Reasons why Lady Macbeth wants Macbeth to kill Duncan.

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Jonathan Beutlich eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Lady Macbeth does not want Duncan killed because he is a bad king or has wronged her in any way. Lady Macbeth wants Duncan killed because his death will allow her to have more of what she wants. Lady Macbeth wants more money, power, and fame. She already has quite a bit of that. In fact, she has enough of it through her husband, Macbeth, that Duncan wants to visit their home. However, Lady Macbeth is not satisfied with her current station in life because she knows that she can obtain more. Duncan's death means that Macbeth can become king, and she can become queen. In her mind, the end justifies the means. She wants to be queen and have all of the status that comes with it, and murder is just an obstacle to be overcome. What I have always found interesting is that killing Duncan is not a problem for her, but it is for Macbeth. He does not want to do it, and Lady Macbeth bullies him into doing it. After Duncan's death, there is a role reversal between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. She feels increasing guilt, while Macbeth continues to kill anybody that might threaten his position.

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The reason Lady Macbeth encourages her husband to kill King Duncan is because she is motivated by her ambition and desire to become queen. After Lady Macbeth reads her husband's letter regarding the prophecy of the three witches, she commands evil spirits to make her callous, bloodthirsty, and courageous enough to plot Duncan's murder.

Lady Macbeth is excessively ambitious and desires the authority, prestige, and material wealth that come along with being queen, which is why she wants her husband to kill King Duncan. However, Lady Macbeth is worried that her husband is too kind and sensitive to follow through with assassinating the king. Therefore, Lady Macbeth plans and participates in the plot to kill King Duncan to guarantee that she will become queen. Unfortunately, Lady Macbeth's plans are in vain because she gradually becomes overwhelmed with guilt after Macbeth kills King Duncan. Despite becoming queen, Lady Macbeth ends up losing her mind and commits suicide by the end of the play.

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