Macbeth Quotes

..to beguile the time, look like the time; bear welcome in your eye, your hand, your tongue; look like the innocent, but be the serpent under’t -Speaker: Lady Macbeth-Situation: Lady Macbeth is speaking to Macbeth as he arrives home and just after reading his letter about how he was crowned Thane of Cawdor and his fate to become King. In this moment she is trying to persuade him to keep going after the crown because she is worried he does not have what it takes to be King.-Paraphrase: To trick the people, you have to look how they expect you to look. Greet the king with a welcome expression in your eyes, hands, and words. You should look like an innocent flower but be like the snake that hides underneath it.-Device: Simile- ”look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t”, a comparison between what Macbeth will mimic, the innocence of a flower, showing nothing but pure intentions but act as a serpent, concealing true purpose, waiting to jump out and bite when will suspect. Motif- This shows that nothing is what it seems. Also marks the beginning of Macbeth’s downfall.AllusionThe biblical reference here is apparent, the flower, representing the “purity” is compared to the Garden of Eden, without sin. Yet, the serpent, another direct biblical reference, is a symbol of malice and sin.Adds to motif below (“nothing is as it seems”) in accordance with the story, -Interpretation:as the snake acts kind but has evil intentions within. (Like Macbeth.)
So well thy words become thee as thy wounds; They smack of honor both. Go get him surgeons. -Speaker: Duncan to the Captain-Situation: The soldier is telling Duncan how brave and honorable(and brutal) of a soldier Macbeth is on the battlefield. He is relating to the king about Macbeth’s seeming heroic actions on the battlefield. -Paraphrase: Your words are like your battle wounds, they both show your honesty/integrity. Get him medical attention.-Device: Metaphor comparing his wounds to his words. Personification- they smack of honor both. Imagery- Lips “smack” as do the skin of sliced wounds. Apostrophe in reference to his words. -Interpretation: The quote beforehand demonstrates the brutality of Macbeth and how savagely Macbeth fought to save the Captain. Duncan is pleased upon hearing this.
…Knock, knock; never at quiet! What are you? But this Place is too cold for Hell. -Speaker: Porter-Situation: The porter is drunk and is pretending he is the gatekeeper of Hell. Right after Duncan is killed by Macbeth. Lennox and Macduff are the ones knocking. -Paraphrase: The Porter literally means. “This house is never peaceful/quiet. Who are you? This place is too cold to be Hell.” -Device: Comic relief: porter releases tension from murders. Onamonapia: knocking. Possible comparison/metaphor/foreshadow: of Macbeth’s castle becoming hell, porter is keeper of the gates of hell. -Interpretation:Macbeth’s castle has become Hell due to the events that have taken place there.
Paddock calls. Anon. Fair is foul, and foul is fair: Hover through the fog and filthy air. -Speaker: Witches (All)-Situation: Witches first meeting right in the very beginning-*Paraphrase: My familiar calls. Quickly. Everything is foul and fair everywhere. Everything that is fair is foul and everything that is foul is fair. In other words, appearances can be deceiving fair (good), foul (evil)-Interpretation: “Fair is foul, foul is fair” – Paradox/Motif/Foreshadowing: What’s bad is good and what’s good is bad; also, “nothing is as it seems” is a huge motif expressed throughout the story.; “Fog” – Obscures vision, hides the truth, confused/ making wrong decisions; “Filthy air” – Everywhere is filthy, as in sinful; Letter F – Alliteration because ‘F’ occurs a lot throughout the quote. Established tone (dark and ominous)/themes (such as fate)/motifs (such as ‘threes’) for the play. Those who seem good on the outside are evil and evil acts can be seen as good.
So I lose none In seeking to augment it, but still keep My bosom franchised and allegiance clear, I shall be counseled. -Speaker: Banquo_Situation: Banquo says this when he is encountered by Macbeth in Inverness palace. Macbeth was on his way to carry out the murder of the King when he encounters Banquo. Macbeth questioned Banquo on whether he would obey his requests if the time came that he would require it. This is Banquo’s reply to that question.-Paraphrase: I will obey you as long as I can do it without damaging my conscious/morality -Interpretation: Synecdoche “My bosom franchised”: heart representing the whole soul. This reply by Banquo clues the audience that Banquo does have some suspicions about Macbeth. By stating his wishes to keep his, “bosom franchised and allegiance clear” Banquo is implying that he suspects Macbeth may have bad intentions. By saying this Banquo takes on the role of a morally righteous character in the eyes of the audience.
