou art in desire?

Is he scared ("afeard"), she asks, to act and to do the things he desires to do? For a professional soldier, famed for his bravery, it must be a difficult thing to hear. But it doesn't work. She tries again:

When you durst do it, then you were a man,
And, to be more than what you were, you would
Be so much more the man.

Macbeth is no longer a man, she says. And then, trying to tempt him, she says that to be king ("more than what you were") would be to be much more of a man. But that doesn't work either. So she resorts to her big tactic:

I have given suck, and know
How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me:
I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,
And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you
Have done to this.

Macduff later tells us that Macbeth has no children. Yet Lady M has known what it's like to love your baby. But, she says, rather than break her promise, she'd have killed her own baby. And that changes Macbeth's mind. "If we should fail?" he says, back on board. Why? Why is this dead baby so emotional? Shakespeare never says. But it does the trick.

 

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In the lines "Was the hope drunk
Wherein you dress'd yourself? hath it slept since?
And wakes it now, to look so green and pale
At what it did so freely?" Lady Macbeth manipulates Macbeth by challenging his manhood.  She can't believe this is the same man who wants it all--and ultimately to be king. She turns it around and asks him if it was HE who came to HER with the idea to kill Duncan in the first place.

Then she says, "How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me: I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,
And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you
Have done to this."

She says here that she would kill her own baby lying in her arms if he would ask her to.  She shows him how faithful she is to him and hints that she wants it in return.  All of these challenges manipulates Macbeth into doing the dreadful deed.

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