Macbeth Act 4-5

1. “Macbeth Macbeth Macbeth beware macduff beware the thane of fife dismiss me: enough.” IV, i (71-72) p. 364. Speaker: Head with armorSituation: When Macbeth goes to see the witchesMeaning: It is a warning that Macduff could harm Macbeth.
“Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn the power of the man, for none of the woman born shall harm macbeth.” IV, i (79-81) p. 364. Speaker: A bloody, newborn childSituation: When Macbeth goes to see the witchesMeaning: Be strong and confident. No one naturally born of a woman can hurt you.
“Be lion-mettled, proud, and take no care Who chafes, who frets, or where conspirers are. Macbeth shall never vanquished be until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill Shall come against him. [Descends].” IV, i (90-94) p. 365. Speaker: A child with a tree branch in his handSituation:When Macbeth goes to see the witchesMeaning: Be brave and confident. Because you will never be beaten until Birnam wood marches up Dunsinane Hill.
“From this moment the very firstlings of my heart shall be the firstlings of my hand.” IV, i (146-148) p. 366. Speaker: Macbeth in an asideSituation: right after he visits the witches Meaning: From now on I will do whatever I feel like doing (kill all of the innocent people).
“Whither should I fly?I have done no harm. But I remember nowI am in this earthly world, where to do harm Is often laudable, to do good sometime dangerous folly.” IV, ii (72-76) p. 368. Speaker: Lady MacduffSituation: Right before the murderers arriveMeaning: Where should I go. I haven’t done anything wrong. I am reminded now that where I am to do bad things often gets you praise, but to do good things is seen as some risky foolishness. I am in Macbeth’s kingdom where if you do bad, you get praise, but if you do good, it is considered risky.
“Alas, poor country Almost afraid to know itself. It cannotBe called our mother, but our grave, where nothing,But who knows nothing, is once seen to smile;Where sighs and groans and shrieks that rend the airAre made, not marked; where violent sorrow seemsA modern ecstasy. The dead man’s knellIs there scarce asked for who, and good men’s livesExpire before the flowers in their caps,Dying or ere they sicken. ere they sicken.” IV, iii (164-173) p.374. Speaker: RossSituation: When he arrives in EnglandMeaning: (His description of Scotland) Scotland is suffering and in fear, almost afraid to know itself. It no longer nourishes feeds its people, but only gives them a place to die. The only people that are happy do not know what is going on. Screaming and crying are so common that no one notices. People can hardly keep track of the depths. People die before the flowers they wear die. And even before they get sick, they die (they’re murdered).
“O, I could play the woman with mine eyes And braggart with my tongue! But, gentle heavens,Cut short all intermission. Front to frontBring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself.Within my sword’s length set him; if he ‘scape, heaven forgive him too!” IV, iii (230-235) p. 377. Speaker: MacduffSituation: Just after he discovers his family has been killed. Meaning: I could act like a woman and cry and brag about my revenge, but let time pass quickly until I face Macbeth. If he escapes my sword, let him be forgiven. I am determined to kill him no matter what.
“Yet here’s a spot 2. Out, damned spot! Out, I say!—One, two. Why, then, ’tis time to do ‘t. Hell is murky!—Fie, my lord, fie! A soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?—Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him 3.The thane of Fife had a wife. Where is she now?—What, will these hands ne’er be clean?—No more o’ that, my lord, no more o’ that. You mar all with this starting. 4.Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, Oh, Oh! 5.Wash your hands. Put on your nightgown. Look not so pale.—I tell you yet again, Banquo’s buried; he cannot come out on ‘s grave. 6.To bed, to bed. There’s knocking at the gate. Come, come, come, come. Give me your hand. What’s done cannot be undone.—To bed, to bed, to bed!” V, i (32-70) pp. 383-384. (Lady Macbeth’s lines only) Speaker: Lady MacbethSituation: Sleepwalking scene Meaning: What previous event is being referred to? “Out damn spot. . .” refers to when she tells Macbeth that is you wash your hands you will be clean of the murderous act, but she is saying she can’t wash it off. She still sees blood on her hands. “One, two. . .” She was supposed to ring the bell before the murder.”Hell is murky” she asked for darkness and she got it. “We fear who knows it” refers to when she needed to talk him back into the murder when Macbeth loses his nerve outside the banquet hall.”Old man” refers to when she had to return the daggers. “The Thane had a wife” refers to Macduff’s wife that has been killed. Do not keep killing, you’re ruining everything with all this killing. “Smell of the blood still” she can smell the blood of the murder and she thought she could wash it off. “To bed” Macduff is knocking at the gate to pick up the king. “What is done cannot be undone” when she told Macbeth they cannot undo what they have done.
“Foul whisp’rings are abroad Unnatural deedsDo breed unnatural troubles. Infected mindsTo their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets.More needs she the divine than the physician.” V, i (73-75) p. 384. Speaker: DoctorSituation: right after the sleepwalking sceneMeaning: Horrible rumors are going around. Evil actions cause serious problems. If you do an evil action, it can cause unusual problems like sleepwalking. People who are troubled, talk in their sleep. Infected minds. She spiritual help more than medical help.
“Now does he feel His secret murders sticking on his hands.Now minutely revolts upbraid his faith-breach.Those he commands move only in command,Nothing in love. Now does he feel his titleHang loose about him, like a giant’s robeUpon a dwarfish thief.” V, ii (17-22) pp. 384-385. Speaker: AngusSituation: As the Scottish forces join the English forcesParaphrase: Now he feels the blood as it is sticky on his fingers. Now, every minute nobles are rebelling against Macbeth because he has breached their faith. Those who obey him, do so out of fear rather than loyalty. Macbeth is pictured as a dwarf trying to wear a robe that was Duncan’s, the great king, and it is way to big for him so he cannot fulfill that role.
“I have lived long enough My way of lifeIs fall’n into the sere, the yellow leaf,And that which should accompany old age,As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends,I must not look to have, but, in their stead,Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honor, breathWhich the poor heart would fain deny and dare not.” V, iii (22-28) p. 386. Speaker: Macbeth Situation: Right before the battleMeaning: I am ready to die. My life is withered, it is so old and withered. He will not have the pleasures of old age. He won’t have respect, people caring about him, have anybody obeying him, or any friends. Instead he will have people silently hate him and only respect him out of fear.
“I have almost forgot the taste of fears.The time has been my senses would have cooledTo hear a night-shriek, and my fell of hairWould at a dismal treatise rouse and stirAs life were in ‘t. I have supped full with horrors.Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughtsCannot start me.” V, v (9-14) pp. 388-389 Speaker: MacbethSituation: right after his wife diesMeaning: I hardly remember how to feel afraid. In the past, I would’ve been afraid of women crying in the night and my hair would stand on end. But now I have done so many evil deeds, that nothing can scare me. I am so accustomed to evil, horror and direness that is does not bother me. Dehumanized.
“She should have died hereafter There would have been a time for such a word.Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,Creeps in this petty pace from day to dayTo the last syllable of recorded time,And all our yesterdays have lighted foolsThe way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor playerThat struts and frets his hour upon the stageAnd then is heard no more. It is a taleTold by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” V, v (17-28) p. 389. Speaker: MacbethSituation: After he discovers his wife is dead. Meaning: It would’ve been better if she had died at another time. Then I could’ve mourned her. The future moves slowly along trivial paths. And the past is meaningless, life is a short candle. Life has no substance. He compares life to a bad actor who overacts and then is forgotten. It is a story told by a crazy person, which makes a lot of noise but it meaningless. œ

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