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Flashcards in Lady Macbeth Deck (12)
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Quote in act 1 scene 5

Look like thy innocent flower, but be the serpent under’nt’- Lady Macbeth


Quote from act 1 scene 7

Dashed the brains out, had I so sworn to you- lady Macbeth


Quote from Act 1 scene 5

Take my milk for gall


Quote from act 5 scene 1

She has a light by her continually


Lady macbeth

Machiavellian villainess
Metaphorically castrates
macbeth by taking away his masculinity and manipulating him into killing Duncan
She is a subvert if a typical Jacobean woman as she controls macbeth and has more power over him
She is a femme fatale (deadly female) who charms ensures her lovers to often get them into dangerous situations.
Lady Macbeth’s association with the supernatural violates her expected role as a democratic and passive woman.


‘Look like that innocent flower but be the serpent under’nt’

Use of metaphor influences Macbeth’s actions and his devious nature
Lady macbeth being a main character and portrayed as an influential person on others shows Shakespeares respect for woman as he presents ideas people wouldn’t have at the time
Serpent has biblical connotations and links to the serpent in genesis. Showing the temptation of ambition and power by killing Duncan which foreshadows her downfall like eve (Adam and Eve)


‘And take my milk for gall’

Milk has connotations to motherhood and links to a women’s role in society is to take care and look after their children
Gall has connotations of being poisonous, supernatural.
Imperative take shows her power and control Over the situation


‘Dashed the brains out had I so sworn to you’

Emotional blackmail. Violent imagery shows the extent she will go to for her own way
Dashed is a dynamic verb, hard plosive sound.
By by presenting lady macbeth as a maternal figure and then violating this role Shakespeare is warping the expected roles of women


‘She has a light by her continually’

Light is a gothic theme and can be linked with religion as she is trying to get her relationship back with god
Shows that she is fearful of the dark as that is when Duncan’s murder happened
Suggests that perhaps there is an element of innocence behind the apparently villainous character


‘Too full o’the milk of human kindness’

Questioning Macbeth’s manhood
Milk also implies that macbeth needs to be nurtured to commit regicide
Has connotations of innocence contrasting with his dark desires


‘Unsex me here’

Demands spirit to remove her gender and with that her femininity so that she can persuade macbeth to kill Duncan
Disturbing imagery is employed with a refusal of any maternal instinct or any feminine trait which would make her vunerable
Imperative ‘unsex’ shows perhaps lady macbeth wishes to castraphate herself as it is a. Harsh reminder of the feminine things she cannot do. Poignantly she is reminded that banquos children will be on the throne


Lady macbeth during the play

The two personalities of lady macbeth are again highlighted by Shakespeare through the meter used. In her opening scenes where she appears dominant and her conscience utilises the lambic pentameter. By definition this up and down rhythm serves to indicate that there is something unstable about this woman. As her relationship with macbeth disintergrates and she meets the limit of her power she then stumbles around the castle. Speaking in prose the only Shakespearean protagonist to die speaking in this way then empathises her insignificance. It also outlines her subconscience: the eternal and moral