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In the quote that follows, (in this context), what is the dramatic significance in...

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nhl123 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted June 13, 2013 at 11:43 PM via web

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In the quote that follows, (in this context), what is the dramatic significance in terms of one of the following character development, plot development, theme, imagery, atmosphere, dramatic irony, foreshadowing or background information: 

"Out, damned spot! Out I say! One.Two. Why then 'tis time to do't.  Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie ! " 

 [ Select one and please mention below which one it is]

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 14, 2013 at 6:24 AM (Answer #1)

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The culmination of Lady Macbeth's intentions, deeds and her character can be seen in Act V, scene i of Macbeth. Blood has featured throughout Macbeth and is a symbol of the guilt  and fear of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as they further their ambitions.

The CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT of Lady Macbeth, ruthless ("unsexed"), driven and ambitious shows her now ineffective self, reduced to an "infected mind(s)" (V.i.70). In this quote: 

"Out, damned spot! Out I say! One.Two. Why then 'tis time to do't.  Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie !"(V.i.31-3)

Lady Macbeth's character has descended into a kind of "hell" where it is "murky." She cannot understand how she came to this point and she is now paying for her crimes. Lady Macbeth is grasping onto what remains as she still wants to be a part of Macbeth's future and her frantic attempts to wash away the blood that has always featured throughout Macbeth reveal the side of her character that is to be pitied.

Early in Macbeth, Lady Macbeth promises Macbeth that they can "wash away" their guilt and responsibility as "a little water clears us of this deed"(II.ii.67) and the fact that she seems unable to do that is haunting her now. She maintains that "none can call our pow'r to account" as long as no-one knows but she is vaguely aware of their position as "What, will these hands ne'er be clean?"(41)

Lady Macbeth longs to return to a place where she can mother Macbeth " ...come, come, give me your hand....To bed, to bed, to bed"(V.i.65-7) and imagines being able to comfort him "what's done cannot be undone"(66). Her character however is not strong enough to fight any further and Macbeth, not as invincible as he believes, cannot ensure that the doctor can  "find her disease and purge it" (V.iii.51)

  

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