Macbeth Quotes

“Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” ~ witches- foreshadowing, setting the mood of the supernatural
“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.
“But screw your courage to the sticking-place,And we’ll not fail.” ~ Lady Macbeth- before they kill Duncan, she is reassuring Macbeth that everything will work out if he fixes his courage firmly in place.
“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.
“Had he not resembled My father as he slept, I had done’t.” (referring to Duncan) ~ Lady Macbeth- She would’ve killed Duncan herself but as he was sleeping he looked like her father.
“What hands are here? Ha: they pluck out mine eyes. 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.
“He’s here in double trust. First, as I am his kinsman and his subject… then, as his host.” ~ Macbeth (referring to King Duncan)- Listing reasons why he shouldn’t kill Duncan. Duncan trusts Macbeth for two reasons: he is his kinsman/subject, and his host.
“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.
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
You should be women, And yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so Act 1, Scene 3- Macbeth – Witches = supernatural and transgressive of gender
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
Speak, I charge you! Act 1, Scene 3 – Macbeth – imperative – witches fail to obey – lack of control? – argues against supernatural powers
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
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
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still Act 2, Scene 1 – Macbeth dagger soliloquy – contradictions like the Witches
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
The devil himself could not pronounce a title more hateful to mine ear Act 5, Scene 7 – Young Siward – religious imagery – hatred for Macbeth publicly known
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
We have scorch’d the snake, not killed it Act 3, Scene 2 – Macbeth – worried about threat (Banquo) – snake is the threat to his kinship – religious imagery – snake tempts
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
When the battle’s lost and won (1.1.4) second witch to all witchesfair is foul, foul is fair- one winner and one loser
For brave Macbeth…which he ne’er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, till he unsealed him from the nave to th’ chops, and fixed his head upon our battlements. (1.2.18-25) Captain to Duncan and MalcolmMacbeth killed the traitor Macdonwald
but the Norweyan lord, surveying vantage, with furnished arms and new supplies of men, began a fresh assault. (1.2.34-36) Captain to Duncanfair is foul – small victory but another enemy
As cannons overcharge with double cracks, so they doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe. (1.2.41-42) Captain to Duncankept fighting, even stronger, not giving up
assisted by that most disloyal traitor, the Thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict…the victory fell on us. (1.2.60-66) Ross to DuncanThane of Cawdor is traitor to Duncan but they still win
what he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won. (1.2.78) Duncan to RossThane of Cawdor will die, Macbeth will replace himfair is foul
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
speak, then, to me, who neither beg nor fear your favors nor your hate. (1.3.63-64) Banquo to witchespredict stuff for him, he doesnt beg for their favors or fear their hate
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
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
That I may pour my spirits in thine ear and chastise with the valor of my tongue all that impedes thee from the golden round (1.5.29-31) Lady Macbeth to selfShe is going to persuade macbeth to act
The raven himself is hoarse that croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan under my battlements. (1.5.45-47) Lady Macbeth to selfDUNCAN WILL DIE.
See, see our honored hostess! (1.6.13)Fair and noble hostess, (1.6.30) Duncan to Lady Macbethhe is too trusting
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.
that which hath made them drunk hath made me bold. what hath quenched them hath given me fire…it was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman (2.2.1-5) lady macbeth to selfdrugged guardsmen, fair is foul foul is fair- what made their lives suck is giving her powerthe owl is death, death has occurred
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
infirm of purpose! give me the daggers. the sleeping and the dead are but as pictures. ’tis the eye of childhood that fears a painted devil. if he do bleed i’ll gild the faces of the grooms withal, for it must seem their guilt. (2.2.68-73) lady macbeth to macbethmacbeth is stupid and cant do anything right, lady is going to frame the guardsmen
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. (2.2.78-81) macbeth to selfwater will not wash it all away
my hands are of your color, but i shame to wear a heart so white. (2.2.83-84) lady macbeth to macbethnot bothered by the death, white=pure
a little water clears us of this deed. (2.2.86) lady macbeth to macbethwater will cleanse us, repeated
the night has been unruly. where we lay, our chimneys were blown down…the obscure bird clamored the livelong night. some say the earth was feverous and did shake. (2.3.61-69) Lennox to macbethnature is weird/strange. the obscure bird is the owl, referencing duncan’s death
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
’tis unnatural, even like the deed that’s done. on Tuesday last a falcon, tow’ring in her pride of place, was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed. old man to rossnature is strange/weird
and duncan’s horses…turned wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out, contending ‘gainst obedience, as they would make war with mankind. (2.4.17-22) ross to duncanhorses turn wild, nature is acting strange
Malcolm and Donalbain, the King’s two sons, are stol’n away and fled, which puts upon them suspicion of the deed. (2.4. 36-38) Macduff to Ross and old manironic because they are innocent and are running away to be safe. pretty much straightforward.