…Where we are, There’s daggers in men’s smiles. The near in blood, The nearer bloody. -S: Donalbain-Si: he is speaking to his brother Malcolm, he says this right after his father ( Duncan) has been murdered -P: Wherever we go, men will smile at us while hiding daggers. Our closest relatives are the ones most likely to murder us.-D: metaphor/imagery: there are not literal daggers in men’s smiles but it signifies that people may want to kill them as they are suspected to have done the deed. They even insinuate that their families might want to kill them as well as they use the metaphor of “The near in blood, the nearer bloody.” Motif: fair is foul, foul is fair & violence.-I: to them it is clear that they are unsafe and they suspect someone they know of killing their father. Malcolm and Donalbain know that they cannot trust anyone, especially their closest family. The “daggers in men’s smiles” part signifies that people can smile at them and pretend to be on their side but betray them later.
Was the hope drunk Wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since? And wakes it now, to look so green and pale At what it did so freely? From this time Such I account thy love. -Speaker: Lady Macbeth-Situation: This is during the scene when Macbeth is thinking about not going through with murdering Duncan. Lady Macbeth said this shortly after Macbeth was saying that they wouldn’t proceed any further in committing the murder of Duncan.-Paraphrase: Lady Macbeth is literally asking Macbeth whether he was crazy when he made the decision to pursue the crown. She says that now he looks green and pale and questions why it was so full of life before.-Device: “Was the hope drunk” & “Hath it slept since?”- personification: giving ‘hope’ a human characteristic.The big one here is metaphor: Lady Macbeth uses the metaphor of a drunk person to make light of Macbeth’s indecisiveness.
This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself Unto our gentle senses. -S: Duncan-Si: Duncan makes this statement upon arriving at Inverness Castle (Macbeth’s home). -P: This castle has a pleasant feeling. The atmosphere here feels welcoming and pleasant.-D: Dramatic Irony – This statement employs the use of dramatic irony through the words: “Pleasant,” “sweet” and “gentle” when, ironically, the castle will be the opposite of that to Duncan. The similar display of irony is the sense of pleasantry Duncan has unbeknownst of the danger he’s in, like a lamb to the slaughter. Imagery- “Nimbly and sweetly”, provides the audience with an image and sense of the brisk night air. -I: Shakespeare includes this remark by Duncan to relay the king’s high expectations for his visit. It shows that the king had absolutely no idea that Macbeth would ever think of murdering him. King Duncan trusts Macbeth and feels at peace before even entering Macbeth’s castle.
O, never Shall sun that morrow see! -S: Lady Macbeth-Si: Macbeth has recently returned to his castle and is discussing Duncan’s fate with his wife who had just learned of MacBeth’s destiny a few moments earlier. He had just mentioned that Duncan would be leaving the next day.-P: The morning when Duncan leaves here will never come, because we’re going to kill him tonight.-D: “Sun” – Cruel Imagery (?), the sun is usually a sign of warmth, but since Duncan shall never see it, it serves to show us the cruelty of this quote-I: This quote serve to show how cruel the Macbeths are for killing the Benevolent King Duncan are denying him the right to see the sun one more time.
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. -Speaker: Macbeth to himself -Situation: Macbeth had come to the King’s court to be praised by the King for his efforts at stopping the rebellion and Norway. Malcolm has just been named the heir to the throne and Macbeth is contemplating his plan.-Paraphrase: Stars, do not shine your light upon my terrible desires. What I see makes me want to take action but I must leave it a that. Because in the end, what I shall do will horrify my very eyes.-Device: “Let not light…black and deep desires” – Motif of Light and Dark”Stars, hide your fires” – Apostrophe Macbeth is commanding the the stars, an imaginary character; “Let not light see” and “eye wink” and “eye fears”- Personification – Light doesn’t see, but Macbeth carrying on from the use of “star’s fires” uses light to express that he wishes to keep his intentions a secret , Eye’s do wink, but in this context it means to “wink at” or to “prompt/encourage”. The eye does not literally “wink” at his hand, rather the eye (what Macbeth see’s) prompts his “hand” to action. Eye’s also do not fear, but after the actions (if he carries on with his “desires”) will fear what he has become using his own two hands . Irony – “The eye wink at the hand…fears, when its done…” – It is ironic because, later on in the play, blood is over the horrified Macbeth’s hands after he kills the king -Interpretation: In response to hearing that Malcolm will be heir to the throne, he’s decided in order to become king, he must kill Malcolm next. Even though he knows he will regret this decision, he still will talk himself into doing it. He says he is moved his vision of being king and as such, it makes him want to take action; yet Macbeth fears that he will fear what he becomes, if he does anything, this shows how badly he wants to receive power.
