Macbeth

Lady Macbeth Character Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
Macbeth's wife. Unlike her husband, she has no reservations about murdering Duncan in order to make Macbeth King of Scotland. She believes that a true man takes what he wants, and whenever Macbeth objects to murdering Duncan on moral grounds, she questions his courage. Lady Macbeth assumes that she'll be able to murder Duncan and then quickly forget it once she's Queen of Scotland. But she discovers that guilt is not so easily avoided, and falls into madness and despair.

Lady Macbeth Quotes in Macbeth

The Macbeth quotes below are all either spoken by Lady Macbeth or refer to Lady Macbeth. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Ambition Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of Macbeth published in 2003.
Act 1, scene 5 Quotes
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; make thick my blood,
Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect and it! Come to my woman's breasts,
And take my milk for gall.
Related Characters: Lady Macbeth (speaker)
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 1.5.47-55
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Look like the innocent flower,
But be the serpent under it.
Related Characters: Lady Macbeth (speaker), Macbeth
Page Number: 1.5.76-77
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Act 1, scene 7 Quotes
Macbeth: If we should fail.
Lady Macbeth: We fail?
But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we'll not fail.
Related Characters: Macbeth (speaker), Lady Macbeth (speaker)
Page Number: 1.7.68-71
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laboru

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Act 3, scene 2 Quotes
Nought's had, all's spent
Where our desire is got without content.
Related Characters: Lady Macbeth (speaker)
Page Number: 3.2.6-7
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa

Act 5, scene 1 Quotes
Out, damned spot! out, I say!
Related Characters: Lady Macbeth (speaker)
Related Symbols: Sleep
Page Number: 5.1.37
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lady Macbeth Character Timeline in Macbeth

The timeline below shows where the character Lady Macbeth appears in Macbeth. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, scene 5
Ambition Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
Manhood Theme Icon
At Inverness, Lady Macbeth reads a letter in which Macbeth tells her of the witches' prophecy. Lady Macbeth worries... (full context)
Ambition Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
Nature and the Unnatural Theme Icon
Manhood Theme Icon
A servant enters with news that Duncan will spend the night, then exits. Lady Macbeth says Duncan's visit will be fatal, and calls on spirits to "unsex me here… and... (full context)
Ambition Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
Nature and the Unnatural Theme Icon
Macbeth enters, and says Duncan will spend the night and leave the next day. Lady Macbeth says Duncan will never see that day. She counsels Macbeth to look like an "innocent... (full context)
Act 1, scene 6
Manhood Theme Icon
Lady Macbeth warmly greets the King and the thanes, though Macbeth is nowhere to be seen. (full context)
Act 1, scene 7
Ambition Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
Manhood Theme Icon
Lady Macbeth enters, asking where he's been. Macbeth tells her they won't murder Duncan. She questions his... (full context)
Ambition Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
Macbeth asks what will happen if they fail. Lady Macbeth assures him they won't fail if they have courage. She outlines the plan: she'll give... (full context)
Act 2, scene 1
Ambition Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
Offstage, Lady Macbeth rings the bell to signal that Duncan's attendants are asleep. Macbeth goes to murder Duncan. (full context)
Act 2, scene 2
Violence Theme Icon
Lady Macbeth waits in agitation for Macbeth to do the deed. She comments that had the sleeping... (full context)
Ambition Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
Lady Macbeth soothes him and tells him to wash his hands, but notices he's still carrying the... (full context)
Violence Theme Icon
Lady Macbeth returns, her hands now as bloody as Macbeth's. But she's calm, and identifies the 'mysterious'... (full context)
Act 2, scene 3
Ambition Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
...and Lennox ask what happened, then run to Duncan's chamber. Banquo, Malcolm, and Donalbain wake. Lady Macbeth enters, pretending not to know what happened, and expressing horror when Macduff tells her of... (full context)
Ambition Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
...he was so furious that they had murdered the Duncan that he couldn't control himself. Lady Macbeth faints. (full context)
Act 3, scene 1
Ambition Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
Macbeth enters, with other thanes and Lady Macbeth . He asks Banquo to attend a feast that evening. Banquo says he will, but... (full context)
Act 3, scene 2
Ambition Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
After sending a servant to fetch Macbeth, Lady Macbeth , waits, and muses that she has what she desires but isn't happy. (full context)
Ambition Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
Lady Macbeth reminds him to be "bright and jovial" at the feast. Macbeth tells her to act... (full context)
Act 3, scene 4
Fate Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
Nature and the Unnatural Theme Icon
Lady Macbeth calls to Macbeth and asks him to return to the feast and sit. But Macbeth... (full context)
Fate Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
Nature and the Unnatural Theme Icon
Manhood Theme Icon
Lady Macbeth tells the thanes not to worry, that since childhood Macbeth has suffered fits. She pulls... (full context)
Nature and the Unnatural Theme Icon
The ghost reappears and Macbeth, terrified, starts shouting at it. Lady Macbeth tries to play down her husband's strange behavior. The ghost again disappears. Macbeth is amazed... (full context)
Ambition Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth : "Blood will have blood" (3.4.121), and asks what Lady Macbeth makes of the fact... (full context)
Act 5, scene 1
Violence Theme Icon
Nature and the Unnatural Theme Icon
...A doctor and a gentlewoman wait. The gentlewoman called the doctor because she has seen Lady Macbeth sleepwalking the last few nights, but she refuses to say what Lady Macbeth says or... (full context)
Violence Theme Icon
Nature and the Unnatural Theme Icon
Lady Macbeth enters, holding a candle, but asleep. Lady Macbeth keeps rubbing her hands as if to... (full context)
Ambition Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
The horrified doctor and gentlewoman watch as Lady Macbeth then relives conversations with Macbeth after the murder of Banquo and hears an imaginary knocking... (full context)
Act 5, scene 3
Ambition Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
He asks the doctor about Lady Macbeth , then commands that the man cure her. In an aside, the doctor says that... (full context)
Act 5, scene 5
Ambition Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
...lack of fear. Suddenly, a woman cries out. Seyton investigates, and returns with news that Lady Macbeth has died. Macbeth gives a speech about life: "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow / Creeps... (full context)