lady macbeth act 1 scence 5

Essay by amber_seedat October 2014

download word file, 5 pages 0.0

Downloaded 2 times

Act 1 sc 5

Enter Macbeth's Wife, alone:

As the scene opens, Lady Macbeth is reading a letter from her husband. The letter tells

of the witches' prophecy for him, which is treated as a certainty, because "I have

learned by the perfectest report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge" (1.5.1-


"The perfectest report" means "the most reliable information," so it appears that

Macbeth has been asking people what they know about the reliability of witches. If

that's the case, he has ignored the advice of Banquo, who is quite sure that witches can't

be trusted. But Macbeth seems to trust the witches absolutely, because he is writing to

his wife, his "dearest partner of greatness," so that she "mightst not lose the dues of

rejoicing" (1.5.11-12). That is, he believes that she has a right to rejoice because she

will be a queen. However, Lady Macbeth doesn't rejoice.

She is determined that he will

be king, but she suspects that he doesn't have the right stuff to do what needs to be

done. Speaking to him as though he were really there, she says: "Yet do I fear thy

nature; / It is too full o' the milk of human kindness / To catch the nearest way" (1.5.16-


Her reaction to the letter shows that Lady Macbeth is a woman who knows her husband

very well, perhaps because she shares some of his instincts. For both of them, murder is

the "nearest way." In an earlier scene, Macbeth had commented that "If chance will

have me king, why, chance may crown me, / Without my stir" (1.3.143-144), but later

he assumes that he must be an assassin in order to be king. And this is always his wife's


In addition, Lady Macbeth seems to...