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Lady Macbeth

            Lady Macbeth lies, she plots, and she is an accomplice in murder. She is eventually taken over at the end of the play by her and guilt, followed by a gruesome offstage death. At the beginning of play she seems to be stronger than Macbeth, when she convinces him to kill Duncan. After the murdering begins, however, she falls victim to guilt and madness to an even greater degree than her husband. Her conscience affects her to such an extent that she eventually commits suicide. The disintegration of Lady Macbeth follows a different course than Macbeth. Macbeth is passive in his initial encounter with the evil in the form of the witches, and she is aggressive. Where Macbeth at first considers his doubts, Lady Macbeth is hasty and only thinks of her husband's possible greatness. .
             After the murder, she tries to keep Macbeth from thinking about the deed too often and as too wrong. She says, "What's done is done."" But after the banquet scene, she isn't seen in much of the rest of the play. Macbeth stops sharing his thoughts with her, and when at last we see her again in the sleepwalking scene we realize that the madness she has tried to prevent in her husband has taken possession of her instead. During her sleep walk she claims, "What's done cannot be undone." This shows that there could be some desire to undo what has happened, but that it cannot be so. As the story continues and moves toward its unavoidable conclusion, the once great and terrible queen begins to lose her grip. .
             After the crime, she said, "I hear a knocking at the south entry. Retire we to our chamber."" This is said in a calm manner as if things are under control. Then, while she is sleepwalking, she says, "To bed, to bed. There's a knocking at the gate."" This has an urgent, rushed tone as if she is scared of getting caught. She has changed from someone who was once calm and collected, to being paranoid and scared. When she first began this crime, she had no fear, only the thought of success in her mind.

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