What does Lady Macbeth mean when she says 'That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold'? Who are they?

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Lady Macbeth is referring here to the guards who protect King Duncan. Part of the fiendish plot to kill the king in order for her husband, Macbeth to succeed to the throne involved drugging the  king's guards. It is Lady Macbeth who conceives the plan to ‘drug their [the guards] possets.’

 The whole household of Macbeth has been celebrating the arrival of King Duncan. His visit was to give thanks to Macbeth for his bravery in battle in defeating the Norwegian forces. Lady Macbeth has convinced Macbeth that killing the king will advance the prophesy told by the witches that he should be king. Macbeth is not so sure of the plan, but Lady Macbeth convinces him of the necessity to kill the king.

As the evening progresses she becomes more determined in her plan. The adrenaline (and alcohol) which has fuelled the evening has given her courage to carry out the plan, hence –

That which hath made them [the guards – and possibly the other guests] drunk hath made me bold.

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