“Come, you spirits; That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here…” In Macbeth, William Shakespeare writes this passage in order to tell us about the character of Lady Macbeth. Using only this line, we can almost determine Lady Macbeth’s personality and her motives. Up to the point where this quote leaves off, we have not heard much of Lady Macbeth.
In the first line Lady Macbeth says, “Come, you spirits.” Already we have a dark image of her conjuring up evil spirits. She does not seem a bit intimidated by the spirits she is calling. Her tone of voice suggests she is almost commanding the spirits to help her carry out her plan. Shakespeare meant to put this phrase in the beginning of the sentence. So that the reader sees Lady Macbeth as more of an evil character, which in her own way conjures evil spirits.
In the first part of the second line Lady Macbeth says, “That tend on mortal thought.” It means that she wants the evil spirits that wait on thoughts of murder or death to come to her. This phrase foreshadows the many deaths that happen by the end of the play. By now, we can see Lady Macbeth’s nature. Her thoughts are all dark images, and her mind is set on the murder of the King.
Finally, in the most significant part of the sentence Lady Macbeth says, “unsex me here.” She wants the spirits to come and take away her soft, feminine characteristics. She feels that her husband is too nice to get the greatness he is promised, and the only way he can succeed is if she helps him.
In the first half of the play, Lady Macbeth is the brain behind the operation. She not only provides the actual plan, but encourages her husband as well. During the period the play was written, women were considered to be submissive. However, in her case, she is so influential that Macbeth is persuaded by her. To help convince Macbeth not to call the murder off, Lady Macbeth questions his manhood. She says, “When you durst do it, then you were a man; And to be more than what you were, you would ; Be so much more the man.” Lady Macbeth knows the weak point of her husband, and plays with his mind to get what she wants.
In conclusion, I think this was one of the most important soliloquies in the story because it gave us so much insight into Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.