I am settled and bend up Each corporal agent to this terrible feat. Away and mock the time with fairest show; False face must hide what the false heart doth know. -S: Macbeth to Lady Macbeth-Si: Lady Macbeth finally convinces Macbeth to make up his mind in killing Duncan. Macbeth now makes his decision to kill Duncan. He asks his wife to play the part of hostess, to hide her true knowledge of the murder about to take place. -P: I have decided that I will exert every part of my body to commit this crime. Go and pretend to be a good hostess. A false face hides what the false heart knows.-D: Macbeth uses metaphor in order to describe how intent he is on killing Duncan-“Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.” The metaphor here is that Macbeth compares “Each corporal agent…” with his body. In other words ,Macbeth wants to kill Duncan with every fiber of his being.-I: Lady Macbeth has convinced Macbeth to carry out the murder of Duncan. Macbeth replies this way because he needs courage to do this act, hence he must “bend up/Each corporal agent to this terrible feat,”. Macbeth knows what he is going to do is wrong, and already feels guilty about it, but his desire to become king outweighs the guilt he feels for killing the king.
I have no words; My voice is in my sword, thou bloodier villain Than terms can give thee out! -S: Macduff-Si: Macduff meets Macbeth on the battlefield at Dunsinane -P: I have nothing to say for my sword speaks for me for no words can describe your foul villainy.-D: Metaphor- “My voice is in my sword”- Macduff’s sword is being compared to his words; Motif- “bloodier”- The recurring mention of blood to signify the murders committed in the play.-I: We are at the climax of the play in that Macduff is prepared to fight and slay Macbeth for the evils he has committed throughout the scope of the play. He is resolved to fulfill the task at hand for the sake of avenging his family and saving the kingdom in that he draws his weapon in place of words which implies that it’s the only way of dealing with Macbeth at this point.
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; -S: Lady Macbeth-Si: Lady Macbeth has just received a letter from Macbeth detailing his situation and is pondering it in the time between the exit of the messenger and the entrance of Macbeth -P: Come, you and make me less of a woman and more of a man. Fill me from head to toe with cruelty. Make me tough so I can commit these actions.-D: Soliloquy; “Come, you spirits” – Apostrophe, she is addressing the spirits; “from the crown to the toe top full” is an idiom (from head to toe).-I: Lady Macbeth is a woman (characterized by kindness), but wishes to become like a stereotypical man in order to be more cruel and ruthless. This foils to Macbeth to contrast his nature, who is a manly, to being weak and indecisive in killing Duncan. Whereas Lady Macbeth, (a woman), being more decisive and bold
The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step On which I must fall down, or else o’erleap, For in my way it lies. -S: Macbeth to himself-Si: Macbeth had come to the King’s court to be praised by the King for his efforts at stopping the rebellion and Norway. Malcolm has just been named the heir to the throne and Macbeth is contemplating his plan. -P: Malcolm has been named the Prince of Cumberland, which means that I will either get rid of him or be stopped by him on my journey of being named King-D: Metaphor, compares Malcolm to an obstacle; aside-Macbeth is telling the audience his true intentions.-I: This quote shows Macbeth ambition and his lust for power. Macbeth will stop at nothing to become king.
Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be What thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way. -S: Lady Macbeth-Si: Lady Macbeth is introduced and has finished reading Macbeth’s letter regarding the witches prophecy.-P: You are thane of Glamis and Cawdor, and you’re going to be king, just like you were promised. But I worry about whether or not you have what it takes to seize the crown. You are too compassionate and caring to strike aggressively at your first opportunity.-D: Soliloquy-mainly; Metaphor- Lady Macbeth uses the metaphor of “milk of human kindness” to say Macbeth to caring and compassionate to actually kill Duncan-I: Lady Macbeth’s metaphor provides a perspective of Macbeth’s beginning personality (nature) and how it could be a hindrance to him completing his goal.
For brave Macbeth–well he deserves that name– Disdaining fortune, with brandished steel, Which smoked with bloody execution, Like valor’s minion carved out his passage Till he faced the slave; Which ne’er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, Till he unseamed him from the nave to the chaps, And fixed his head upon our battlements. -*Speaker: Sergeant/Captain (same person) to Duncan-Situation: Duncan’s forces have returned from a victorious battle and the Sergeant is giving report-Paraphrase: Brave Macbeth looked at the enemies fortune with scorn and cut his way to him with valor. MacDonwald didn’t even have time to react before Macbeth cut him up and hung his head on a pike-Device: “Which smoked with bloody execution” – Motif/Imagery: Gore (Imagery) – Establishes Macbeth as a brutal person which explains actions/thoughts later on; Smoke (Imagery) – As fires burn smoke is their “essence” as the “essence” of execution is blood; Simile – “Like valor’s minion, carved out his passage” – Macbeth’s honorable rampage in battle is a “minion” of valor meaning he is displaying so much valor such that its like he is enslaved by it.;Irony in general – He is presented as a faithful man, but will later kill Duncan with a “bloody execution” and is “disdaining of fortune” when he upsets the natural order by killing the king;Apostrophe-referencing fortune(Lady Luck) in order to demonstrate how powerful Macbeth seemed to be when he slayed Macdonwald, “…disdaining fortune, with brandished steel…”; Personification- “valor’s minion” ,used to make Macbeth seem like he arose from courage itself; Foreshadowing/Irony – we see Macbeth kill a man by beheading him, then he is killed by Macduff who beheads him. -Interpretation: important because it shows us early on in the play Macbeth’s bloodlust personality. It says that Macbeth’s sword, “smoked with bloody execution.” It’s important to realize that Macbeth wasn’t just being portrayed as brave, he was being portrayed as ruthless.
