“Your face, my thane, is a book, where men may read strange matters. To beguile the time, look like the time; bear welcome in your eyes, your hand, your tongue; look like th’innocent flower, But be the serpent under’t.” – Lady Macbeth to Macbeth
Lady Macbeth knows that to ensure Macbeth becoming king, Duncan will have to die. She is planning to kill king Duncan while he is staying at Macbeth’s and her castle for the night. Before Duncan arrives she speaks to Macbeth about her plan and tells Macbeth how she needs him to act during the visit from King Duncan. Lady Macbeth quotes, (metaphor): “Your face, my thane, is a book, where men may read strange matters.” – suggesting that Macbeth is wearing an anxious and suspicious facial expression. We receive further clarification around the metaphor from Lady Macbeth. She explains that she wants Macbeth to act like a welcoming and kind-hearted hostess towards King Duncan to prevent any form of suspicion developing. “Look like th’innocent flower, But be the serpent under’t.” – this statement perfectly rounds off her thoughts on how she expects Macbeth to behave during the Kings visit. She wants Macbeth to hide his snake-like thoughts under an innocent act, preventing Macbeth’s face (“a book, where men may read strange matters.” ) to reveal his dark secret.