Why did Macbeth's wife kill herself?

Macbeth's wife kills herself because she can't handle the guilt she feels over King Duncan's murder. Though Lady Macbeth was the driving force behind the plot to murder the king, she is later overcome with guilt and descends into madness. Her death takes place offstage, but it is presumed to be a suicide.

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It's never actually definitively stated that Lady Macbeth commits suicide, but the overwhelming scholarly consensus is that she does indeed take her own life. Long before Lady Macbeth 's untimely demise, it was obvious that she was experiencing symptoms of a severe mental illness, and so it makes sense that...

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It's never actually definitively stated that Lady Macbeth commits suicide, but the overwhelming scholarly consensus is that she does indeed take her own life. Long before Lady Macbeth's untimely demise, it was obvious that she was experiencing symptoms of a severe mental illness, and so it makes sense that the overwhelming guilt that caused such mental deterioration eventually led her to kill herself.

Lady Macbeth's mental decline and subsequent suicide stem from her guilt over the part she played in the wicked, treacherous murder of King Duncan. Her mental state at the end of the play is a somewhat shocking departure from her behavior at the beginning of the play. Indeed, it is Lady Macbeth, rather than her husband, who is the biggest proponent of their dastardly murder plot. She is the one who cajoles her weak, vacillating husband into action when it seems that he is getting cold feet. Thus, the lion's share of guilt over Duncan's murder very much belongs to her.

Tormented by this guilt, Lady Macbeth wanders in her sleep, desperately trying to remove the bloodstains that she imagines are covering her hands. But the stain of guilt upon her soul is indelible, and it seems that, no longer able to live with that guilt, Lady Macbeth ultimately decides to take her own life.

One should also consider the degree to which Macbeth's character development diverges from that of his wife after Duncan's murder. While the initially bloodthirsty and ambitious Lady Macbeth is eventually overcome by her conscience, her husband seems to lose his conscience altogether, scheming alone and committing increasingly wicked acts in his quest to retain power. Once Macbeth has ascended to the throne, he sidelines his once-dominant wife, effectively breaking up their power relationship, and it's certainly possible that this may have also had a damaging effect on Lady Macbeth's mental wellbeing.

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