If Macbeth wrote a diary entry, what would he say about how his wife made him feel and how she persuaded him to go through with the murder?

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merricat eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Macbeth returns home shortly before Duncan arrives, Lady Macbeth is ready to kill Duncan so Macbeth can ascend to the throne. Macbeth is less certain. Duncan is a good king; Macbeth is his loyal subject. Cold-blooded murder could condemn him to hell for all eternity.

Lady Macbeth knows her husband well, though. First she attacks his manhood. When he says, “We will proceed no more in this,” she accuses him of being afraid.

“Art thou afeard

To be the same in thine own act and valour

As thou are in desire?...Wouldst thou…live a coward in thine own esteem,

Letting ‘I dare not’ wait upon ‘I would…’”

Macbeth argues that he is a courageous man even though he has changed his mind about killing Duncan.

Lady Macbeth then personalizes her attack and accuses him of not loving her in addition to being a coward. “What beast was’t, then,/That made you break this enterprise to me?”

She goes on to claim that she would have smashed her own child’s brains out before she would ever break a promise to Macbeth the way Macbeth is breaking his oath to her.

Macbeth confesses his fear that they will fail, and she eases this fear with her detailed plan. This is the final piece that convinces Macbeth his wife is right. He concludes he will be a better man for having taken action to achieve his goals, even if that action is murder, and the plan is almost foolproof, so he is in little personal danger of getting caught.

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