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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lady Macbeth is Macbeth's wife from Shakespeare's play, Macbeth.  She is a very important character in the play. Like her husband, she is power hungry and willing to gain more power through devious means. When she learns that Macbeth has a possible way to become king, she pushes her husband to take action. She comes up with much of the plan to kill the king, and she more or less bullies Macbeth past his hesitant spirit. She even places the murder weapon where suspicion will not be placed on her and her husband. Finally, she does a great job of acting shocked by the fact that the king has been killed in her home. Lady Macbeth is also important because readers get to see her completely fall apart due to the guilt that she is experiencing over her actions.  

metwitchell | Student

Lady Macbeth is a very important character in Shakespeare's tragic play, Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is an unmerciful, determined, ambitious woman who wants to obtain all the power she possibly can. She convinces her husband, Macbeth, to kill King Duncan while he is a guest in their home. Lady Macbeth hopes this murder will give her husband a chance to become king, which would make her the most powerful woman.

Her plan is not as successful as she had hoped. Yes, the king was murdered, but the remorse and anguish she felt afterward were tearing her apart. She is so guilty that she begins to lose her mind. A doctor is called and, while in her disturbed mental state, Lady Macbeth reveals information about the murder.

One of her most famous quotes is, "Out damned spot!" in Act V, Scene I. This refers to the blood she thinks she sees on her hands--haunting images from when she placed the daggers beside the guards. The guilt eats away at her and she eventually commits suicide because she cannot continue to live with herself.