Key scenes for Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth persuading Macbeth to kill King Duncan, her excitement at being Queen, and asking spirits to make her strong

Before the murder (Act one, Scene seven)

Lady Macbeth uses different methods to persuade Macbeth to change his mind. Which one really affected Macbeth?

She says it was his idea first. This is her opening line - simply pointing out he raised the idea first.

She taunts Macbeth's masculinity - calling him a coward. This is an important part of her approach. Macbeth's rank and fame depend on his courage and bravery.

She says he cannot love her. This personal taunt really hits home for Macbeth. It is unexpected because their relationship is so intense.

Why does Lady Macbeth say she would kill their child?

Lady Macbeth has lost a child when it was still young. It's really shocking when she says she would have smashed it to the floor rather than go back on a promise. Why is this?

This would be the ultimate sacrifice - she makes the point she knew the joy of being a mother, and would have given it up for Macbeth to be king.

She uses terrible, violent imagery as a shock tactic. She realises Macbeth's doubt needs to be overcome quickly and this needs extreme measures. If they delay one night, the chance is gone.

The video below shows a second interpretation of Lady Macbeth connvincing Macbeth to kill the king.