Why did Lady Macbeth appear to be so ruthless and decisive in the beginning and turn out to be full of regret and remorse in the end?My teacher says it's because of false courage, but in what way?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

False courage is a possibility.  Lady Macbeth might have gone down a road should could not come back from.  However, I think it is more than likely that she was greedy and ambitious, but she could not handle the effects of her actions.  She prompted Macbeth to murder Duncan, and she created a monster that she could not control.  That, in the end, is what broke her.

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pmiranda2857's profile pic

pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

When the bodies start to pile up, after Macbeth begins to see threats everywhere and he has Macduff's wife and children murdered for no valid reason, Lady Macbeth starts to unravel.

Macbeth has lost his mind by the time that he orders Lady Macduff and her children murdered, so there really is nothing left of her husband by that time.  She, in the beginning, expected to be done with the dirty deed of murder by getting rid of King Duncan, but it doesn't end there.  In fact, Macbeth becomes more brutal as the play progresses and she becomes more self-conscious and worried.    

linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

I don't think anything about Lady Macbeth is false--except maybe motherly love (see an earlier discussion). Whether she sees a ghost or imagines the blood on her hands, Lady Macbeth is literally haunted by what has happened.

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Perhaps Lady Macbeth does not truly see the whole picture.  She only sees Duncan as an obstacle to her husband's ascending to the throne.  She does not count on the grief and guilt that would accompany killing a good man whom everyone in the country admires.  Also, by encouraging her husband to kill, she changes him.  Macbeth is no longer the loving husband she knew in the beginning.  He withdraws and spends more time alone in order to plan his next murder. 

reenu's profile pic

reenu | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Lady Macbeth can be considered a women of true courage.

she is an excellent example for a good wife and a considerate companion.She doesnt think much about herself but she is very keen in seeing her husbands ambitions getting fulfilled.Yes,it is true that at first she was fiant like but it was nothing but a form of love and concern for her husband.

                        She really didnt wanted to see anyone getting killed but she had to force Macbeth so that she sees him happy.But as soon as she sees that things are getting out of hand she advices Macbeth to put an end to his murders but it was too late that Macbeth had alreaby been addicted to murders for his self-defence..

                        By the way im new to this place and im reenu....hi all

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