Macbeth key quotes

‘If chance may have me king, why chance may crown me without my stir,’ Macbeth does not plan to try to become king; it is clear he already knows what he would have to do. ( act 1.3)
‘Stars, hide your fires, let light not see my black and dark desires’ Dark and light imagery- theme of deception(act 1.4)
‘He’s here in double trust’ Duncan trusts Macbeth for 2 reasons- as his subject and as his host(act 1.7)
‘False face must hide what false heart doth know’ links to the theme of deception(act 1.7)
‘Is this a dagger which I see before me?’ -opening of Macbeth’s soliloquy introduces his internal debate about whether or not to ‘accept’ the dagger and kill Duncan-his hallucination demonstrates the toll the murder is already having on him(act 2.1)
‘Hear it not, Duncan for it is a knell that summons thee to heaven or hell’ -rhyming couplet emphasizes the finality of his decision-he is aware he could be condemning Duncan to hell;still proceeds-links to the murder of Banquo(act 2.1)
‘But wherefore could not i pronounce amen’ his inability to pray shows how he has condemned himself in God’s eyes by committing regicide and killing Gods representation on earth; upsetting the great chain of being(act 2.2)
‘Macbeth does murder sleep’ recurring motif of sleep appears several times, with the lack of sleep being a direct result of bloody deeds and subsequent guilt(act 2.2)
‘Will all great Neptune’s oceans wash this bloody clean from my hand?’ His obsession with the blood demonstrates his instant guilt and descent into madness(act 2.2)
‘Wake Duncan with thou knocking: I would thou couldst’ he instantly regrets his actions(act 2.2)
‘Fail not our feats’ he is asking Banquo not to forget the feast- dramatic irony;-he expects him not to attend as he is having him killed-Banquo’s ghost will appear(act 3.1)
‘To be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus’ demonstrates his deep-seated paranoia; he will do anything to protect the crown(act 3.1)
‘Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown and put a barren scepter in my hand’ -killed Banquo to prevent his sons becoming king-‘crown’ and ‘scepter’ represent his coronation -‘fruitless’ and ‘barren’ ; him not having children (act 3.1)
‘Banquo, thy soul’s flight, if it find heaven, must find it out tonight’ -Links to Duncan’s murder; which one will go to hell or heaven-rhyming couplet; finality of his decision(act 3.1)
‘We have scorched the snake, not killed it’ might have killed Duncan, Banquo is still in his way(act 3.2)
‘…make our faces vizards to our hearts’ theme of deception(act 3.2)
‘O, full of scorpions is my mind’ animal imagery- descendant to madness(act 3.2)
‘Things bad begun, make strong themselves by ill’ he will need to do more dark deeds to secure his power(act 3.2)
‘there the grown serpent lies; the worm that’s fled’ snake- Banquo, but he will be under threat from Fleance soon(act 3.4)
‘Thou canst say i did it; never shake thy gory locks at me!’ His vision of Banquo’s bloody body demonstrates his descent into madness and his fear of being caught(act 3.4)
‘Thou has no speculation in those eyes which thou dost glare with’ He knows that Banquo is dead, but cannot escape the ghost and guilt/madness(act 3.4)
‘From this moment the very firstlings of my heart shall be the firstlings of my hand’ he will act on instinct from now on, without fearing the consequences(act 4.2)
‘the mind i sway by and the heart i bear shall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear’ refuses to indulge in self-doubt, determined to remain true to his cause till the en(act 5.3)
‘go prick thy face and over-red thy fear…those linen cheeks of thine are counsellors to fear’ use of red and white colour imagery links to L.Macbeth’s comments in a2.2(act 5.3)
‘I have supped full with horrors’ -metaphorically filled himself up with the dark deeds he committed-literally ‘supped’ Banquo’s ghost(act 5.4)
‘Life’f but a walking shadow…it is a tale told bt an idiot, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing’ approach to life has been transformed by his actions;nothing having meaning anymore(act 5.5)
‘Blow wind, come wrack;at least we’ll die with harness on our back’ he is a soldier to the end, couplet emphasizing the finality of his decision(act 5.5)
‘swords i smile at, weapons laugh to scorn, brandish’d by man that’s of a woman born’ uses a couplet to mirror the witches prophecies(act 5.7)
‘my soul is too much charged/ with blood of thine already’ he is warning Macduff, half gloating at the murder of Macduff’s family(act 5.8)
‘i will not yield/to kiss the ground before young Malcolm’s feet’ despite his imminent death, he refuses to be mocked or bow down to Malcolm- showing he remains proud(act 5.8)

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