English Literature Macbeth Quotes – Macbeth

Act 1, scene 2Macbeth “unseam’d him from the nave to the chaps” – Macbeth sliced the man from the groin to the head. – Macbeth is brave but unhinged and violent.
Act 1, scene 4″Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires” -Worried by the strength of his own ‘black’ ambition-Determined to succeed and get past obstacles without interference (hence wishing to blind the light)
Act 1, scene 7″I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself And falls on the other.” – Doubts his own plan through horse-riding metaphor.- He is motivated by aspirations for power.- Ambition, encourages one to act beyond his or her reasonable means.- Shows conflict between unwillingness and acknowledgement of evil of ambition.- Foreshadows his failures and the responsibility of ambition.
Act 1, scene 7″I dare do all that may become a man; Who dares do more, is none.” – Composure and allegiance are more characteristic of masculinity than rash violence.- Macbeth describes manhood as a limit on his actions instead of a justification for more action like Lady Macbeth.
Act 1, scene 7″We will proceed no further in this business.” – Uses rationality to convince himself not to kill the king and then tells his wife- Within minutes (same scene) he changes his mind due to emotional manipulation from his wife- Shows changeability and internal interest conflict
Act 2, scene 1″Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee” – A primarily psychological analysis would see in these lines the first signs of Macbeth’s insanity. – Theme of appearance versus reality.
Act 2, scene 1″The bell invites me. Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell That summons thee to heaven or to hell.” – Macbeth says that the bell ringing signifies Duncan’s death. – He prays that Duncan won’t wake up and realise he is about to be murdered.
Act 2, scene 2″Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep, — the innocent sleep” – Feels remorse for what he has done. – Macbeth’s descent into the paranoid thinking characteristic of a murderer. – Visual hallucinations are now accompanied by auditory ones.- The words charge him with having killed a defenceless person while they were in “innocent sleep.” – Foreshadows the rampant guilt and madness that will descend now on Macbeth and his wife, in which because of their guilt, they will lose the healthy and necessary effects of sleep.
Act 3, scene 1″Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown, And put a barren sceptre in my gripe.” – Macbeth is unable to have children, so after he dies, no one from his line will succeed him.
Act 3, scene 4″I am in blood Stepp’d in so far, that, should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go o’er.” – After seeing Banquo’s ghost, Macbeth decides to return to consult the witches on his fate. – He has pursued his murderous destiny too far to stop doing so now.
Act 5, scene 5″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.” – As the final battle against Macduff’s army approaches, Macbeth gives this moving soliloquy. – He claims that life is an endless repetition and inherently meaningless.

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