Why is Lady Macbeth to be blamed for King Duncan's murder?

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Lady Macbeth is an accessory to murder, but she is not the murderer, and cannot, therefore, be more culpable than Macbeth, who did the deed with his own hand. That she is an accessory goes without argument: it was she who drugged the guards and who laid the daggers out in readiness; it was she, also, who rang the bell to alert Macbeth that the preparations had been made.

But she was no murderer. As evil as Lady Macbeth is, she couldn't actually bring herself to commit the act (she said she might have done it, had Duncan not looked like her father as he was sleeping). So the Lady is all talk, no action.

Where people would argue that her culpability lies is in her talk. She is brutal in her manipulation of Macbeth, drawing on every possible strategy available to woman. The argument for finding Lady Macbeth blameworthy hinges on the fact that her "motivational speech" changes Macbeth's mind. Completely.

Just prior to this speech, Macbeth has decided that he has no good reason to kill Duncan (he...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 562 words.)

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