From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Guide Mentor

Character Role Analysis

The Three Witches

Until Macbeth meets the witches, he's our hero. Once he meets them, he's already on his way with "imaginings" of murder. Agents of darkness themselves, the witches can be seen as guides leading Macbeth down the path of evil.

Lady Macbeth

When Macbeth does some ruminating on killing Duncan and decides, "We'll go no further in this business," his loving wife turns him around pretty quickly. Macbeth appears to borrow Lady Macbeth's "undaunted mettle" to get the courage to go through with the murder of Duncan.

But, like any mentor or guide, Lady Macbeth can only go with him so far before she stops being useful. As Macbeth gains experience, he stops consulting her. The murder of Macduff's kids? That's on all him.