Macbeth and Multiple Meanings and Sex

Macbeth is full of double and even triple meanings, and I’d like to point one out. When Macduff tells everyone that “our royal master’s murdered,” Macbeth responds with, “had I died an hour before this chance, I had lived a blessed time.” This statement could be looked at as either foreshadowing his own unblessed reign as King or as remorse (which tries desperately to appear genuine but fails miserably) for the King’s death. After pondering over this short speech, I came up with another interpretation; a quite sardonic one of how he uses the word ‘died’; which can also refer to having an orgasm. Maybe had he had just one more “session” with his Lady Macbeth before the “vessel of his peace” was disturbed, he could consider his life a “blessed time.” If that’s what he meant, it would seem a little shallow, yet it is a common fear regarding death that, after our time, we never get to experience carnal pleasure again. Lady Macbeth makes it clear that Macbeth is quite the sensual man. “Art thou afraid to be the same in thine own act and valor as thou art in desire?” Remembering back to when Macbeth was afraid to do his deed to completion and put the daggers where they belonged, Lady Macbeth asks, “Why did you bring these daggers from the place? They must lie there.” Macbeth answers, “I’ll go no more. I am afraid to think what I have done; Look on’t again I dare not.” By this exchange we can infer that his valor was markedly less potent than his sexuality.


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