A line from Macbeth II.i
that is notable because it means its own opposite
. Because the word "out
" can take on two meanings and because "husbandry
" refers both to putting out candles before bedtime and keeping a well-lit house, the sentence can mean two different things at the same time. Compare:
1. "There's husbandry in heaven, the stars are all out on display."
2. "There's husbandry in heaven, the stars are all snuffed out."
A similar example from Shakespeare
can be found in one of King Lear
's last lines: "O you are men of stones!
" -- it conflates the idea of strength ("You are men of stone!") and the idea of weakness ("You are stones!") together. Another, extended example can be found here
Both are examples of lexical ambiguity
triumphing over linguistic context