Macbeth Quotes

“A little water clears us of this deed.” Lady Macbeth Act II, scene ii, pg. 27 This quote is her reaction to Duncan’s death. She speaks about literally washing the evidence (blood) away but also figuratively about washing her conscinece of any guilt or remorse she could feel. It is ironic, because later there is a role reversal as Macbeth is not effect by the death as we suspected he would be, but she is.
“Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red.”Macbeth Act II, scene ii pg. 27 lines 59-62 This quote is his reaction to Duncan’s death, and shows his regret and remorse for killing him. It shows his personality before he becomes evil later in the play. He states that he is worried there is not enough water in the ocean to cleanse him of the blood (guilt) or Duncan’s murder. Instead, he is so tainted by it, he would turn the sea red with the blood on his hands.
“Macbeth shall never vanquish’d be until Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill Shall come against him.” Third Apparition pg. 59 lines 92-94 This quote a part of the second prophecy the witches give to Macbeth. It says he won’t be defeated until the forest of Birnam march to his castle. They are warning him how he dies, but instead (since he thinks it is impossible) Macbeth takes it as a sign that he is invincible. This leads to him being a more tyranical ruler as he thinks he has faces no consequences.
“none of woman born Shall harm Macbeth.” Second Apparition pg. 58 lines 80-81 This quote a part of the second prophecy the witches give to Macbeth. It says he won’t be killed by someone who was born of a woman. They are warning him who kills him, but instead (since he thinks it is impossible) Macbeth takes it as a sign that he is invincible. This leads to him loosing his fear, which leads to the reckless behavior that kills him as he takes on Macduff in battle. Macduff is the one who defeats him, which is what the witches allude to since Macduff wasn’t “born” vaginally, but instead from a cersarian section.
“Fit to govern? No, not fit to live.” Macduff pg. 66 lines 103-104 Malcolm was lying to Macduff to see if he was really trying to help Scotland or not. Malcolm really was fit to govern, but he said the he wasn’t to see if Macduff was really interested in the well-being or Scotland or not.
“Had he not resembled My father as he slept, I had done’t.” Lady Macbeth Act I pg. 25 lines 12-13 Lady Macbeth is making excuses for why she doesn’t kill Duncan herself (because he looks like her father).
“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.” Lady Macbeth Act I, scene iv pg. 17 This quote highlights Lady Macbeth’s desire to be evil, and that her only obstacle to achieving this goal is her gender. She asks demons to come and remove the physical processes her that make her a woman. She wishes to be a man so that she can be truley evil and avoid the “womanly” emotions of remorse and kindness. It also exemplifies the reversed gender roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in the beginning of the play.
“Out, damned spot! Out, I say! -one, two; why, then ’tis time to do’t- Hell is murky!” Lady Macbeth This quote is when Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking. She sees spots of blood on her that she cannot wash away even though she continually tries. She relives things they have already done (the murder of Duncan), showing her remorse for those actions. She is becoming more like Macbeth was at the beginning of the play, unsure and remorseful. She is more of a woman.
“Yet do I fea thy nature; It is too full o’ the milk of human kindnessto catch the nearest way.” Lady Macbeth pg. 16 lines 14-16 Lady Macbeth speaks to herself about how she plans to manipulate Macbeth into killing Duncan. She is ambitious but fears that he is too “kind” and good to kill Duncan and acquire the position she wants for him. Eventually she is successful in manipulating him into it, and he becomes more evil and cruel than good and kind.
“Here lay Duncan, his silver skin laced with his golden blood; and his garh’d stabs look’d like a breach in nature.” Act II, scene iii, pg. 31 This quote shows Macbeth’s remorse for Duncan’s death. His description of Duncan’s wounds and skin relates Duncan to a holly or godly figure, which relates to their belief that a king rules by divine right. His observation that the wounds are a “breach” in nature demonstrate that Macbeth knows/sees his deed is unnatural and foreshadows the odd occurrences of nature (horses eating each other) after this.
“Saucy, and over-bold, how did you dare to Trade and Trafficke with Macbeth, In Riddles and Affaires of death; And I the Mistress of your Charmes, The close contriver of all harmes, was never call’d to beare my part, or show the glory of our Art?” Hecate pg. 52 lines 3-9 This quote alludes to the fact that the witches are toying with Macbeth, that they know that their prophecies are riddles with hidden meanings that will deceive him and lead to his death.
“Look like the innocent flower, But be the serpent under it.” Lady Macbeth pg. 18 line 63-64 This quote demonstrates Lady Macbeth’s deceitful nature. She encourages Macbeth to look innocent on the outside so that he can deceive and not be suspected.
Canst thou not minister to a mind diseas’d, pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow, Raze out the written troubles of the brain, And with some sweet oblivious antidote cleanse the stuff’d bosom of the perilous stuff which neighs upon the heart? Macbeth Act IV, scene iv, pg. 78 Macbeth states this quote to the Doctor regarding Lady Macbeth’s sickness. It shows the complete role reversal of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth regarding guild. In the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth felt no guilt in killing Duncan while Macbeth constantly worried. She acted as though remorse was something to be shameful of and that it was easily shaken off. But now, Lady Macbeth is sleep walking due to her guilt and Macbeth thinks it is an easily cured affliction.
“I have almost forgotten the taste of fears: the times has been, my senses would have cool’d to hear a night-shriek, and my fell of hair would at a dismal treatise rouse and stir as life were in’t: I have supt full with horrors.” Macbeth pg. 80 lines 9-13 This quote is Macbeth’s reaction to the wail of a woman that accompanies his wife’s death (which he doesn’t realize.) He reflects that before it would have startled or scared him, but now that he has seen and heard so many other horrible things, has done them himself, he is desensitized to fear.

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