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What are two quotes that show Lady Macbeth manipulating Macbeth in Macbeth?

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vinatge45 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 14, 2010 at 4:13 AM via web

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What are two quotes that show Lady Macbeth manipulating Macbeth in Macbeth?

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andyluv | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted November 18, 2010 at 10:24 PM (Answer #1)

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Lady Macbeth was a very good manipulator.

"Hie thee hither,

That i may pour my spirits in thine ear

And chastise thee with the valour of my tongue..."

also lady macbeth challenges her husband-

"What beast was't then
That made you break this enterprise to me?
When you durst do it, then you were a man;(55)
And, to be more than what you were, you would
Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place
Did then adhere, and yet you would make both:
They have made themselves, and that their fitness now
Does unmake you. I have given suck, and know(60)
How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me:
I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,
And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you
Have done to this.(65)

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bettykirkers | Student, Grade 12 | TA | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted February 26, 2015 at 9:28 PM (Answer #3)

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There is an argument that Macbeth's fate is not predestined and that transgressive female characters such as Lady Macbeth push him further into 'blood'. Declaring "we will proceed no further in this business", Macbeth evidently undergoes a mental process by which he comes round to the idea of murdering Duncan. He does this as a result of his wife's manipulation, her leverage being his manliness. She mocks him, forcing him to act to prove her wrong: 

When you durst do it, then you are a man 

She is unsympathetic "you do unbend your noble strength to think so brainsickly of things" and even critical of her husband, despite the fact she was unable to carry out the murder of Duncan herself. 

My hands are of your colour;
but I shame to wear a heart so white

Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's hands are of the same colour, that is, red from the blood of Duncan. Yet Lady Macbeth manipulates Macbeth into acting innocent, she accuses him of being weak and her words suggest that they will be found out if he cannot pull himself together and collect himself.

This is consolidated by her demand that he "look like th' innocent flower, but be the serpent under't". In such a manner, Lady Macbeth manipulates Macbeth into keeping their heinous deed a secret. She wants to be queen, even if she has to coerce her husband into murdering the king to become this. 

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted November 14, 2010 at 5:16 AM (Answer #2)

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The quotes you are looking for are in Act I, Scene vii. Macbeth is having second thoughts about killing Duncan, but Lady Macbeth refuses to allow him to pass up the opportunity to be king. Lady Macbeth says the following lines to him:

Was the hope drunk
Wherein you dress'd yourself? Hath it slept since?(40)
And wakes it now, to look so green and pale
At what it did so freely? From this time
Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard
To be the same in thine own act and valor
As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that(45)
Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life
And live a coward in thine own esteem,
Letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would”
Like the poor cat i’ the adage?

Lady Macbeth questions Macbeth's courage, and then says to him:

What beast was't then
That made you break this enterprise to me?
When you durst do it, then you were a man;(55)
And, to be more than what you were, you would
Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place
Did then adhere, and yet you would make both:
They have made themselves, and that their fitness now
Does unmake you. I have given suck, and know(60)
How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me:
I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,
And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you
Have done to this.(65)

In the quote above, Lady Macbeth questions Macbeth's manliness, knowing that this is the greatest insult she can say to him. Because Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are so close at the beginning of the play, she knows exactly how to manipulate him into committing murder.

 

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