How Do Lady Macbeth's Words and Actions in Act 5 Scene 1 Contrast with Her Comments and Deeds in Act 2 Scene 2?

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How do Lady Macbeth’s words and actions in Act 5 Scene 1 contrast with her comments and deeds in Act 2 Scene 2?

In Act 2 Scene 2, Lady Macbeth is strong, confident and cold. She knows that her husband Macbeth has killed King Duncan, and that she smeared his blood on the guards to make it look like they killed the King but she acts as if everything is fine. When Macbeth is panicking, Lady Macbeth says to him “these deeds must not be thought after these ways. So it will make us mad.” She is saying to him that if they keep thinking about what they it will drive them crazy. This is ironic because in Act 5 Scene 1 it becomes extremely clear when Lady Macbeth begins sleepwalking that she is the one who is thinking of nothing else but their heinous crimes and it is making her mentally unstable.

In Act 5 Scene 1, when Lady Macbeth begins sleepwalking she says “out, damned spot! Out I say… What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?” The use of repetition and the imperative “out” suggests that she is trying to command the spot to leave her hands, and the exclamation mark implies a sense of urgency and desperation. The rhetorical question suggests that Lady Macbeth knows that she is trying to convince herself that no-one can lay the guilt on her and Macbeth. This is a complete turnaround from her comments in Act 2 Scene 2 when Macbeth says “will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?” and Lady Macbeth replies by saying “a little water clears us of this deed.” She is once again dismissing her husband’s fear and just telling him to wash his hands as if it is dirt he has on his hands rather than the King’s blood. Here, she is in complete control but in Act 5 Scene 1 she is showing that she is a lot more psychologically tortured then she first let on.

When Macbeth comes back to Lady Macbeth in Act 2 Scene 2 after he has committed regicide, he doesn’t want to continue with the plan which was to smear King Duncan’s...
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