Shakespeare combined with English teachers will be the death of me

Hi everyone! So in English we are studying Macbeth and we had to analyse a quote. This is what I got and I can’t think of anything else. Help please! Thanks in advance!

Naught’s had, all’s spent
Where our desires is got without content
‘Tis better to be that which we destroy
Then in destruction, dwell in doubtful joy.
– Act III, scene ii (Lady Macbeth, soliloquy)

Lady Macbeth is speaking in soliloquy here, meaning she is speaking to herself so the audience can listen in on her train of thought.  This takes place after Macbeth has ordered two murders to kill Banquo and his son but he hasn’t been killed yet. Macbeth come to see Lady Macbeth after this line and hints at his intentions for Banquo’s murder but doesn’t say exactly what he had planned out. Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck, / Till thou applaud the deed.” Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy here in most important in establishing her guilt. “Where our desire is got without content” is Lady Macbeth saying we have gotten what we wanted, but I’m not happy. This could have been interpreted as that she wanted more power were it not for the next two lines. It’s better to be the murdered then the murders, because as the murders we can never really be happy because we are in fear of being caught and haunted by our guilt. Lady Macbeth telling the audience that she doesn’t consider all that they have achieved worth the price they paid. This could be considered ironic because it was Duncan who paid the prince with his life. Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy presents a different form of “fair is foul and foul is fair,” the motif that is brought up throughout the play. Being the murdered would typically be considered the worse option between the two.  But because of being plagued by guilt the positions are reversed, dying is preferable to live. Foul has become fair.

Thank you!

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4 Comments

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