Lady Macbeth Quote Quotes

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Words: 661 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Mar 19, 2024

Words: 661|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Mar 19, 2024

Table of contents

  1. The Desire for Power
  2. The Sacrifice for Ambition
  3. The Burden of Guilt
  4. Conclusion

Lady Macbeth is undoubtedly one of Shakespeare's most fascinating and complex characters. Her quotes throughout the play offer profound insights into her mindset and motivations, revealing the depths of her ambition, ruthlessness, and eventual descent into guilt and madness. In this essay, we will explore some of Lady Macbeth's most striking quotes and analyze their significance within the context of the play.

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The Desire for Power

One of Lady Macbeth's most famous quotes comes early in the play, when she learns about the witches' prophecy that Macbeth will become king. In an aside, she exclaims, "Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty!" (1.5.39-42). This quote is significant as it reveals Lady Macbeth's desire to shed her feminine qualities and embrace a more masculine, ruthless nature in order to achieve her goals. She recognizes that the path to power is not easily attainable for women in a patriarchal society, and she is willing to abandon societal norms and expectations to seize control.

Lady Macbeth's quote also raises interesting questions about gender and power dynamics. By asking to be unsexed, she challenges the traditional roles assigned to men and women. In her mind, power and cruelty are associated with masculinity, and she believes that adopting these traits will enable her to manipulate and control Macbeth. This quote highlights the theme of gender ambiguity and the subversion of traditional gender roles that permeate the play.

The Sacrifice for Ambition

Another notable quote from Lady Macbeth comes in Act 1, Scene 7, as she attempts to convince Macbeth to follow through with their plan to murder King Duncan. She states, "I have given suck, and know how tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me. I would, while it was smiling in my face, have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums and dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done to this" (1.7.54-59). This quote showcases Lady Macbeth's willingness to sacrifice her maternal instincts and commit the most heinous acts in pursuit of power.

Lady Macbeth's quote here is shocking and disturbing, as it portrays a mother's willingness to kill her own child. It emphasizes the lengths to which she is willing to go to achieve her ambitions, even if it means forsaking her natural instincts. This quote also highlights the theme of the corrupting influence of power, as Lady Macbeth's desire for control pushes her to abandon her humanity and commit unimaginable acts of violence.

The Burden of Guilt

As the play progresses, Lady Macbeth's quotes undergo a transformation, reflecting her deteriorating mental state and overwhelming guilt. In Act 5, Scene 1, she is plagued by visions and sleepwalking, obsessively trying to wash the metaphorical bloodstains from her hands. She exclaims, "Out, damned spot! Out, I say!...Who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?" (5.1.36-39). This quote is a poignant reflection of Lady Macbeth's guilt and remorse for her role in the murders committed by Macbeth.

Lady Macbeth's quote here symbolizes her inability to cleanse herself of the guilt and the bloodshed that has stained her conscience. The image of the "damned spot" represents the indelible mark of her actions and the impossibility of erasing the past. This quote serves as a powerful reminder of the psychological toll that guilt can take on an individual, even one as ambitious and strong-willed as Lady Macbeth.

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In conclusion, Lady Macbeth's quotes offer a profound glimpse into the complex character of one of Shakespeare's most memorable women. Through her words, we witness her ambition, her willingness to defy societal norms, and her descent into guilt and madness. Lady Macbeth's quotes not only illuminate her character but also raise thought-provoking questions about gender, power, and the corrupting influence of ambition. Shakespeare's portrayal of Lady Macbeth serves as a cautionary tale, reminding us of the destructive consequences that can arise from unchecked ambition and the suppression of one's conscience.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Lady Macbeth Quote Quotes. (2024, March 19). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“Lady Macbeth Quote Quotes.” GradesFixer, 19 Mar. 2024,
Lady Macbeth Quote Quotes. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
Lady Macbeth Quote Quotes [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 19 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from:
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