Macbeth Line Interpretations

“There the grown serpent lies. The worm that fled, hath nature that in time will venom breed, no teeth for the present” (3.4.32-34). Macbeth: Fleance will seek revenge as he grows older. He is not a danger to anyone now.
“This is the very painting of your fear. This is the air-drawn dagger which you said lead you to Duncan” (3.4. 74-76). Lady Macbeth: Just like the floating dagger Macbeth saw after Duncan’s death, Banquo’s ghost seems to be a realization of Macbeth’s guilt.
“It will have blood, they say; blood will have blood” (3.4.152). Macbeth: When one death occurs, another death will follow because there will be revenge. Ex: Familial Blood
What main dare, I dare. Approach thou like the rugged Russian bear, the armed rhinoceros, or the Hycran tiger/take any shape but that and my nerves shall never tremble” (3.4.121-125). Macbeth: Macbeth is criticized for not acting man enough and he yells that he is more of a man than anyone. Banquo’s ghost frightens him though; he would rather the spirit take any shape besides the ghost and he wouldn’t be scared. However, spirits scare him.
Sit worthy friends. My lord is often thus and hath been from youth. Pray you keep seat. The fit is momentary; upon a thought he will again be well” (3.4.64-66). Lady Macbeth: She tells the guests that Macbeth often acts like this and his fit will soon be over.
You have displaced the north, broke the good meeting/With most admired disorder” (3.4.132-134). Lady Macbeth: The peace and happiness of the guests have been disturbed by Macbeth.
There’s not a one of them, but in house I keep a servant fee’d” (3.4.163-164). Macbeth: Macbeth doesn’t trust anyone. He tells Lady Macbeth that he has paid spies in the homes of many lords.
I am in blood stepped in so far that, should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go-er” (3.4.168-170). Macbeth: He has killed so many people that it is just as difficult to continue as to go back. He concludes that he should continue to kill people.
“Thou hast it now—King, Cawdor, Glamis, all as the Weird Women promised, and I fear thou played’st most foully” Banquo: Now you have it all: you’re the king, the thane of Cawdor and Glamis, just like the weird women promised. And I suspect you cheated to win these titles.
“We hear our bloody cousins are bestowed in England and in Ireland, not confessing their cruel parricide, filling their hearers with strange invention.” Macbeth: We hear that the murderers, have hidden in England and Ireland. They haven’t confessed to murdering their own father, and they’ve been making up strange lies to tell their hosts.
To be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus. Our fears in Banquo stick deep, and in his royalty of nature reigns that which would be feared.” Macbeth: To be the king is nothing if I’m not safe as the king. I’m very afraid of Banquo. There’s something noble about him that makes me fear him.
“The son of Duncan lives in the English court and is received of the most pious Edward with such grace that the malevolence of fortune nothing takes from his high respect.” Lord: Duncan’s son Malcolm lives in the English court. There, the saintly King Edward treats Malcolm so well that despite Malcolm’s misfortunes, he’s not deprived of respect.
“Thither Macduff is gone to pray the holy king upon his aid to wake Northumberland and warlike Siward, that by the help of these—with Him above to ratify the work—we may againgive to our tables meat, sleep to our nights,free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives, do faithful homage and receive free honors. All which we pine for now.” Lord: He wants Edward to help him form an alliance with the people of Northumberland and their lord, Siward. Macduff hopes that with their help—and with the help of God above—he may once again put food on our tables, bring peace back to our nights, free our feasts and banquets from violent murders, allow us to pay proper homage to our king, and receive honors freely. Those are the things we pine for now.
“Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here” Lady Macbeth asks for spirits to give her more “masculine” characteristics so she can follow through with Duncan’s murder.
“Look like th’ innocent flower, but be the serpent under ‘t” Lady Macbeth: She wants to look like an harmless flower but be ready to strike and kill any moment.
“Is this a dagger which I see before me,The handle toward my hand?” Macbeth: Is the dagger I see in front of me, with its handle pointing toward my hand?
“Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care,the death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, chief nourisher in life’s feast.” Macbeth: Sleep that puts each day to rest. Sleep that relieves the weary laborer and heals hurt minds. Sleep, the main course in life’s feast, and the most nourishing.

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