If you were an interviewing Lady Macbeth, what questions would you ask her? What would she say in response?

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If I were interviewing Lady Macbeth, I would very much like to know if she was telling the truth when she said, "I have given suck, and know / How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me. / I would, while it was smiling in my face, / Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums / And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you / Have done to this" (1.7.55-60). She claims that she has breastfed a baby, a baby that she loved very much. Further, she claims that she would, while that baby smiled up at her, have pulled it away from her breast and smashed its head in if she had promised Macbeth that she would do so. I'd like to know if Lady Macbeth truly means what she says.

My hunch is that she would claim that she does mean it, that she would never break a promise that she had made to her husband.  However, we know that she is not as ruthless as she'd like to believe; she admits that she couldn't kill Duncan, though she'd planned to, because he looked like her father while he slept. I think Lady Macbeth wants to be tough stuff—she prays to be "unsexed" for goodness' sake—but I think she'd ultimately have to admit that she wouldn't kill her own baby just to keep a promise.

nkotelensky | Student

If I were interviewing Lady Macbeth, it would depend upon the particular scene in time that I were able to interview her from. For the sake of argument, let's just say that it is mid-play, after the king has been killed but before her madness sets in. 

I would ask her first about the ambition of her husband. Do you feel that your husband is a capable king? 

I think she would respond to the effect that while he is capable as a king, his ambition needs some prodding from time to time to ensure he is on track and ready to do all that is necessary to achieve his and my goals.

I would then ask her regarding the deed they had committed. How do you feel about the murder of King Duncan?

At this stage of the play, I think she would respond that it was a necessary step that had to be taken in order to further their goals. She may reiterate that she would have committed the murder herself but for the resemblance between the king and her father. Lady Macbeth is a strong woman and would probably state that the blood does not affect her and that the deed is done and she does not look back, though we later find this to not be true.

Lastly, I would ask her about her end goal. Macbeth is king, and you've achieved what you were seeking. What now? 

To this, she may be a bit caught off guard. Lady Macbeth was seeking power and achieved it, but by Act 3, Scene 2, she does not seem to enjoy it.

Nought's had, all's spent,
There our desire is got without content:
'Tis safer to be that which we destroy
Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.

She received that which she was seeking, but there is no contentment in her life. This is really where her role as the powerful woman in the play slips, and she begins to descend into depression and madness.

 

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Macbeth

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