Lady Macbeth gives her husband a murderous pep talk.

Characters

Lady Macbeth

Macbeth’s wife. After being told of the Witches’ words, she begins plotting Duncan’s death, afraid that Macbeth will not follow through.

Macbeth

The Thane of Cawdor is eager to see his wife but is hesitant to act against Duncan.

Messenger

A servant of the Macbeths who brings news of Duncan's arrival.

Scene Summary

Alone, Lady Macbeth reads a letter from her husband aloud. Like a good spouse, he tells her everything—including the witches’ prophecy—and she’s worried Macbeth doesn’t have it in him to actually kill the king. That means she’ll have to channel her own inner monster. When she hears that Duncan is coming for a visit, she asks for some help in the evil-doing department from supernatural spirits. By the time Macbeth arrives, she’s ready to take charge of the situation and bring about Duncan’s untimely, but convenient, demise.