Macbeth Quotes

“Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” ~ witches- foreshadowing, setting the mood of the supernatural – paradoxical chiasmus
“Let not light see my black and deep desires.” ~ Macbeth- After Duncan announces that he will name his son Malcolm the next king, Macbeth hopes his disappointment doesn’t show. He must find a way to prevent Malcolm from becoming king.
“Yet do I fear thy nature; it is too full of the milk of human kindness.” ~ Lady Macbeth (referring to Macbeth)- She fears that Macbeth is too kind to go through with killing Duncan.
“Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t.” ~ Lady Macbeth (speaking to Macbeth)- This is just before King Duncan’s arrival at their castle. Macbeth’s wife wants him to act nice to Duncan’s face, and hide his evil intentions.
“Come, you spiritsThat tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,And fill me from the crown to the toe top-fullOf direst cruelty!” ~ Lady Macbeth- calling on the spirits to take away her feminine, weakness and fill her with evil because she wants Duncan dead.
“False face must hide what false heart doth know.” ~ Macbeth- He has decided he will go along with Lady Macbeth’s plan to kill Duncan. Telling himself that he must put on a false pleasant face to hide his false, evil heart.
Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? ~ Macbeth- looking at his hands after he has just killed Duncan. He wonders if all of the water in the ocean could wash the blood off his hands.
“Is this a dagger which I see before me,The handle toward my hand?” ~ Macbeth- Hallucinating that he sees a dagger before he kills Duncan.
“Thou hast it now: King, Cawdor, Glamis, all,As the weird women promised, and I fearThou play’dst most foully for’t.” ~ Banquo (referring to Macbeth)- meaning: well now you have everything that you were promised by the witches. I just fear that you did something bad to get it.
“A little water clears us of this deed.” ~ Lady Macbeth- After killing Duncan, she tells Macbeth that all they have to do is wash their hands and they will be cleared of their sin.
fair is foul and foul is fair Act 1, Scene 1 – Witches – paradox – supernatural
O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman Act 1, Scene 2 – Duncan – bloodshed is revelled in – brutality a virtue
So foul and fair a day I have not seen Act 1, Scene 3 – Macbeth – opening line – paradox similar to witches – potential for supernaturalness
Thou shalt get Kings, though thou be none Act 1, Scene 3 – Third Witch – prophecy – Banquo
Why do you dress me in borrow’d robes? Act 1, Scene 3 – Macbeth to Ross – disbelief of prohpecy becoming true – theatrical imagery
The instruments of darkness tell us truths Act 1, Scene 3 – Banquo – less trustworthy of witches – calm and sceptical
Stars hide your fires; let not light see my black and deep desires Act 1, Scene 4 – Macbeth (aside) –
Come you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here Act 1, Scene 5 – Lady Macbeth – similar to witches – supernatural relations – transgression of gender – imperatives – urgency – desperation – recurrence of ‘un’: cannot undo actions
Come, thick night, and pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell Act 1, Scene 5 – Lady Macbeth – light/dark imagery – Hellish imagery – guilt – shroud for dead bodies – concealment – conspiracy – relates to Macbeth’s ‘Stars hide your fires…’ – femme fatale
Vaulting ambition Act 1, Scene 7 – Gothic ambition – fatal flaw of tragic hero – only motive to kill – realises it is untrustworthy
There’s husbandry in heaven; Their candles are all out Act 2, Scene 1 – Banquo – Religious imagery – dark imagery – physical AND moral darkness
Is this a dagger which I see before me Act 2, Scene 1 – Macbeth – visions – horror image – two interpretations: dagger of Macbeth’s imagination OR conjured by the Witches to spur on Macbeth to kill Duncan – ambiguity of supernatural
Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done’t Act 2, Scene 2 – Lady Macbeth – indicates she has some conscience – not purely evil
I could not say ‘Amen’ Act 2, Scene 2 – Macbeth – Amen means ‘so be it’ in Hebrew – cannot ask for anything given his sin – guilt
Macbeth shall sleep no more Act 2, Scene 2 – Macbeth thinks he heard a voice cry ‘sleep no more!’ – accepts danger of sleep when he is to be king – insomnia – erratic and tyrannical behaviour
This dead butcher and his fiend like queen Act 5, Scene 8 – Malcolm – butcher: someone who kills with no remorse or regret or reason – fiend – evil and immoral, capable of enchanting victims into a false sense of security
Out damned spot: out I say Act 5, Scene 1 – Lady Macbeth – sleepwalking scene – manifestation of Duncan’s blood – guilt – madness – like madwoman in the attic in Jane Eyre and Lucy’s inability to sleep in Dracula
Beware Macduff Act 4, Scene 1 – First apparition – possible threat of Macduff
None of woman born shall harm Macbeth Act 4, Scene 1 – Second apparition (Bloody child) – comforts Macbeth but has double meaning – Macduff born Caesarean – Macduff can kill him
Mother’s womb untimely ripp’d Act 5, Scene 8 – Macduff confirming threat
