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Early on in the play in Act I, scene 5, Lady Macbeth pleads with the spirits to make her bold and fierce, so that she might aid her husband in their murderous plot against King Duncan. In later scenes, she is the one who fortifies Macbeth when his guilt riddles his conscience, making him paranoid and unsure of himself, like in the scene when he sees Banquo's spectre lurking at the feast table.
Toward the end of the play, the audience sees a very different side of Lady Macbeth. Gone is the powerful woman who cried out for the spirits to "unsex me here And fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full Of direst cruelty" (I.V.42-44). In Act V, scene I, Lady Macbeth has become physically ill, wandering in her sleep, compulsively washing out imagined blood-stained hands, and writing out possible confessions of her guilt. Her overwhelming guilt has physically manifested itself, and she can no longer cope with her feelings or illness. Her death, possibly suicide, is reported to Macbeth in scene V; the audience concludes that since Lady Macbeth found no peace or relief from her guilt in life, she sought it in death.
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