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Macbeth Quote Analysis

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kelci cowley-Deyoe

on 17 January 2014

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Transcript of Macbeth Quote Analysis

Macbeth Quote Analysis
Context And Speaker
" Yet I do fear thy nature;/ It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness/ To catch the nearest way" (1.5 15-18)

Literary Devices
The use of soliloquy, personification, imagery, diction, and symbolism emphasize Lady Macbeth's character.

Soliloquy
allows the audience to see what Lady Macbeth thinks of her husband.
Personification
: " nature is too full o' th' milk of human kindness... to catch the nearest way" personifying his nature as too gentle to get to the top. Lady Macbeth also doubts his ability to destroy others in order to gain the throne quickly.
Imagery
: "too full o' th' milk of human kindness" meant to show how she views him as a child who still needs to be nutured and guided. This highlights the the fact that Lady Macbeth holds power over him.
Diction:
"milk" connects Macbeth to the characteristics of innocence, purity and kindness. All of which Lady Macbeth sees as weaknesses that stand in the way.
Symbolism:
Milk symbolizes what kind of man Macbeth was before everything took place. Shows his purity and how he has a blank slate, just as milk is white.

Significance To Ideas In Play/Theme
Because Lady Macbeth is the one who wears "the pants" of the relationship, she jumps at the opportunity to obtain power. Throughout the power struggle, Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to complete tasks as means to an end. She also often thinks out loud in attempts to convince and reassure herself to "be strong" and go through any means necessary to gain the desired power. These facts largely and directly relate to the theme;
the corrupting power of ambition.
This theme plays a large role in the Macbeth's downfall. In this quote she is talking to herself about the little faith she has in Macbeth's courage and ambition as well as her belief that his kind nature will prevent him from completing any necessary tasks.
But by planting ambition within him insures she will get what she wants. Therefore this quote represents the beginning of Lady Macbeth's ambition, that will go unchecked and bring corruption and greed to herself and Macbeth.
Lady Macbeth says this in a soliloquy after reading a letter sent from Macbeth, talking about his encounter with the witches. She fears that due to Macbeth's nature, he is "too full o' th' human kindness" and cannot "catch the nearest way" in order to rise to power and accomplish what is necessary to do so. Here Lady Macbeth decides that together they need to murder King Duncan to achieve the throne. Yet knowing she faces the issue of convincing Macbeth to follow through.
Significance to English Renaissance
During this time period, men usually had all the power in the household.
Women had lower social status and were expected to follow the mens wishes. However, what Lady Macbeth does with Macbeth is be the complete opposite.
Lady Macbeth takes the role of being the superior one.
Because she is unable to obtain the power herself she uses Macbeth to do so. She does not believe he is ambitious enough to do the job, so she has to be the one to create the plot and urge Macbeth to do the deeds. While Macbeth lacks confidence, Lady Macbeth would be willing to do anything, even regicide to fulfill her wishes. It is clear she does not care about the consequences.
Therefore, the switch of roles between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth relate to the English Renaissance.
Overview

In Lady Macbeth's soliloquy, she decides that together they need to murder King Duncan to achieve the throne. Yet knowing she faces the issue of convincing Macbeth to follow through. The use of soliloquy, personification, imagery, diction, and symbolism emphasize Lady Macbeth's character and thoughts on this matter. These allow the audience to see what Lady Macbeth thinks of her husband as well as tell that she doubts his ability and manliness. She obviously holds power over him and that is shown through word choice. His purity and kindness, seen as good to most people, is viewed as weakness to her. She inflicts upon him the corrupting power of ambition which insures that she will get exactly what she wants. Showing that she wears "the pants" in the relationship not only communicates her superiority over him but also the fact that she is unlike most women of the English Renaissance.
Full transcript