In Act III, scene 2 of "Macbeth," is Lady Macbeth enjoying her new position?

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gbeatty's profile pic

gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

No, not really. Consider these lines:

Lady Macbeth: Nought's had, all's spent,
Where our desire is got without content:
'Tis safer to be that which we destroy
Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy. (III.2)

Here she's ironically saying, even though we spent everything, we have nothing: she clearly devalues the crown they won with the word "nought," meaning "nothing." 

They don't have a chance to hold to anything they've gained—it's all crumbling away. Despite this, though, she's clinging to her chosen path, nudging Macbeth to put on a happy face and charm the guests, so they can disarm those who watched them attain their position by brutal methods.

jilllessa's profile pic

jilllessa | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

I do not think that Lady Macbeth is truly enjoying her new position because she is beginning to realize the futility in the killing of Duncan, and she is afraid that her guilt will be exposed.  She laments as she goes to discuss her discontent with Macbeth: 

Nought's had, all's spent,
Where our desire is got without content:
'Tis safer to be that which we destroy
Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.

This statement shows her incipient regret at what she and her husband have done as she realizes that she can attain no joy from a position that was not rightfully hers and that was gained by such a foul deed.  For Lady Macbeth, the situation will only become worse.

 

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