Lady Macbeth plays a very important role in Shakespeare's Macbeth. In the beginning of the play, she is an extremely strong female with more ambition than her husband. She is aware of her ruthless actions when she pushes Macbeth into committing murder. She is able to manipulate her husband with great effectiveness by questioning his manhood when he refuses to take the action of murder. After Macbeth finally proves his manhood, it is Lady Macbeth who calms his nerves immediately after the crime. After the incident, however, Lady Macbeth starts to lose her mind. She tries to hide her guilt, but her conscience is too powerful and is able to overcome the fearless female. .
Lady Macbeth's insanity is foreshadowed in the first act. She is willing to do anything to have her husband seize the throne. As she is waiting for the arrival of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth gives a speech that describes her drive for her husband. "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! Make thick my blood-(I, v, 40-53). This statement prepares Lady Macbeth for murder. She is asking the spirits to unsex her so she can have the power to commit murder. Lady Macbeth's drive is so intense and so forceful that she is bound to reach her breaking point after she finishes her task.
It is not until Act V that the reader is able to clearly see Lady Macbeth's insanity. The act opens with a doctor speaking to Lady Macbeth's gentlewoman about her reoccurring sleep walks. Lady Macbeth then enters with a taper, which according to her gentlewoman, she must have with her at all times. She finally speaks, "Out, damned spot! Out, I say! One: two:/ why, then "tis to do't. Hell is murky. Fie, my lord,/ fie! A soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who/ knows it, when none can call our pow"r to accompt?/ Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood on him?" (V, i, 34-39).