Macbeth Quotations (by theme)

Horrid image Macbeth physically tormented between his ambition and conscience (Regicide goes against divine right of kings)
Stars hide your fires, let not light see my black and deep desires Appearance & Reality (rhyming couplet shows decisiveness and purpose)
I fear thy nature, It is too full o’er the milk of human kindness Lady Macbeth takes control over Macbeth, who is not committed to murdering Duncan
My keen knife see not the wound it makes Lady Macbeth intends to do the murder herself, distancing herself away from the deed as she thinks she can get away with it
I have […] only vaulting ambition Macbeth has no motivation besides ambition but it not persuaded enough to commit the deed
Hear not my steps, which way they walk Macbeth doesn’t want God to know about it act of regicide as it is considered a sin against God
My bosom franchis’d and allegiance clear Banquo’s loyalty to the King is more important than his ambition
What hath quench’d them, hath given me fire Lady Macbeth is angry and aggressive (not a Jacobean woman)
Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? Hyperbole represents the scale of his guilt (poetic language to distance Macbeth from the large deed)
O, full of scorpions is my mind Macbeth’s inter-turmoil, has a poisoned mind and experiencing foreign and unusual thoughts (animalistic response)
I am in blood stepp’d in so far that should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er. Macbeth knows he has gone to far but cannot turn back
The very firstlings of my heart shall be The firstlings of my hand. Macbeth acts decisively. Contrasts hesitation to murdering Duncan in (1,7)
Come you spirits […] unsex me here […] full me […] top full of direst cruelty Lady Macbeth invites the spirit, Macbeth meets the witches. She is prepared to do all to get what she wants – removes her femininity
Whilst it was smiling in my face […] dashed the brains out Strong imagery – mother murdering her innocent child (Lady Macbeth is not nurturing but evil)
Nature seems dead and wicked dreams abuse the curtain’d sleep Macbeth may be seeing the consequences of his deep thoughts through lack of sleep and hallucinating
Sleep no more, Macbeth does murder sleep […] Macbeth shall sleep no more Repetition – sleep is meant to be restorative and peaceful but will never sleep properly again (Duncan murdered in his sleep) Macbeth has an unfocused mind
Infirm of purpose! Give me the daggers! Imperative verb – Lady Macbeth is in control and takes all the responsibility
What’s done is done Reference to ‘what is done cannot be undone’
Be innocent of the knowledge dearest chuck Macbeth isolates Lady Macbeth from his plans of murder
Foul whispering unnatural deeds do bring unnatural troubles Physiological state of Lady Macbeth (distrupting The Great Chain of Being)
Instruments of darkness Metaphor that refers to the evil within the witches
Out dammed spot! Out I say! Lady Macbeth speaks in prose to show her disturbed mind and breakdown in language, contrasts ‘a little water clears of this deed’ (2,2)
If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me, Without my stir Macbeth initially allows fate to take its course
Come fate […] and champion me th’utterance Macbeth challenges fate, contrasts ‘distaining fortune’ (1,2)
He shall spurn fate […] and you know, security is mortal’s chiefest enemy. Macbeth thinks he can control his own destiny by murdering Duncan and Banquo (security means over-confidence)
valiant fury Macbeth is described a tyrant that no one trusts (reigns through fear instead of the respect)
To leave his wife, to leave his babes […] he loves us not Macduff abandons his family to go to England (leaves Lady Macduff feeling betrayed and vulnerable)
Fair is foul and foul is fair Witches equivocate using ambiguous and unclear language
So foul and fair a day I have not seen Macbeth is linked to the witches through repetition (audience questions if Macbeth’s fate is aligned to the witches)
rapt withal Macbeth is eager to hear more of the witches’ prophecy (shocked that the witches already know of his thoughts of regicide)
borrow’d robes Clothing motif (Macbeth looks like a king but isn’t a truly one)
Let our old robes sit easier than our new! Macbeth puts on something that he is not
Look like th’innocent flower but be the serpent under’t Lady Macbeth encourages her husband to deceive Duncan by pretending to be something that he is not
False face must hide what false heart doth know Macbeth must hide his evil intentions
Is this a dagger which I see before me? Macbeth hallucinates due to the pressure he is under
A dagger of the mind, a false creation, processing from the heat-oppressed brain? Macbeth’s suffering due to the build up of pressure causing him to hallucinate (metaphor)
A little water clears us of this deed Lady Macbeth foreshadows her own guilt in 5,1 (‘these hands will n’er be clean’)
There’s daggers in men’s smiles Dagger makes reference to Macbeth’s soliloquy and a metaphor for hidden intentions
And make our faces vizards to our hearts, disguising what they are Macbeth and Lady Macbeth swap roles in order for Macbeth to conceal his true intentions (‘look like the flower…’)
Come seeling night Macbeth believes that darkness can conceal his evil actions, in murdering Banquo (‘stars hide your fires’)
Now does he feel his title Hang loose about him, like a giant’s robe upon a dwarfish thief Macbeth is not righteous of having the title of being king (clothing motif)
Duncan hath born facilities so meek Duncan is represented as a good king, to emphasise Macbeth’s guilt (Duncan’s righteousness)
He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour Macbeth worries about Banquo being suspicious about him becoming king. (Banquo would have been a good king)
Most pious Edward with such grace […] holy king Tyrannical Macbeth is contrasted to saintly King Edward of England
justice, verity, temp’rance, stableness, bounty (generosity), perseverance (forgiving), mercy, lowliness (modesty), devotion (religious), patience, courage, fortitude (strength) Qualities of a good king, represented by Duncan

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