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How has Lady Macbeth made herself bold? [2.1.1-4] Has it worked?How does this relate to...

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hello97 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 3, 2009 at 7:28 AM via web

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How has Lady Macbeth made herself bold? [2.1.1-4] Has it worked?

How does this relate to Macbeth's statement that Gods justice brings the poisoned chalice to our own lips?

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cybil | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted April 3, 2009 at 1:37 PM (Answer #1)

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Lady Macbeth has drunk some of the drugged wine she prepared for the grooms: "That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold." The success of the drink is mixed at best. She says she would have killed Duncan herself had he not looked like her father while he slept; on the other hand, when Macbeth is unwilling to return the bloody daggers to the murder scene, she not only does so but also smears the grooms with blood. She has no fear of the dead king.

Macbeth's statement, made before he offers several reasons for not killing his king, logically points out that as much as he wishes that this act of murder would be the one act necessary to accomplish his goal, he realizes that by killing the king, he and Lady Macbeth simply teach others how to murder. They may then be victims themselves later. The "poisoned chalice" refers literally to the potion that Lady Macbeth provides for the grooms. Macbeth realizes that their plan may backfire; they may be caught in their net.

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