Trace the gradual loss of strength of character in Lady Macbeth. Discuss its significance.from macbeth

Expert Answers
luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Lady Macbeth first appears in Act 1, sc. 5, she is the epitome of strength and she continues this strength through Act 1, sc. 7 when she tells her husband that they will, indeed, kill Duncan and in Act 2, sc. 2, for the most part, when Macbeth carries through with the murder and she chastises him for showing remorse.  A tiny crack in her strength might be said to appear at the very beginning of Act 2, sc. 2, when Lady Macbeth says, "Had he [Duncan] not resembled / My father as he slept, I had done't."  In Act 3, sc. 2, Macbeth does not tell his wife that he's hired murderers to kill Banquo and Fleance. It's possible he doesn't tell her because he senses the crack widening and he doesn't want to cause her to feel more guilt.  In Act 3, sc. 4, Lady Macbeth seems out of the loop of information because not only was she unaware of the plot to kill Banquo and son, she doesn't seem to know that Macduff purposely didn't come to the banquet ("Did you send to him, sir?"). Lady Macbeth is not in Act 4 when Macbeth meets with the witches and decides to have Macduff's family killed, which could indicate she does not know of this plan before it is carried out. By the time Act 5, sc. 1, Lady Macbeth is fully mad as she walks the halls of the castle washing imaginary blood from her hands, demanding light always, and talking to no one in particular.