What are the qualities of Lady Macbeth? Qualities or characteristics?

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William Delaney eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Alack, I am afraid they have awaked
And ’tis not done. The attempt and not the deed
Confounds us. Hark! I laid their daggers ready;
He could not miss ‘em. Had he not resembled
My father as he slept, I had done't.   (Act 2, Scene 2)

This whole speech by Lady Macbeth is intended to "humanize" her. It shows that she is not nearly as confident as she has been acting with her husband. She is good about hiding her fears, worries, and guilt from other people, but she is human and a woman. Shakespeare usually tried to show that all his characters were mixtures of good and bad, strength and weakness. That was why he showed the wicked King Claudius at prayer in Hamlet. It is the only way an author can make characters seem like real people. We are all mixtures of good and bad.

When Shakespeare has Lady Macbeth say

Had he not resembled
My father as he slept, I had done't

the purpose is consistent with everything she says in this speech. It shows that she has a tender side to her nature. She is not only a real human being but a real woman. She loved her father, as most daughters do. She is not totally a female monster.

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terafrayne eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Lady Macbeth is figuratively two people. The woman before the murder of King Duncan , and the woman after the murder of King Duncan. I am more intrigued by the qualities she exhibits after the murder of King Duncan. Essentially, she is wracked with guilt. The qualities that Lady Macbeth and Macbeth exhibit after the murder of Duncan provides a poignant commentary on human behavior that follows grave actions. Committing the murder...

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Edith Sykes eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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pwkenricktan | Student

Lady Macbeth seems to be a genuinely evil person from the start, unlike macbeth who shows signs of Cowardice not because of he's inability to kill, but because of he's loyalty to the nation and the king. Lady Macbeth instigates Macbeth to do so, this makes her very manipulative, in a real life situation we relate to is, A woman leaving her husband, because he is timid(hmmm alot of movies do this eh? Cant remeber which, but one in which the lead is troubled to the the heist initially, but then does it for the lead lady). However after Macbeth Power Hungry Raid continues, she started feeling guilty and thus killed herself

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