Macbeth

by: William Shakespeare

Five Key Questions

Summary Five Key Questions

4) Does Lady Macbeth commit suicide?

Shakespeare leaves the exact nature of Lady Macbeth’s death ambiguous. When Macbeth is told that his wife has died, no details are given and he does not ask for them. Instead, he talks about how futile and pointless life is. At the end of the play, Malcolm tells the noblemen that “’tis thought, by self and violent hands” the Queen killed herself, but the inclusion of the word “thought” implies her suicide is a rumor. Suicide is considered a mortal sin by the Roman Catholic Church, and thus frowned upon throughout England. According to church law, if Lady Macbeth killed herself, she would be eternally damned. Yet the question is never fully answered.