What are some examples of the power of Lady Macbeth in Macbeth?

Lady Macbeth's power is shown through her ability to persuade Macbeth to kill King Duncan and take the throne. After they devise their treacherous plot, Macbeth starts to have second thoughts about killing the king. However, Lady Macbeth will not tolerate what she perceives as her husband's weakness, and she berates and shames him into acting. Lady Macbeth's powerful ambition and ruthlessness flout conventional gender roles, as she refuses to be subordinate to anyone, even her husband.

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Lady Macbeth is depicted as an ambitious, powerful woman, who uses her influence to convince Macbeth to follow through with assassinating King Duncan. After calling upon evil spirits to consume her soul and make her cruel, Lady Macbeth begins to formulate a foolproof plan to murder King Duncan, which she will pitch to her reluctant husband. In act 1, scene 7, Macbeth begins to have second thoughts about committing regicide and decides that he will not follow through with the murder. Lady Macbeth proceeds to criticize his masculinity, call him a coward, and demonstrate her power by telling him,

We fail? But screw your courage to the sticking-place, And we’ll not fail. When Duncan is asleep—Whereto the rather shall his day’s hard journey Soundly invite him—his two chamberlains Will I with wine and wassail so convince That memory, the warder of the brain, Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason A limbeck only: when in swinish sleep Their drenchèd natures lie as in a death, What cannot...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1212 words.)

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