Lady Macbeth Quotes

Saffron Wright
Mind Map by Saffron Wright, updated more than 1 year ago
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A-Level English Literature Mind Map on Lady Macbeth Quotes, created by Saffron Wright on 10/27/2015.
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Lady Macbeth Quotes
1 HER INFLUENCE OVER MACBETH (LIKE THE WITCHES)
1.1 "I'll be myself the harbinger and make joyful the hearing of my wife with your approach"

Annotations:

  • They seem to come as a pair, two halves of the same coin. Without her, Macbeth seems like a lost child despite being a vicious soldier on the battlefield. The imbalance of power between the two is noticeable to a Jacobean audience and it definitely suggests that the two rely on each other, without the other, one would fall or fail. 
1.1.1 "This I have thought food to deliver thee"
1.1.1.1 "my dearest partner in greatness"
1.2 "[you] shalt be what thou art promis'd"
1.3 "To alter favour ever is to fear"

Annotations:

  • Lady Macbeth is impatient, dreading that Macbeth's compassion should kick in and she would have to forget her plan to be Queen, she bullies and pesters him in his indecisive state where she has more power to sway him, before he becomes "settled" not the wrong thing.
1.3.1 "From this time such I account thy love"
1.3.1.1 "Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would' like the poor cat i' th' adage"
1.4 "You do unbend your noble strength to think so brainsickly of things"

Annotations:

  • She tries to encourage Macbeth to close off his compassion, like she begged to the Supernatural creatures to do to herself. She emulates the witches in her impact over Macbeth. 
1.4.1 "Tis the eye of childhood that fears a painted devil"
1.5 "I dare do all that may become a man"

Annotations:

  • Lady Macbeth taunts Macbeth with his masculinity. His weakness in her eyes is his compassion and that lack in herself becomes her strength, because without her 'lack' of compassion, the Macbeths would not get anywhere. Lady Macbeth drives masculinity out of Macbeth because she is incapable of doing the same for herself.
2 HER LIMITATIONS AS A WOMAN
2.1 "the valour of my tongue"

Annotations:

  • Like Cathy, Lady Macbeth's sword and weapon is her tongue. And it is even more powerful than physicality.
2.2 "pour my spirits in thine ear"

Annotations:

  • HAMLET. Emulating the villainy of her by comparing her to Hamlet's uncle.
2.3 "unsex me here"

Annotations:

  • Being a woman is her limitation. She cannot do what she wants as a woman, like Beatrice. She needs to be a man to avenge and succeed in the way she wants to. She wishes to lose her womanhood, like the witches, for power. It seems you cannot be both. Cathy is both, free from conventions of society, and she is a force to be reckoned with, completely destructive.
2.3.1 stop up th' access and passage to remorse that no compunctious visitings of nature"
2.3.1.1 "take my milk for gall"
2.3.1.1.1 "I would...have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums, and dash'd the brains out"

Annotations:

  • Lady Macbeth takes something so natural, breast milk, and twists it into something evil or weak. She truly tries to abandon womanhood and maternity but is she successful? Perhaps on the surface only.
2.4 "the fatal entrance of Duncan under my battlements"

Annotations:

  • The castle is Macbeth's but she talks about it as if it were her own. Is that without Macbeth present, in play, she acts as if she is the one in power truly, instead of just behind the scenes? Does she dream of doing the killing herself, even if she knows she can't? Does she live through Macbeth?
3 HER CONSCIENCE
3.1 "That which hath made me drunk hath made me bold"

Annotations:

  • She has to drink to stomach this? Surely, if she was that evil, her sobriety would be enough to kill the King?
3.2 "Consider it not so deeply"

Annotations:

  • Is this her method?
3.3 "These deeds must not be thought [of]...it will make us mad"

Annotations:

  • Does the deed drive her mad? Is her faint real or fake?
3.3.1 "Help me hence, ho!"
3.4 "My hands are of your colour, but I shame to wear a heart so white."

Annotations:

  • How true is this? She goes mad later. She surely must feel some shame or at least, regret.
3.5 "What, in our house?"

Annotations:

  • A false attempt at covering up her own steps. Is it, like Macbeth, about the reputation for her? Is their only worry about how this will turn out for them>
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