until Great Birnham wood to high Dunsinane Hill shall come against him Act 4, Scene 1 – Third apparition (crowned child) – branches cut down and used as camouflage used by the English led by Siward and Malcolm, Duncan’s son
Something wicked this way comes Act 4, Scene 1 – Second witch – their own creation – Macbeth now comes LOOKING FOR THEM – supernatural
When shall we three meet again In thunder, lightning, or in rain? Act 1, Scene 1 – First witch – Pathetic fallacy – connections to dark weather – dark imagery – supernatural – dark exposition – tragedy – conspiracy
secret, black, and midnight hags! Act 4, Scene 1 – Macbeth – arrogant command to the Witches – contrasts Act 1, Scene 3 where he addresses them with shock and surprise
O, full of scorpions is my mind Act 3, Scene 2 – Macbeth – the fact Banquo and Fleance still live is like the sting of a scorpion
fair is foul, and foul is fair (1.1.12) all witches to all witchesmajor theme- appearances vs. reality. something good is bad, something bad is good
For brave Macbeth – well he deserves that name Captain to Duncan and MalcolmMacbeth killed the traitor Macdonwald
what he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won. (1.2.78) Duncan to RossThane of Cawdor will die, Macbeth will replace himfair is foul
so foul and fair a day i have not seen. (1.3.39) Macbeth to Banquobad weather, won but many losses
all hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! all hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth, that shall be king thereafter! (1.3.51-53) all witches to Macbeth and BanquoMacbeth knows he is Thane of Glamis, he doesnt know that he is going to be Thane of Cawdor but we do, king is foreshadowing
why do you start and seem to fear things that do sound so fair? (1.3.54-55) Banquo to MacbethMacbeth is freaking out about the titles the witches said
lesser than Macbeth and greater. not so happy, yet much happier. thou shalt get kings, though thou be none. (1.3.68-70) witches to banquoBanquo wont be king, he will be happier than Macbeth, Banquo’s kids will be king and his line will carry on
the Thane of Cawdor lives, why do you dress me in borrowed robes? (1.3.114-115) Macbeth to Ross, Angus, Banquohe is unaware that the thane of cawdor has died/was a traitor. doesnt understand why he would just take his “robes” if they still belong to cawdor.
But ’tis strange. and oftentimes, to win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness to tell us truths, win us with honest trifles, to betray ‘s in deepest consequence. (1.3.134-138) Banquo to Macbethidea that info is fair, but something foul in how it will play out/to good to be true fair is foul, foul is fairdark instruments= witches, they be tellin the truth!
this supernatural soliciting cannot be ill, cannot be good… I am Thane of Cawdor. If good, why do i yield to that suggestion whose horrid image doth unfix my hair… Present fears are less than horrible imaginings. My thought, whose murder is yet but fantastical, shakes so my single state of man that function is smothered in surmise, and nothing is but what is not. Macbeth to selfwitches never say anyone will die, belief in supernatural powers, fair is foul- he wants to be king but doesnt want others to die
present fears are less than horrible imaginings. (1.3.150-151) Macbeth to selfpresent fears are bad. imagines stuff that have to happen to become king. isnt thinking of crazy ass stuff like murder yet
if chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me without my stir. (1.3.157-159) Macbeth to selflet chance take its course, not going to interfere/try anything
the Prince of Cumberland! That is a step on which I must fall down or else o’erleap, For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires. The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be which the eye fears, when it is done, to see. (1.4.55-60 Macbeth to selfmacbeth doesnt want others to know of what he desires, fair and foul
Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be what thou art promised. Yet I do fear thy nature; it is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great, art not with ambition Lady Macbeth to selfwants macbeth to be king but thinks he is too kind to act manly and do what it takes to be king. Macbeth wants to be a good man, doesnt want to cheat to get what he wants
That I may pour my spirits in thine ear Lady Macbeth to selfShe is going to persuade macbeth to act
The raven himself is hoarse that croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan Lady Macbeth to selfDUNCAN WILL DIE.
Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood. Stop up th’ access and passage to remorse Lady Macbeth to selfshe calls upon evil so that she can kill duncan without guilt or sadness/emotion
when you durst do it, then you were a man (1.7.56) Lady macbeth to macbethtesting macbeth’s manliness. she is such a bitch.
I have given suck, and know how tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me. i would, while it was smiling in my face, have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums and dashed his brains out, had i so sworn as you have done to this. (1.7.62-67) lady macbeth to macbethshe would kill her baby if she said that she would. SHE IS ONE CRAZY BITCH.
