Milk of human kindness. (ACT I, Scene V)

Macbeth Characters List


The Macbeth Quote “Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness.” is spoken by Lady Macbeth after she read the letter she received from Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is delighted upon hearing about the new title gained by Macbeth, that is, thane of Cawdor. She also got to know about what transpired on the heath and the prophecies by witches.

She feels that Macbeth is surely going to become King as promised by witches, but she fears that Macbeth doesn’t have what it takes to capture the throne. According to her, Macbeth is full of kindness to strike accordingly at his first opportunity.

Yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great,

According to Lady Macbeth, her husband wants to be powerful and there is no lack of ambition, but he doesn’t possess the type of nature required to achieve things like this. He wants to do things like a good man, he doesn’t want to cheat yet he wants to achieve things that do not belong to him. He wants something wholeheartedly, yet he is afraid to take appropriate actions required to achieve it.

Art not without ambition, but without
The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst highly,
That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false,
And yet wouldst wrongly win. Thou’ld’st have, great Glamis,
That which cries, “Thus thou must do,” if thou have it,
And that which rather thou dost fear to do,

Lady Macbeth further plans to persuade her husband in doing what is fit to achieve his desires. Shakespeare pictured Lady Macbeth as the fourth lady responsible for the playing with the mind of Macbeth, the other three being the weird sisters (three witches).

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