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Essay Question on Lady Macbeth

Jack Todhunter | Wednesday November 21, 2018

Categories: Drama, Macbeth, Shakespeare, Shakespeare's Plays, Writing, Drama Analysis, Essays

What does Lady Macbeth do to help her husband kill King Duncan?

To sum up, what does she do/say?

Reads letter.
Rejoices in the news.
Worries about his nature.  (Why?)
Prays to the devil. (Why does she need to?)
Welcomes him home.
Chastises him. (How?)
Takes over.
Uses euphemisms to describe the regicide. (Why can’t she call a spade a spade? What does this reveal about her?)
Insults his masculinity. (How? Why?)
Talks of killing her own child.  (Why?)
Issues orders. (Where? How? What are they?)
Drugs guards.
Leaves out daggers for him.
Rings bell.
Refrains from doing the deed herself. (Why? What does this reveal about her?)
Talks to herself one way but to him another way. (How? Where? Why? When?)
Chastises him again.
Takes back daggers.
Smears grooms.
Issues more orders: tells husband to pull himself together and to wash his hands then to get to bed.

Now scan the following extracts from the play to help you “flesh out? your case.

Macbeth: If Chance will have me King,
Why Chance may Crown me,
Without my stir.

Macbeth: (In the letter home) I thought good to deliver thee (my dearest Partner of Greatness) that thou might’st not lose the dues of rejoicing.

Lady Macbeth: Yet do I fear thy Nature,
It is too full o’th’ Milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way

Lady M: Hie thee hither,
That I may pour my Spirits in thine Ear,
And chastise with the valour of my Tongue

Lady M: Come you Spirits,
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the Crown to the Toe, top-full
Of direst Cruelty

Lady M: And when goes hence?
Macbeth: Tomorrow, as he purposes
Lady M: O never,
Shall Sun that Morrow see

Lady M: He that’s coming,
Must be provided for: and you shall put
This Night’s great Business into my dispatch

Macbeth: He’s here in double trust;
First, as I am his Kinsman, and his Subject,
Strong both against the Deed: Then, as his Host,
Who should against his Murderer shut the door…
      …Besides, this Duncan...


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