O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife! -S: Macbeth-Si: Macbeth is worrying about the status of his crown because of the prophecy of the witches, and is planning to kill Banquo -P: My mind is being tormented by my thoughts, my wife!.-D: Metaphor: “mind full of scorpions” is comparing scorpions stings to the worrying/guilty thoughts he is has over the status of his crown and the killing of the late King Duncan.Imagery – Scorpions sting, just like the guilt/worry in his thoughts giving him I: Macbeth feels guilty over the orders he gave the murders to kill Banquo and Fleance. The “scorpions” are actually his guilt pinching him.
…Come thick night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, Nor Heaven peep through the blanket of the dark, To cry, “Hold, Hold!” -S: Lady Macbeth to herself (soliloquy) -Si: Lady Macbeth has just received a letter from Macbeth detailing his situation and is pondering it in the time between the exit of the messenger and the entrance of Macbeth-P: Come, thick night, cover the world so that not even my knife can see the wound it makes. Make it so neither Heaven can look through you to tell me to stop -D: Soliloquy Darkness as a motif Ex: “dunnest smoke” “knife not see” “blanket of dark”; “Come thick night” -Apostrophe “That my keen knife see not the wound it makes” -*Personification* the knife’s ability to see; “Nor Heaven peep through the blanket of dark” -PersonificationPersonification Darkness as a motif Ex: “dunnest smoke” “knife not see” “blanket of dark”; “Come thick night” -*Apostrophe* “That my keen knife see not the wound it makes” -*Personification* the knife’s ability to see; “Nor Heaven peep through the blanket of dark” -*Personification* heaven peeps; “Blanket of dark” -Metaphor Darkness is like a blanket-I: The tone of this passage is full of dark imagery which give us the impression that killing the King is a dark act, frowned upon by God.
Were such things here as we do speak about? Or have we eaten on the insane root That takes the reason prisoner? -Speaker: Banquo to Macbeth-Situation: This takes place after Duncan’s troops return from battle and MacBeth and Banquo meet the witches for the first time -Paraphrase: Were those things even real or have we eaten some poisonous plant that takes away our ability to reason-Device: “Eaten” Motif of eating “Insane root” aka literally taking drugs. Motif of gardening “That takes reason prisoner” Personification the root takes reason prisoner-Interpretation: This shows us that Banquo is unsure whether any of it was real or if their “freedom of thought was taken from them by insane roots (drugs)” Banquo does not believe that what they saw was actually real (in all reality, Banquo thinks that Macbeth and him have taken drugs and are high, “…eaten the insane root that takes the reason prisoner.”). This summarizes the doubt that Banquo feels towards the witches as opposed to MacBeth’s trusting and excited attitude towards what they say.
…I have no spur To prick the side of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition, which overleaps itself And falls on the other. -S: Macbeth-Si: Macbeth makes this remark to himself in his soliloquy in his chamber. The king and all his other guests are already in his castle preparing to feast. Macbeth, meanwhile, is ruminating over the murder he plans to commit.-P: The only thing motivating me is ambition. This ambition is more than it should be and it will end up hurting someone else. -D: This is a metaphor. Macbeth is comparing his conscious to riding a horse. He mentions a “spur” and “overleaping” which are references to riding a horse. He is, however, really talking about his conscious. Horseback riding is very jostling work so this metaphor adequately explains the internal conflict Macbeth is battling with.-I: The statement is important because Macbeth is admitting that the king has not given him any reason to kill him. He says that he has, “no spur to prick the side” of his intent. Macbeth is also admitting that his reasons for wanting to murder the king are only “vaulting ambition.” Macbeth is admitting that he would be harming Duncan just to have the crown for himself.
