(I, v, 57-60 What is the significance of this quote?  "Come, thick night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,  Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark"

1 Answer | Add Yours

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In the phantasmagoric drama of witchcraft, murder, and madness in Macbeth, there is a continual shifting succession of things that are imagined or seen. These lines from Act I, Scene 5, reflect the deception that Lady Macbeth wishes to surround the murderous act which she contemplates under the heavy darkness of night so that no one will see and cry out.

It is ironic, indeed, that Lady Macbeth request that night enshroud her.  For, later she comes to be truly enshrouded in her guilt, which drives her to madness. Moreover, in this soliloquy Lady Macbeth becomes a doppelganger, or double, for Macbeth who himself commits the murder of King Duncan.  Here, too, the theme of ambition is furthered and a connection is made between masculinity and violence since Lady Macbeth calls upon the spirits to unsex her so that she ignore any human feelings of pity.


We’ve answered 317,566 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question