Analyze and compare the personalities of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.

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One basis of comparison between Macbeth and his wife in Shakespeare's Macbeth is the way in which they switch or reverse roles in the drama.

Before and immediately after the assassination of Duncan (Act 1.5, Act 1.7, Act 2.1 and Act 2.2) Macbeth is squeamish about doing the deed and Lady Macbeth is all for it.  Macbeth feels guilt and is obsessed with Duncan's blood on his hands (literally and figuratively), while Lady Macbeth plans the murder and manipulates her husband into going through with it.

Later, however, the roles reverse.  Macbeth plans the murders of Banquo and Fleance (Act 3.1) and of Macduff's family (Act 4.1 and 2) with apparently no second thoughts whatsoever, while Lady Macbeth suffers from guilt and insanity, and becomes obsessed with Duncan's blood on her hands (in her imagination and figuratively) (Act 5.1). 

Of course, the roles each plays during and immediately after the assassination of Duncan represent a reversal of gender roles:  Macbeth demonstrates personality traits more commonly associated with females, and Lady Macbeth demonstrates personality traits more commonly associated with males.  Later, when the roles become more of what one might expect from a man and a woman, Macbeth becomes a murderous tyrant, and Lady Macbeth becomes a sleep-walking suicide. 

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