What are the differences in the reactions of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth after the murder of Duncan?

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Macbeth's reaction to his murder of King Duncan seems uncharacteristic for a seasoned warrior. Early in the play, the wounded Sergeant reports to Duncan how Macbeth killed Macdonwald on the battlefield without a second thought.

SERGEANT. Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel,
Which smoked with bloody execution,
Like valor's minion carved out his passage
Till he faced the slave,
Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,
Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps,
And fix'd his head upon our battlements. (1.2.19-25)

Macbeth had serious second thoughts about killing Duncan, but once he decided to go through with it, he seemed fully committed to carrying out the murder.

MACBETH. I am settled, and bend up
Each corporal agent to this terrible feat. (1.7.90-91)

Shakespeare doesn't dramatize Duncan's murder, so the audience has no idea what occurred in Duncan's bedchamber. Did Duncan wake up to see Macbeth standing over him? Did they have a conversation, or did Macbeth simply kill...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1354 words.)

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