"She should have died hereafter. There would have been time for such word. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. Creeps in this petty pace from day to day. To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools. The way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle, Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player. That struts and frets his hour upon the stage. And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury Signifying nothing."(Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-27)This quotation taken from Macbeth has a great significance in the play. It is a speech by Macbeth himself, after he hears the news that his wife, Lady Macbeth, has just passed away. It is often quoted today, to describe more recent events.
The significance of these lines in the play are that it's a great turning point in the way Macbeth thinks.
After he hears about his wife being dead, he stops and thinks that life is meaningless. "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury Signifying nothing." Macbeth compares a person to an actor on stage, who is not heard of after he goes offstage. After all, Macbeth himself is only an actor on stage. He is saying that after a person passes away, it signifies nothing.
These words show how badly the passing away of his wife affect Macbeth. The pessimism in this passage, show that Macbeth has no power or strength without his wife. Macbeth suddenly sees no meaning or purpose in life. However, his words are also defending himself in a way.