They hailed him father to a line of kings upon my head they placed a fruitless crown and put a barren scepter in my grip, thence to be wrenched with an unlineal hand, no son of mine succeeding. If’t be so, for Banquo’s issue have I filed my mind; for them the gracious Duncan have I murdered. (3.1.65-71) Macbeth to selfdoesnt trust Banquo, doesnt want Banquo’s son to be king, super jelly of banquo, afraid of banquo, and paranoia from guilt
false face must hide what the false heart doth know (1.7.95) MB to LMBfair is foul, foul is fair
Naught’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. (3.2.6-9) Lady Macbeth to selfgot what was desired but not happy, role reversal with macbeth who is a crazy killer while she is unhappy
better to be with the dead, whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace, than on the torture of the mind to lie in restless ecstasy. (3.2.22-25) macbeth to lady MBlife isnt good, would rather be dead
There’s comfort yet; they are assailable…Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck…and with thy bloody and invisible hand cancel and tear to pieces that great bond which keeps me pale. (3.2.44, 51, 52-56) Macbeth to Lady MBBanquo and Fleance are killable. its better if Lady doesnt know what he has planned until after, he is going to break the bond/cancel the prophecy by killing Banquo and Fleance
then comes my fit again. i had else been perfect, whole as the marble, founded as the rock, as broad and general as the casing air. But now i am cabined, cribbed, confined, bound in to saucy doubts and fears. (3.4.23-27) Macbeth to Murdererconfident but now scared and doubting
Sit, worthy friends. My lord is often thus and hath been from his youth. Pray you, keep seat. the fit is momentary; upon a thought he will again be well. (3.4.64-67) Lady Macbeth to banquet tablehe is like this all the time, its all good…
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
and which is worse, all you have done hath been but for a wayward son (3.5.10-11) Hecate to Witches Macbeth has done bad things w/the info, messing w/fate, spiteful and wrathful, does everything for himself
And that, distilled by magic sleights, shall raise such artificial sprites as by the strength of their illusion shall draw him on to his confusion. he shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear his hopes ‘bove wisdom, grace, and fear. and you all know, security is mortals’ chiefest enemy. (3.5.26-33) Hecate to Witchesmake illusions that will make Macbeth think everything is good and that he is all powerful, his overconfidence will be his enemy
Some holy angel fly to the court of England and unfold his message ere he come, that a swift blessing may soon return to this our suffering country under a hand accursed. (3.6.51-55) Lennox to Lordwants Macduff to come and heal the land, get rid of Macbeth the tyrant
Double, double toil and trouble (4.1.10) All Witches making life worse for Macbeth, double work, double trouble
Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff! Beware the Thane of Fife! Dismiss me. Enough. (4.1.81-82) First Apparition(Armed Head=head with armor) to Macbethsaying beware Macduff
Be bloody, bold, and resolute. Laugh to scorn the power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth. (4.1.90-92) Second Apparition(Bloody Child) to Macbetha man not born of woman can harm Macbeth
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
What, will the line stretch out to th’ crack of doom? Another yet? A seventh? I’ll see no more. And yet the eighth appears who bears a glass which shows me many more, and some I see…for the blood-boltered Banquo smiles upon me and points at them for his. (4.1.132-139) Macbeth to Apparitions and Witchesall are the children of Banquo who will be kings, mirror/glass shows even more kings
Infected be the air whereon they ride, and damned all those that trust them! I did hear the galloping of horse. (4.1.157-159) Macbeth to LennoxCursing anyone who trusts the witches, curses him self because he believed in them
This deed I’ll do before this purpose cool (4.1.175) Macbeth to selfis going to kill Macduff’s family
When our actions do not, our fears do make us traitors. (4.2.4-5) Lady Macduff to Rossapplies to Macbeth
Then the liars and swearers are fools, for there are liars and swearers enough to beat the honest men and hang up them. (4.2.62-64) Son to Lady Macduffreflection of whats occuring
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
Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell. Though all things foul would wear the brows of grace, Yet grace must still look so. (4.3.27-30) Malcolm to Macdufffair is foul- evil looks good, good also has to look good
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. (4.3.63-66) Malcolm to Macdufftesting Macduff, Macbeth will look pure compared to Malcolm if Malcolm became king
I grant him bloody, luxurious, avaricious Malcolm to Macduffmore testing
Yet do not fear. Scotland hath poisons to fill up your will of your mere own. all these are portable, with other graces weighed. (4.3.103-106) Macduff to MalcolmScotland’s treasures will sustain Macduff, the good outweighs the bad
Fit to govern? No, not to live. Macduff to MalcolmMalcolm is not fit to govern, based on what he has told Macduff
Alas, poor country, almost afraid to know itself. It cannot be called our mother, but our grave Ross to Macduff and Malcolmsays what people are thinking, everyone hates Macbeth
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? no more o’ that. You mar all with this starting. (5.1.44-47) Lady Macbeth to self/Gentlewoman and Doctorconfessed murdering Macduff’s wife
Wash your hands. put on your nightgown. Look not so pale. I tell you again, Banquo’s buried; he cannot come out on ‘s grave. (5.1.65-67) 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
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. (5.5.27-31) Macbeth to Seytonno emotion or humanity, no meaning to his life
Armed Head/First Apparition is Macduff, he is the soldier that kills Macbeth
Bloody Child/Second Apparition is Macduff, he is the baby birthed not of woman
Child with crown and tree branches/Third Apparition is Malcolm, he becomes king and brings the battle to Macbeth

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