is this a dagger which i see before me, the handle toward my hand? macbeth to selfimagining the dagger, freaking out about murder, guilt already in his heart, only killing for lady macbeth
hear it not, duncan, for it is a knell that summons thee to heaven or to hell. (2.1.75-77) macbeth to selfready to do the deed. he prays it will go w/out notice, cant handle the pressure
One cried “god bless us” and “amen” the other…i could not say “amen” when they did say “god bless us”…”i had most need of blessing, and “amen” stuck in my throat. (2.2.37-44) macbeth to lady macbethalready feeling the guilt, so strong cant even ask for god’s blessing
Methought i heard a voice cry “sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep” macbeth to lady macbethMENTAL BREAKDOWN OVER HERE. haunted by guilt, will never have peaceful nights, he will be sleepless
Still it cried “Sleep no more!” to all the house. “Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor shall sleep no more. Macbeth shall sleep no more.” (2.2.54-57) macbeth to lady macbethhaunted by guilt, can never sleep again
Go get some water and wash this filthy witness from your hand. (2.2.60-61) lady macbeth to macbethwater will clear us of this deed
will all great neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? macbeth to selfwater will not wash it all away
a little water clears us of this deed. (2.2.86) lady macbeth to macbethwater will cleanse us, repeated
wake duncan with thy knocking. i would thou couldst. (2.2.94-95) macbeth to lady macbethhe would take it all back
But this place is too cold for hell. (2.3.16) porter to selfits worse than hell
O gentle lady, ’tis not for you to hear what i can speak. the repetition in a woman’s ear would murder as it fell. (2.3.96-99) macduff to lady macbethwomanly ears cant handle deathirony because she already knows duncan is deadfair is foul- lady is evil and crazy
o, yet i do repent me of my fury, that i did kill them. (2.3.124-125) macbeth to macduff(main person) malcolm, donalbain, lennox (to the room)confesses to killing the guards
“Where we are, there’s daggers in men’s smiles.” Donalbain to malcolmscared for their lives, going to leave scotland and go to ireland(donalbain) and england(malcolm)
Thou hast it now – King, Cawdor, Glamis, all as the Weird Women promised, and I fear thou played’st most foully for ‘t. (3.1.1-3) Banquo to selfMACBETH IS THE KILLER.
false face must hide what the false heart doth know (1.7.95) MB to LMBfair is foul, foul is fair
This is the air-drawn dagger which you said led you to Duncan. (3.4.75-76) Lady MB to MBits all macbeth’s imagination, he is hallucinating from guilt. the ghost is the product of his guilt
It will have blood, they say; blood will have blood. (3.4.152) Macbeth to Lady MBthose that were killed will seek vengence
I am in blood stepped in so far that, should i wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er. (3.4.168-170) Macbeth to Lady MBhe has murdered so many he might as well keep going
We are yet but young in deed. (3.4.176) Macbeth to L MBgoing to keep killing
Double, double toil and trouble (4.1.10) All Witches making life worse for Macbeth, double work, double trouble
Macbeth shall never vanquished be until great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill shall come against him. (4.1.105-107) Third Apparition(child crowned with tree in hand) to MacbethMacbeth will not be vanquished unless Birnam Wood moves
When our actions do not, our fears do make us traitors. (4.2.4-5) Lady Macduff to Rossapplies to Macbeth
I am in this earthly world, where to do harm is often laudable, to do good sometime accounted dangerous folly. why then, alas, do i put up that womanly defense to say i have done no harm? (4.2.83-87) Lady Macduff to selffair is foul- good can be bad, bad can be good
Macbeth is ripe for shaking Malcolm to Macduff and Rossgoing to fight the king
That, sir, which i will not report after her…Neither to you nor anyone, having no witness to confirm my speech. (5.1.15-20) Gentlewoman to Doctorshe doesnt want to say because the info is bad, no one would believe her because no witness
out, damned spot, out, i say! one. two…yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him? (5.1.37-42) Lady Macbeth to self/Gentlewoman and Doctorconfesses to murder of Duncan
The Thane of Fife had a wife. where is she now? What, will these hands ne’er be clean? Lady Macbeth to self/Gentlewoman and Doctorconfessed murdering Macduff’s wife
Banquo’s buried; he cannot come out on’s grave Lady Macbeth to self/Doctor and Gentlewomanconfesses to death of Banquo
I think but dare not speak. (5.1.83) Doctor to Gentlewomannot going to say anything
Nought’s had, all’s spent, where our desire is got without content: ’tis safer to be that which we destroy than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy. – antithetical paralellism aludes to Lady Mabeth’s careful analysis of he situtaion and her cunning,coniving character in general
none serve with him but constrained things whose hearts are absent too. Malcolm to soldiers, macduff, siwardpeople only fight for macbeth because they have to
life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Macbeth to Seytonno emotion or humanity, no meaning to his life
we have met with foes that strike beside us. (5.7.34-35) Malcolm to SiwardMacbeth’s army fighting alongside them
Despair thy charm, and let the angel whom thou still hast served tell thee Macduff was from his mother’s womb untimely ripped. (5.8.17-20) Macduff to Macbeth – second aparaition came true
and be these juggling fiends no more believed that palter with us in a double sense, that keep the word of promise to our ear and break it to our hope. I’ll not fight with thee. (5.8.23-26) Macbeth to MacduffMacbeth doesnt want to fight Macduff anymore, tricked by the apparitions/witches, fights anyway – juggling connotes duality which directly reflects the innate nature of the witches
of this dead butcher and his fiend-like queen (who, as ’tis thought, by self and violent hands, took off her life) Malcolm to Allbutcher is macbeth he goes crazy and kills everyonelady macbeth cant handle guilt, takes own life

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