…Macbeth Is ripe for the shaking, and the powers above Put on their instruments. -S: Malcolm to Macduff-Si: Malcolm is ready to defeat Macbeth with his army and blessings from the heavens. -P: Macbeth’s reign is ready to end and we will be acting as God’s agents (powers above)-D: “Is ripe for the shaking ” is a metaphor for the end of Macbeth’s rule. “The night is long that never finds the day,” is a symbol of the neverending evil that Macbeth brought to his kingdom.-I: Malcolm and his army are ready to defeat Macbeth and remove from him the power that he did not deserve to have in the first place. Macbeth has murdered to get to where he is now, so Malcolm believes God is on his side.
Duncan is in his grave; After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well; Treason has done his worst; nor steel, nor poison, Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing, Can touch him further. -S: Macbeth to Lady Macbeth -Si: Macbeth has just arranged to have Banquo killed and he is feeling guilty for murdering people–right before this quote he was talking about how he has nightmares from his guilt. -P: Duncan lies in his grave, through with life’s troubles, and he’s sleeping well. We have already done the worst we can do to him with our treason. After that, nothing can hurt him further—not weapons, poison, rebellion, invasion, or anything else.-D: Personification- life’s fitful fever; Irony is created here as Macbeth sees Banquo as the snake when in fact Macbeth is the snake himself. this creates a biblical allusion creating and emphasising the aspect of dramatic irony within the play. -I: They are trying to make justifications for the crimes they committed. In the world that the Macbeths have created for themselves, total peace no longer exists, and what has been achieved is only a half-measure. Even the dead King Duncan is able to achieve more totally what Macbeth never can: a respite from “life’s fitful fever.” He is perhaps jealous of duncan for this. Fitful fever shows Macbeth’s mental state.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time -S: Macbeth-Si: Macbeth had just been notified that his wife has died. -P: Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. The days creep slowly along until the end of time.-D: Repetition of tomorrow to signify the meaningless of his life as everyday means nothing.-I: Macbeth has realized that his life is meaningless. Life just goes on and on and on. He has completely lost everything that gave his life meaning (his friends Duncan & Banquo, his wife, any chance of a future) and replaced them with terrible things (murder, sin, etc.) He believes that he has gone in path full of darkness and despair. Human anger and disaffection amounts to nothing. In the end, their generation will be forgotten and life means nothing to him. He states that he will live is anguish then die.
It is myself I mean; in whom I knowAll the particulars of vice so grafted That, when they shall be opened, black Macbeth Will seem as pure as snow, and the poor state Esteem him as a lamb, being compared With my confineless harms. -S: Malcolm to Macduff-Si: Macduff is trying to convince Malcolm to return to Scotland, but Malcolm believes Macduff is a spy. Malcolm is testing Macduff.-P: I know how bad I am and when my is evil is shown Macbeth will seem pure. The people will regard Macbeth as a good man when they see how terrible I am. -D: “As pure as snow” and “as a lamb” – Simile, Macbeth pure/innocent; “Black Macbeth” – Motif, Light and Dark; slight Biblical Allusion: lamb=jesus=pureI: Malcolm is testing Macduff by claiming that he is so evil that Macbeth will pale in comparison. He’s testing macduff by saying that if people saw Malcolm, they would think that Macbeth is good and that he is bad because he fled when his father passed away, and Macbeth is king.
Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand? Come let me clutch thee. I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. -S: Macbeth-Si: This takes place right before Macbeth is given the signal to go kill the King. -P: Is there a dagger in front of me waiting to be grabbed? Come here and let me hold you. I don’t have a dagger in my possession but I still see you.-D: apostrophe Macbeth is speaking to the dagger, which isn’t really there. He also addresses it by saying, “Come let me clutch thee” as if the dagger could respond.-I: This quote by Macbeth goes to show how much his conscious is conflicted with guilt of attempting to kill the king. Macbeth is hallucinating because there isn’t really a dagger present and even if there were it would be crazy to attempt a conversation with it. This quote also implies the role of fate in the play. The dagger appears before him as if it is his destiny to use it. It foreshadows all the killing Macbeth is destined to commit in the future.
My hands are of your color; but I shame To wear a heart so white. -S: Lady Macbeth-Si: Lady Macbeth makes this comment after going back to the guards to finish framing them for the murder. She is speaking to Macbeth. -P: I’m just as guilty as you are but I would be ashamed to be such a coward./My hands are red with blood just like you, but I’m not a coward about it. -D: Imagery – white heart, coloured hands; Metaphor – white heart aka innocence-I: This quote is adding to Lady Macbeth’s characterization as a ruthless person. It portrays her as the dominant partner in their relationship. She mocks her husband’s cowardly feelings. This statement by Lady Macbeth makes her look heartless.
Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn The power of man, for none of woman born Shall harm Macbeth. -S: Second Apparition to Macbeth-Si: Macbeth has demanded from the witches masters what the near future holds for him. The apparition tells Macbeth that nobody who was born from a woman will harm him.-P: Be violent, bold, and firm. Laugh at the power of other men, because nobody born from a woman will ever harm Macbeth.-D: Foreshadowing – Macbeth dies to a person who was removed via C-section-I: Because of this apparition, Macbeth ignores the heeding of the first saying that he will be defeated. He listens to the second one because it is saying what he wants to hear. Macbeth now believes he is undefeatable, because he believes no one shall be able to harm him since every man is from a woman born.
Even like the deed that’s done. On Tuesday last, A falcon, towering in her pride of place, Was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed. -S: Old Man-Si: Speaking to Ross about the death of King Duncan -P: It’s unnatural, just like the murder that has been committed. Last Tuesday a falcon was circling high in the sky, and it was caught and killed by an ordinary owl that usually goes after mice.-D: foreshadowing – shows the possible dissonance of the future of Macbeth’s reign. Symbolism- Duncan is the “falcon” and Macbeth is the “Owl.” It’s symbolizing the murder that was just committed.-I: It shows the earthly effects of the death of a monarch. Supposedly all living things would be affected when one died.
If’t be so For Banquo’s issue have I filed my mind; For them the gracious Duncan have I murdered; Put rancors in the vessel of my peace Only for them; -S: Macbeth soliloquy-Si: Macbeth is thinking about the fact that because he killed Duncan he really just indirectly made Banquo’s children kings. -P: If this is true, then I’ve tortured my conscience and murdered the gracious Duncan for Banquo’s sons. I’ve ruined my own peace for their benefit. -D: Personification – gives “peace” a “vessel” (body)-I:.This also shows that MacBeth feels remorse for the vile acts he has done, but only because him and his descendants ultimately do not gain anything from it highlighting his cruel nature. MacBeth has grown jealous of Banquo and is determined to have his future secured even if it means killing his once dear friend and throwing away his humanity for power.
…But ’tis strange; And oftentimes, to win us to our harm, The instruments of darkness tell us truths; Win us with harmless trifles, to Betray us in deepest consequence. -Speaker: Banquo to Macbeth-Situation: takes place after both Macbeth and Banquo hear their fortunes told by the witches. Macbeth has been pronounced thane of cawdor the scene before.-Paraphrase: It is strange… in order to bring ourselves to harm dark forces tell us truths to win us over and then betray our trust as a consequence of doing so.-Device: “darkness” -Motif of light and dark; “instruments of darkness” -Metaphor The witches are being compared to instruments of malice. Truths used to betray = paradox. Information used is fair but the motives and outcome are foul -Interpretation: Banquo finds the witches words strange and is telling Macbeth to be cautious of the witches words as these may be ploys of evil beings wanting to cause mischief through betraying their trust by telling them truths. If Macbeth believes the three witches, as a result from the small truth about him being thane of cawdor (which he already knew) then Banquo is worried that the witches will “win him his harm” by getting him to act out (killing Duncan). This “betrayal of deep consequence” (Macbeth’s potential to become king) might be the goal of “instruments of darkness”
There’s no art To find the mind’s construction in the face. He was a gentleman on whom I built An absolute trust. -Speaker: Duncan to Malcolm-Situation: The King has been informed that the thane of Cawdor has been executed for his betrayal. -Paraphrase: There’s no way to read a man’s mind by looking at his face. I trusted Cawdor completely.-D: Irony – Duncan puts his absolute trust in Macbeth for being loyal as well and then Macbeth betrays him, just like Macdonwald-I: This quote foreshadows the deceit of Macbeth later on in the play. It sets up the scene to show that later on in the play there will be deceit. When Duncan says, “He was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust” this foreshadows the trust that Duncan may have in Macbeth but later the deceit that will follow.
Methought I heard a voice cry, “Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep, the innocent sleep, Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve 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.— -S: Macbeth-Si: Macbeth says this after he has murdered the sleeping King Duncan. He says this while in the company of his wife, Lady Macbeth. -P: I thought I heard a voice cry, “Sleep no more! Macbeth is murdering sleep.” Innocent sleep. Sleep that soothes away all our worries. Sleep that puts each day to rest. Sleep that relieves the weary laborer and heal hurt minds. Sleep, the main course in life’s feast, and the most nourishing.-D: Personification: “sleep knits” “Macbeth does murder sleep…”-I: This statement that Macbeth claims to have heard someone say has two important purposes. The first is that it shows Macbeth’s immediate guilt for killing the king in such a defenseless state. He claims to have heard the voice say that he “does murder sleep, innocent sleep.” The fact that the king was completely oblivious and relaxed hurts Macbeth’s conscious. Sleep is a time when people are supposed to be able to be at peace and Macbeth just attacked a man at peace. The second important purpose of this statement is to foreshadow Macbeth’s later sleeplessness. Macbeth not only murdered sleep for the then King Duncan, he also murdered sleep for himself. Macbeth will never again be able to rest, or sleep, in peace without being tortured with guilt and fear of his reign coming to an end.
