Opinions of Lady Macbeth What is your opinion of Lady Macbeth as a woman and a wife?

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litteacher8's profile pic

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

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Lady Macbeth is manipulative.  She wants power, and she wants her husband to be king.  She is very good at pushing Macbeth's buttons to get him to do what she wants.  However, she cannot really control him.  Once she gets him started, she can't stop him.

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Lady Macbeth is a loving wife to her husband in the beginning of the play.  She has an equal relationship with him, discussing worldly topics with her husband, offering her opinion, being respected by her husband as having something of value to say.  The Macbeths have a marriage of equals. 

Lady Macbeth is also a woman who is comfortable using feminine wiles to convince her husband to do something that he is not sure of, killing the king.  She appears to be smart and manipulative in her efforts to gain the crown for Macbeth.

She is definitely ambitious and courageous at the beginning of the play.  However, as a wife, once Macbeth starts to murder or have murdered anyone who threatens his power, she is shut out by her husband.  She is left out of the plans, not told what he will do next.  She begins to unravel emotionally, exhibiting a conscience that causes her to commit suicide.

At the end of the play, it appears that Macbeth has forgotten about his wife, he does not want her to suffer, calls in a doctor, demands that he cure her and all, but it is out of formality, not out of the passionate love connection they once shared.

Lady Macbeth as a wife is misguided and driven by her desire for material wealth and power.  She very convincingly  pushes her husband into murder and then does not understand the monster she unleashed.  She is inept at continuing her steady control of Macbeth, which results in his wild behavior, murdering innocent people.   

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Lady Macbeth has a strong personality and a desire to advance herself and her husband which transcends all things--including breaking the law.

She sees herself as the better half of her marriage since her husband is "too full of the milk of human kindness" to get the crown by "the nearest way".  However, she shows humanity in her inability to kill Duncan herself since he reminds her of her own father.  This is the first sign of weakness in her character--what she would call weakness.

It does not, or should not, surprise the audience when later in the play, Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking and talking in her sleep about not being able to wash away the spots of Duncan's blood on her hands.  Shortly after, she commits suicide, which is usually seen as a sign of weakness--the inability to work through the current troubles or to face the music, whatever tune is played.  This may be partly because she is rejected by Macbeth and not allowed to be as much a part of his life as he becomes more antisocial.

Lady Macbeth is a strong, valiant, heartless, and weak woman. She is a bossy, supportive, and rejected wife.

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