The Tragedy of Macbeth. William Shakespeare. Shakespeare probably wrote Macbeth in part to flatter the new king, James the I of Scotland. He was crowned in 1603. Theatre Superstition.
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Duncan names his son Malcolm the Price of Cumberland, meaning that Malcolm will succeed Duncan if/when Duncan dies. Macbeth is angry and says that “this is a step/On which I must fall down or else o’erleap.”
Lady Macbeth receives a letter from her husband and is concerned that he is too “full of the milk o’ human kindness/To catch the nearest way” to become king. She laments the fact that she is not a man and therefore more ruthless.
In her famous sleepwalking scene in Act V, sc. I, Lady Macbeth discloses the guilt she feels about her participation in the murder of Duncan and her knowledge of the other murders her husband has commanded.