Is Lady Macbeth to blame for King Duncan's death in Macbeth?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Lady Macbeth is a schemer. In act 1, scene 5, she begins making serious plots against Duncan's life:

And that which rather thou dost fear to do,
Than wishest should be undone. Hie thee hither,
That I may pour my spirits in thine ear
And chastise with the valor of my tongue
All that impedes thee from the golden round,
Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem
To have thee crowned withal.

She lacks the courage to murder him herself, so she relies on influencing Macbeth to commit the murder instead. She asks that her own soul be blocked from any feelings of regret over the deed and calls for "murd'ring ministers" to assist her evil thoughts.

Lady Macbeth coaches her husband in how to best deceive Duncan. When he wavers in his resolution, Lady Macbeth responds by insulting his masculinity. She pushes him relentlessly in this speech until he returns to agreeing with her plans.

Ultimately, Lady Macbeth is definitely somewhat to blame in the conspiracy. Without Lady Macbeth, it is unlikely that Macbeth would...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 786 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team