What are the main differences between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

To determine the differences between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, it is necessary to observe them at various points in the play.

At the beginning, both are ambitious, but it is Lady Macbeth who is willing to achieve their goal through any means. She is prepared to murder the king just to obtain the throne faster. Upon learning of the witches’ statements, Lady Macbeth immediately thinks of how she can speed up events, and she calls upon dark forces to give her the courage to follow through. She shrewdly comes up with a plan and uses all of her powers of argument to convince Macbeth of its efficacy.

By contrast, Macbeth is willing to wait for what he wants. He is excited by the prospect of becoming king, but his morality stops him from immediately pursuing it. It takes some convincing from his wife to goad him into accepting the evil job of murder, but even then he wrestles with his conscience. Although he knows it’s wrong, he ultimately follows through because he really wants the throne and...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 995 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on