Lady Macbeth vs Macbeth I have a question if you do not mind to help me. How does Macbeth and Lady Macbeth change from Act 1 to Act 2? Any changes to their character? I only see Macbeth being more...

Lady Macbeth vs Macbeth

I have a question if you do not mind to help me. How does Macbeth and Lady Macbeth change from Act 1 to Act 2? Any changes to their character? I only see Macbeth being more 'agressive'  towards killing Banquo. ANything else? Please and thank you

 

Asked on by ecrow05

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Lady Macbeth does change from the first to the second act of Macbeth:

In Act I Lady Macbeth exudes confidence, telling her husband "you shall put
This night's great business into my dispatch." She is calm before their guests at Inverness. After dinner in Scene 7, Macbeth tells his wife that he has changed his mind about Duncan because the king has honored him and he is in great favor with the court, but Lady Macbeth berates him,

Art thou afeard
To be the same in thine own act and valor
As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that
Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life
And live a coward in thine own esteem,
Letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would”
Like the poor cat i’ the adage? (1.7.44-49) 

Yet, when she places the daggers for Macbeth to use in order to slay King Duncan in Act II, Scene 2, Lady Macbeth cannot commit the act herself because Duncan too closely resembles her father:

Had he not resembled
My father as he slept, I had done't.
(2.2.15-17)

And, she is started by her husband when he returns from the murder of Duncan, also starting at the sound of an owl.  In addition, she has misgivings about their deed,

These deeds must not be thought
After these ways; so, it will make us mad

and, ironically,worries about the psychological repercussions.

literaturenerd's profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I, too, have to agree with Litteacher. We, as readers, are not really given a whole lot to go on in the first act. Instead, we are just coming to know about them and the circumstances which they have found themselves in. Over the two acts, readers are given more and more information about the characters. For example, Macbeth is known by those "higher up" for a reason. What kind of leader was he? What kind of person was he really? We simply assume that he was a "good person." Not all leaders are good people. our blinders could have simply been too narrow for us to see the whole Macbeth early on in the play.

kiwi's profile pic

kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

I have to agree with #2. There is more to be seen in the development of the characters as we see them act and react around others from Act 1 to Act 2. These acts allow us to see the depth of deception each character can -or wants to - sustain.

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I don't think their characters change. I think we just learn more about them.  When the play opens, we know little about Macbeth or his wife.  We learn about him from his reaction to the witches’ pronouncements and his promotion, and her obvious aggression.

just-s's profile pic

just-s | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

i dont really think that there is a change in their character!!because as post #2 said that you are getting to know them better than you did in chapter 1!

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