be men

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be men

The echo of Lady Macbeth's denunciation of her husband's vacillation before the murder of Duncan is unmistakable, and, like the earlier allusion to Inferno 26, provides an ironic subtext that undercuts Victor's histrionic oratory:


Prithee, peace:
I dare do all that may become a man;
Who dares do more is none.

Lady Macbeth

What beast was't, then,
That made you break this enterprise to me?
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. Nor time nor place
Did then adhere, and yet you would make both:
They have made themselves, and that their fitness now
Does unmake you. 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 pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,
And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you
Have done to this. (I.vii.44 ff.)