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Flashcards in Lady Macbeth Deck (8)
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How does Lady Macbeth appear to be duplicitous?

"Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under't"

Biblical connotations of the garden of Eden, carrying the extended metaphor of the serpent's duplicity and equivocation.

'Flower' - connotations of purity and innocence. contrasts with the connotations of 'serpent' which tend to be sly and deceitful.

Appears to be duplicitous as she is telling Macbeth to appear to be something he isn't.

Present tense verb 'look' shows how Lady M may not care about people's characteristics but only how they tend to portray themselves. As it is in the present tense we can infer she permanently keeps up an act to pretend to be something she's not

'Under't' Suggests the 'serpent's danger and darkness isn't immediate and although cannot be seen, it is still there


What does Lady Macbeth request in order to kill Duncan?

"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'

Superlative 'direst' shows how Lady Macbeth is demanding and sure of what she wants. she can't have any old cruelty- she needs the worst kind which emphasises her ambition.

Noun 'crown' is used rather than head to show how focused she is to become queen. As if being royalty is now physically a part of her. Could also show how it is physically and metaphorically 'on her mind' as it is all she can think about.

'Fill' verb, implies how she wants it to consume every part of her. We can infer from this that she is not afraid of the consequences f being consumed by evil.


What does Lady Macbeth say to Macbeth to express her lust for power over typical feminine/maternal qualities?

'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 thy nipple from his boneless gums / And dash'd the brains out, / Had I so sworn as you / Have done to this.'

Violent imagery portrays how Lady Macbeth is ruthless and has ambition surpassing her gender/mothering role within society.

Tries to manipulate Macbeth by saying she'd commit an equally as disturbing act as regicide if she had promised him that she would do it.



What does Lady Macbeth say to the spirits to express her lust for power over typical feminine/maternal qualities?

''Come to my woman's breast and take my milk for gall you murdering ministers''

Imperative command shows her control against the spirits and therefore thinks she's more powerful than the 'murdering ministers'.

'Murdering ministers' - the alliteration suggests a mocking tone, like that of a child: challenging them.

Semantic field: 'breasts' and milk' are specifically for nurturing a baby. as she wants her feminine qualities taken away this shows she'd rather metaphorically 'feed' her desire for a higher social status as queen.
she no longer has no mothering role as ambition has consumed her life


How does Lady Macbeth comment on Macbeth's cowardly nature to take advantage of the next opportunity?

Yet I do fear thy nature. It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way.

Milk is pure and white which flows and is smooth in texture, demonstrating her distaste for Macbeth's cowardess, directly insulting it, comparing it to something that babies drink.

Lady Macbeth uses the particular verb 'fear' over others because this is the feeling sh often conjures up within Macbeth. By using this particular term, it invokes a very particular response within Macbeth, deceiving him.


How does Lady Macbeth insult Macbeth by stripping away his manhood until he commits regicide?

When you durst do it, then you were a man!

Diminishing his manhood into committing the act of regicide.

Second person pronoun 'you' used in a attempt to make him feel weak and personally targeted.

Condensing the qualities of manhood down into acts of violence, showing Lady Macbeth's narrow mindset towards her end goal: power.


How does Lady Macbeth comment on the state of her hands being akin to Macbeth's?

My hands are of your colour, but I shame / to wear a heart so white.

Both steeped in blood and equal in the murder. however Lady Macbeth is trying to put the blame onto Macbeth.

The adjective 'white' has connotations of purity and goodness which further carries the idea that Macbeth is not as brutal/evil as Lady Macbeth.

the verb 'wear' suggests how Lady Macbeth views Macbeth's weak personality to be a part of him and treats it as if it were a bad thing.


What does Lady Macbeth say to her hands whilst she is sleepwalking?

Out damned spot! Out I say!

Repetition of exclamation marks shows her desperation to get the blood off her hands (which isn't actually there at all).

The adjective 'Damned' has religious connotations as if you were damned it meant you were going to hell- may foreshadow her death later on

The declarative statement 'I say' suggests how she is so used to having power all this time so now she's using it to try and re gain control. she thinks so highly of herself that she thinks she has enough authority to stop something from happening