Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth's relationships to her husband Macbeth, and enemies King Duncan, MacDuff and Banquo

The character of Lady Macbeth develops throughout the play. She quickly fades out of the action. It is only a matter of days between the point where she is driving Macbeth to kill Duncan, and the point when she loses touch with him completely.

Key scenes for Lady Macbeth

The effect of the letter (Act one, Scene five)

Lady Macbeth's reaction when she reads her husband's letter is powerful and dramatic.

As soon as she's finished reading, she has decided she will make sure Macbeth is king. It's as if she and her husband are thinking exactly the same thing. She does not hesitate for a moment.

Lady Macbeth invites the spirits of evil to enter her. She knows she has to steel herself, the murder will need evil power, and evil is not naturally within her.

She knows immediately murdering Duncan is the only way of quickly achieving her goal. When Macbeth brings further news that Duncan is coming to spend the night with them, it becomes clear her role is to seize the moment and facilitate her husband's rise to kingship.