Is Lady Macbeth evil or just insane?

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dule05 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We could say that Lady Macbeth is an aggressive, manipulative, and vicious woman who is consumed by greed and hunger for power. When she receives her husband's news that he he had a meeting with the witches and that he was promoted by the king, she desperately wants to plan out what their next move will be. She wants to help Macbeth achieve his goal of becoming the king at any cost. She even wants to summon up the evil spirits to fill her with cruelty and hatred so that she could suppress her feminine qualities and persuade her husband to murder the king.

Lady Macbeth is so preoccupied with greed and power that she fails to see the potential consequences. When she finally persuades Macbeth to commit the murder, and when he finally does it, Lady Macbeth will soon become an irrelevant figure. Her husband becomes obsessed with control and power and begins to neglect his wife. This, together with her guilty conscience, will cause Lady Macbeth to descend into irrationality. In Act V, she hallucinates and sleepwalks, and her death is imminent.

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Macbeth

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