But when Ross hails Macbeth as "thane of Cawdor," the latter replies: The thane of Cawdor lives; why do you dress me In borrowed robes? In early modern England, mothers were often accused of hurting the people that were placed in their hands. The old King is slain asleep, while his two attendants, having been drugged into heavy slumber, are also killed, when all three are helpless and unconscious.
His imagination reverts to the night--the time for "wicked dreams" and wicked deeds--for witchcraft and for murder, with stealthy pace moving like a ghost toward his fell design. Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier, and afeard?
But, sensing her regret, he hides his plans to kill Lady Macduff and her children. Lady Macbeth manipulates her husband with remarkable effectiveness, overriding all his objections; when he hesitates to murder, she repeatedly questions his manhood until he feels that he must commit murder to prove himself.
But the next moment, when he refuses to take back the daggers he has brought from the chamber of death, her indomitable will enables her to do it herself.