I have lived long enough. My way of life Is fallen into the sear, 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, breath, Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not. -S: Macbeth-Si: Seyton brings news to Macbeth and notifies him that the English are marching towards the castle.-P: I’ve lived for a long time. The way I’ve been living is comparable to that of the season of Fall which also compares to my old age. Honor, love, obedience, lots of friends are things I should not seek out; instead I shall only receive curses from those I’ve wronged, not light ones but deep, talking of my past honor which fades like breath. Deep down I would love to deny what is said, but I know I cannot. -D: Metaphor: life=the leaf that is yellowing/getting old. -I: Macbeth knows what he has done is wrong. He knows that he has hurt his people and that he deserves their curses for being such a tyrant. He claims that he will not be honored at old age, he will be cursed. “mouth honor” is not truly meant from the heart. He is bitter.
If good, why do I yield to that suggestion Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair And make my seated heart knock at my ribs, Against the use of nature? -Speaker: Macbeth (aside) or to himself-Situation: The witches have just told Banquo and Macbeth their fate and Macbeth had just received the news of being the Thane of Cawdor. -Paraphrase: If it’s good, why do I think of killing the king, a thought that makes my very hairs stands and makes by heart beat so fast?-Device: Aside motif Foul is fair; if it’s good why is it so bad (previously in this Soliloquy Macbeth says things that make this motif obvious); “Horrid image” and “heart knock at my ribs” Personification the horrid image unfix his hair and his heart knock at his ribs.-Interpretation: Macbeth is hesitant to act on the prophecies of the witches, but he is still ponders killing the king even though the thought frightens him. This shows that the ambition to do whatever he wishes resides in him and that the witches did not make him do anything
I pull in resolution, and begin To doubt the equivocation of the fiend That lies like truth… -S: Macbeth-Si: Macbeth says this shortly after receiving news from a messenger about the attackers (“moving grove”) that are nearing Dunsinane. -P: I am losing my confidence (pull in resolution) The fiend’s (the witches’) ambiguous words have seemed to mislead what I believed was true (def. of equivocate) and I begin to suspect that the witches were actually trying to deceive me by tell me what’s to come.-D: Motif: “nothing is as it seems” – The witches prophecies, even though they technically came true, did not come to fruition exactly as Macbeth thought they would (“…as it seems.”); Synecdoche: “fiend” – This singular version of the word (fiend) represents the whole (the three witches) which shows Macbeth view of the witches as evil spirits, towards the end of the play. -I: This is important because it shows that Macbeth is beginning to lose the confidence he had about his future. This is also a moment of realization for Macbeth. He realizes that the witches were probably telling him about his future to trick him into ruining it for himself.
Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there i’the name of Beelzebub? -S: Porter-Si: This is said by the Porter inside of Macbeth’s castle. He is speaking to himself. This is said shortly after Macbeth murdered the king. The people behind the door are the nobles Macduff and Lennox. The Porter is saying this because he is drunk. -P: Knock, knock, knock. Who is at the door in the name of the chief demon.-D: Allusion: Beelzebub/demons. Beelzebub is also known as Satan’s ”right hand man” in Paradise Lost (An Epic Poem) which goes to show that Macbeth is basically Satan’s right hand man now. Onamonapia: knocking. Comic ReliefI: Macbeth can be considered as Beelzebub in this instance. He has killed his king (regicide), which is a sin. The Porter is used as comic relief but also is used to compare Macbeth’s castle to the entrance of hell.
