Why doesn't Macbeth confide in his wife in Act 3, Scene 2?  

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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In Act 3, Scene 2, Macbeth does not share with his wife that he is to have Banquo and his son murdered. He keeps this information unknown to Lady Macbeth. He does suggest that something has to be done for Banquo knows too much. When Lady Macbeth asks what he plans to do, Macbeth refuses to tell her. He appears to be protecting her innocence:

Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck,(50) 
Till thou applaud the deed.

Clearly, Macbeth does not want his wife to be involved in the murdering of Banquo and his son. Macbeth seems to be protecting her from the horrible images associated with the murder of Banquo and his son. Perhaps, Macbeth realizes that he has already brought out the monster in Lady Macbeth. This time he wants her to be innocent in the murdering of Banquo and his son. Macbeth seems to be taking the total responsibility for this murder. He is trying to keep her innocent until she can "applaud the deed." Macbeth feels confident that she will, as he puts it, "applaud the deed." This proves that Macbeth was not worried that she would object to the murdering of Banquo and his son. The reader only has the one line that states that Macbeth is protecting Lady Macbeth's innocence. He does not desire for her to have to feel guilty over yet another murder. He shoulders this murder alone. 

 

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