Get all the most famous Lady Macbeth quotes from Macbeth by William Shakespeare, about her ambition, her powerful and controlling relationship with Macbeth, and even her guilt.
It’s hard not to be immersed in the important story of Macbeth, who becomes powerful in Scotland, but whose heroic nature was tested after a meeting with the three supernatural witches, and the manipulation of Lady Macbeth herself over his manhood, challenging him to commit acts of violence to gain power.
It’s a timeless story of light and dark, of loyalty and betrayal.
Let’s explore exactly what Lady Macbeth said in Macbeth.
Great Quotes by Lady Macbeth
Below are frequently asked questions about the most notable lines by Lady Macbeth, followed by more good quotations from Lady Macbeth.
Frequently Asked Questions about Key Lines
Lady Macbeth shows her desire for ambition in these words:
“Thou wouldst be great
Art not without ambition, but without
The illness should attend it.”
Lady Macbeth calls Macbeth a coward in these words:
“Would’st thou have that
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’ th’ adage?”
Even Lady Macbeth shows guilt in Macbeth when she says these words: “Here’s the smell of blood still. All perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.”
Lady Macbeth speaks these final words in Act 5, Scene 1 of Macbeth:
“To bed, to bed: there’s knocking at the gate:
come, come, come, come, give me your hand: what’s done,
cannot be undone: to bed, to bed, to bed.”
More Quotes by Lady Macbeth
“What cannot you and I perform upon / The unguarded Duncan? What not put upon / His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt / Of our great quell?”
“The raven himself is hoarse / That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan / Under my battlements.”
“That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold: / What hath quenched them hath given me fire.”
“Come you spirits, That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here[.]”
“O, never / Shall sun that morrow see!”
“To beguile the time, / Look like the time. Bear welcome in your eye, / Your hand, your tongue. Look like th’ innocent flower, / But be the serpent under‘t.”
“[Y]ou shall put / This night’s great business into my dispatch, / Which shall to all our nights and days to come / Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.”
“Make thick my blood. / Stop up th’ access and passage to remorse, / That no compunctious visitings of nature / Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between / Th’ effect and it.”
“[Y]ou murd’ring 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!”
“I have given suck, and know / How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me.
I would, while it was smiling in my face, / Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums / And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you / Have done to this.”
“Things without all remedy should be without regard: what’s done, is done.”
“I laid their daggers ready; / He could not miss ‘em. Had he not resembled / My father as he slept, I had done’t.”
“What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? – Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him.”
“My hands are of your color, but I shame to wear a heart so white.”
“What’s done cannot be undone.”
“Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be / What thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature; / It is to full o’ th’ milk of human kindness.”
“That I may pour my spirits in thine ear / And chastise with the valor of my tongue / All that impedes thee from the golden round, / Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem / To have thee crowned withal.”
“Nought’s had, all’s spent, / Where our desire is got without content; / ‘Tis safer to be that which we destroy / Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.”
Now you know all the most famous Lady Macbeth quotes from Macbeth by William Shakespeare.
If you loved Macbeth, check these out:
- The recent movie adaptation on Apple+: The Tragedy of Macbeth
- The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (title inspired by Macbeth)
- Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (title inspired by Macbeth)
- Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin (title inspired by Macbeth)
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