What can we learn from Lady Macbeth's character?

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Readers can learn all kinds of things from Lady Macbeth, and most of those things are probably not "good" things. We can learn that lust for power and fame can corrupt a person and motivate them to do things that are completely amoral. Once Lady Macbeth learns of the prophecy and the real possibility that her husband can be king, she sees the very real possibility that she could be queen. It is at this point that she decides that the end justifies the means, and she gets what she wants. There is a lesson there for people about doing whatever it takes to get what you want. I do not think Lady Macbeth is a positive example of this concept, but readers are definitely learning about it. Readers can also learn that bullying is an effective means of getting what you want. Lady Macbeth wants to be queen, and her husband decides that murder is a cost that he is not willing to pay. Lady Macbeth's response is to verbally abuse and bully her husband into action, and it works. Again, this is not a lesson that I want my daughter to learn, but it has to be stated that the lesson is there. Finally, Lady Macbeth does show readers that guilt is real and quite powerful. Her guilt ultimately destroys her on a mental and emotional level, and it even effects her physical health through sleep deprivation.

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Lady Macbeth's character can teach us that guilt can slowly eat away at a person and that it is nearly impossible to live happily with a guilty conscience.  Although Lady Macbeth appeared to be completely without scruples during the planning of Duncan's murder and then remorseless after the murder is complete, we see her guilty conscience return to plague her in Act 5, scene 1.  She can no longer sleep peacefully, and even her relationship with her husband has begun to suffer (which we see as early as Act 3).  It seemed that she would be the one never to feel regret, but as more time goes by after the murder, her guilt slowly eats away at her, compromising both her sleep and her sanity.  She relives the night of the murder over and over while she sleepwalks, believing that Duncan's blood is still on her hands, that it will never come off.  This figurative blood on her hands represents how her participation in his murder is still affecting her conscience.

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