In Act 1, Lady Macbeth is more than ready to be Queen. She is afraid that Macbeth “Is too full o’th’ milk of human kindness” to commit murder (1.5. 15). She comes up with a plan to convince him saying “I may pour my spirits in thine ear/ And chastise with the valour of my tongue” (1.5.24-25). Lady Macbeth is so determined that she is willing to manipulate Macbeth to get what she wants. She begs the spirits to “unsex me here” so she can develop the masculine qualities of courage and rhetoric (1.5.39). She starts to get upset when Macbeth seems to be backing out of their plan. She questions his manhood and courage stating “Wouldst thou have that?/ Which thou esteem’st the ornament of life,/ And live a coward in thine own esteem,/ Letting ‘I dare not’ wait upon ‘I would’,/ Like the poor cat I’th adage”(1.7.41-44)? When he questions if they will fail, she responds “But screw your courage to the sticking-place” (1.7.60).
Macbeth, through all of this, struggles with his morals and his ambition to be king. He finally agrees after much convincing from Lady Macbeth but does not go willingly. He states “False face must hide what the false heart doth know” (1.7.82). Macbeth will pretend to know nothing of the murder and assume his role as king. He starts to lose it a bit seeing ghosts and visions of daggers and hearing things. Lady Macbeth remains composed and even when the murder happens and Macbeth accidently takes the daggers away from the murder scene, Lady Macbeth is the one to go back and smear the blood of the accused servants. She keeps it together even as Macbeth sees Banqou’s ghost at a dinner party. She plays it off like this is normal King behavior and that they should be excused and not asked questions.
Despite Macbeth being insane, he gains confidence, although still suspicious of everyone around him. He begins to think he is invincible while Lady Macbeth begins to foil him completely. The two characters have switched mindsets. When Macbeth departs for the battlefield, Lady Macbeth has indeed gone crazy. She has a doctor and gentlewoman watch her. She rubs her hands together furiously out of guilt, to get rid of the blood that she sees. “Out, damned spot: out, I say. One, two,-why,/ then ‘tis time to do’t. Hell is murky”(5.1.30-31). She eventually cannot deal with the guilt and kills herself. Macbeth doesn’t really care to much about her death saying “she should have died hereafter” (5.5.17). I think it is interesting to see the strange relationship where control and sanity is passed around. Perhaps if Lady Macbeth and Macbeth had the same consciences at the same time, Duncan never would have been killed or they both would have killed themselves together. If guilt is what drives someone into insanity, than ambition must be what pulls someone out of it.