What is the significance of this quote from Macbeth, considering themes, characters, and literary devices?

The raven himself is hoarse That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan Under my battlements. Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood; Stop up the access and passage to remorse, That no compunctious visitings of nature Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between The effect and it! Come to my woman's breasts, And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers, Wherever in your sightless substances You wait on nature's mischief! Come, thick night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark, To cry 'Hold, hold!'

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This quote by Lady Macbeth comes just before the murder of King Duncan.  Lady Macbeth's call to the spirits to "unsex" her sets up an extended metaphor in which the actions of a woman, namely a mother, differ from that of a man, namely a soldier.  She wants to be given inner strength to carry her through the ill deed that she and her husband have planned.  She does not want any feelings of warmth or "motherly" tenderness to cause her to feel guilt or remorse.  She wants to have no hesitation in action.  Lady Macbeth wants to assume the role of soldier, ready to carry out his orders.  Her actions relate to the themes of ambition and greed in the play.  Lady Macbeth will stop at nothing to see the prophecy carried out, believing that the rule of Scotland has benefits for both her and Macbeth.

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