© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


Macbeth Steaminess Rating

Exactly how steamy is this story?


There are plenty of allusions to sex in Macbeth, but… it doesn't seem like anyone's actually doing it. Take a look:

  • The weird sisters cast a spell to "drain" a sailor "dry as hay" so he won't be able to have children with his wife (1.3.4).
  • Lady Macbeth insinuates that her husband is impotent in the bedroom when she goads him into killing King Duncan.
  • And even the Porter's dirty jokes lead to a discussion of male performance (or lack thereof) when he laments that drinking a lot of alcohol puts men in the mood for a little fun but also makes it hard for them to function (2.3.3).

So, it this a steamy play? Or, as Macbeth says about life, is it just a lot of "sound and fury, signifying nothing"?

back to top