Macbeth quotes

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
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
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
Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t Act 1, Scene 5 – Lady Macbeth – religious imagery – Adam and Eve – sin against God – regicide – deception – conspiracy -transgressive femme fatale
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return to plague th’inventor Act 1, Scene 7 – Macbeth – fears moral consequences – humility – psychological state
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
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
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 scotch’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

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