That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold; What hath quenched them hath given me fire. -S: Lady Macbeth-Si: Lady Macbeth makes this stating after performing her part in the murder of king Duncan. She just got finished drugging the guards. -P: The drug that put them to sleep has empowered me. What satisfied them has given me energy.-D: Juxtaposition – quenched/fire -I: This quote adds to the ruthless characteristics of Lady Macbeth. She shows no remorse for the actions; she just committed or the crime she is aiding. Matter of fact, she says that she now feels “bold” and has been given “fire”
It will have blood; they say, blood will have blood, Stones have been known to move and trees to speak; -S: Macbeth-Si: He knows that he will have to suffer for his murders. Macbeth recognizes that just as he murdered people to gain power, others wanting power may murder him to gain what he has. -P: There’s an old saying: the dead will have their revenge. Gravestones have been known to move, and trees to speak, to bring guilty men to justice.-D: Personification- stones moving and trees speaking; Repetition with the word “blood” for emphasis on Macbeth’s murders-I: This foreshadows Macbeth’s death, because blood begets blood begets blood
I shall do so; But I must feel it as a man. -S: Macduff to Malcolm-Si: Macduff has just learned that his wife and son have been murdered. Malcolm says that Macduff must fight through the situation as a man.-P: I will, but I must also have feelings as a man.-D: simile: “feel it as a man”, Macduff is feeling emotions because of the deaths, but he will not let them take him over?? -I: Malcolm tells Macduff to “dispute [the murder of his family’ like a man” and Macduff just wants some time to process it first. He wants to grieve the death of his loved ones
The Thane of Fife had a wife, where is she now? –What, will these hands ne’er be clean? -S: Lady Macbeth-Si: Lady Macbeth is being watched by the Doctor and Gentlewoman late at night because she has been acting strange.-P: Macduff had a wife, but where is she? Will this blood never be washed from my hands?-D: ¨The Thane of Fife had a wife”- Rhyming/doggerel, People that were mad were thought to act child-like, as in they would rhyme. Lady Macbeth has gone mad from guilt; ¨will these hands ne’er be clean?¨- Synecdoche, hands refers to her conscious being blood stained (guilty).-I: This is Lady Macbeth’s lowest point in the play where she is shown to be at her weakest and being driven mad by the guilt of all her murders.
Whither should I fly? I have done no harm, But I remember now 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 that I have done no harm? -S: Lady Macduff-Si: Lady Macduff sees the murderer who have entered her house not knowing what they’re here for, after being warned that they should flee. -P: Where am I supposed to go? I haven’t done anything wrong. But I have to remember that I’m here on Earth, where doing evil is often praised, and doing good is sometimes a stupid and dangerous mistake. So then why should I offer this womanish defense that I’m innocent?-D: Motif because it goes back to the “foul is fair and fair is foul”. She says that foul deeds are praised while good deeds often lead to danger.-I: This is important because of the motif it includes and because her reluctance to flee leads to her death.
…Now does he feel his title Hang loose about him, like a giant’s robeUpon a dwarfish thief. -S: Angus to Menteith and Caithness-Si: Malcolm and his forces are arriving to Dunsinane while Macbeth prepares for the invasion -P: His title as King is as loose as a giant’s robe on a dwarve. “Now he seems too small to be a great king, like a midget trying to wear the robes of a giant.”-D: “like a giant’s robe upon a dwarfish thief” – Simile and Imagery, compares Macbeth’s position as king to a loose fitting garb-I: This is when Macbeth will finally be removed from power. Angus is commenting on how they will remove the power from Macbeth and how he was never deserving of the power in the first place.
…Had he not resembled My father as he slept, I had done ‘t. -S: Lady Macbeth-Si: Lady Macbeth said this after she drugs the guards -P: “If he didn’t look like my father when he sleeps, I would have done it.”-D: Euphemism is used because instead of Lady Macbeth saying, “murder” she uses a more polite wording which is “had done’t.”-I: Lady Macbeth has limitations due to her gender and her status. Because she is a woman, she cannot claim power and therefore cannot kill Duncan. One of her excuses is that Duncan looks like her father and that just adds to the gender restriction. Also shows that perhaps Lady Macbeth is not as hardcore as she seems. She still needs Macbeth to do the dirty work because she can’t stomach it. Could also be interpreted as Lady Macbeth using Macbeth, saying that she wouldn’t kill him just because she did not want to be caught.
…Here lay Duncan, His silver skin laced with golden blood, And his gashed stabs looked like a breach in nature For ruin’s wasteful entrance. -S:Macbeth-Si: Act II scene iii. Macbeth is responding to Macduff’s question of why he killed the guards. -P: There lies the king. His treasured body covered with precious blood. The stab wounds look like an offense to nature itself. -D: Imagery – silver skin, golden blood; Simile – his wounds look like a breach in nature, so they’re disrupting the natural world bc it supposedly shook the whole earth when a monarch died. Personification, “ruin’s wasteful entrance”-I: Macbeth is pretending to be distraught over the death of his king when he actually killed him. It shows that Macbeth is a good actor and liar as well as ruthless
What should be spoken here, where our fate, Hid in an auger hole, may rush and seize us? Our tears are not yet brewed. -S: Donalbain to Malcolm -Si: Duncan has just been killed, and Donalbain is telling Malcolm that they might be in danger too and should get out of there. -P: What are we going to say here, where danger may be waiting to strike at us from anywhere? Let’s get out of here. We haven’t even begun to weep yet—but there will be time for that later.-D: Motif – Fate; Possible foreshadowing?-I: Donalbain knows that a murderer is on the loose. Whoever killed the king most likely wants the crown, and will come after the heirs afterwards. Donalbain stating “our tears are not yet brewed” shows the brevity of the situation.

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