In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is made to act as a catalyst in Lord Macbeth’s evildoings. Even though Lord Macbeth is generally the one to have the final say in the many killings that take place in the play, Lady Macbeth plays the role of a tyrannical villain alongside him. She mocks her Lord if he frets over something she has instructed him to do, saying he would be less of a man if he does not follow through on their plan (I. vii. 56-57). She gives Lord Macbeth a short lecture in deceptiveness when they are planning to kill King Duncan (I. vi. 73-78). She also prepared the daggers for Macbeth to kill Duncan in advance (II. ii. 15-16). Though her Lord was still having doubts, she was, in the most literal sense, ready to go in for the kill. Clearly demonstrating another villainous characteristic other than self- gain, Lady Macbeth shows the fear of getting caught when she unintentionally gives herself away in her sleep (V. i. 33, 37-42, 44-47, 53-55, 65-67, 69-72). Though her fear can suppress itself during a conscious state of being, she can do nothing about it when she is asleep.
Throughout the play and leading up to her eventual suicide, Lady Macbeth slowly weakens. Yet, in the beginning of the play, she acts as if she is unstoppable. When Macbeth has his doubts and fears about murdering the loyal Duncan, Lady Macbeth chastises him, calling him everything from a coward to a helpless baby (I. vii. 39-49, 53-67). She even offers to do it herself, possibly to make Macbeth feel that he’s even more cowardly because a woman is offering to do “his” job. This pushes Macbeth to kill, though these are the actions that will eventually lead to both of their demises later in the play. Macbeth tries to convince Lady Macbeth, as well as himself, that she is wrong:
I dare do all that may become a man.
Who dares more is none. (I. vii. 50-52)