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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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…(1.5.15-19) 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 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.
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, that no compunctious visitings of nature shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between th’ effect and it. Come to my woman’s breasts and take my milk for gall, you murd’ring ministers, wherever in your slightless substances you wait on nature’s mischief. 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!” (1.5.47-61) Lady Macbeth to selfshe calls upon evil so that she can kill duncan without guilt or sadness/emotion
If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly. if th’ assassination could trammel up the consequence and catch with his surcease success, that but this blow might be the be-all and the end-all here, but here, upon this bank and shoal of time, we’d jump the life to come. But in these cases we still have judgement here, that we but teach bloody instructions, which, being taught, return to plague th’ inventor. This even-handed justice commends th’ ingredience of our poisoned chalice to our own lips. he’s here in double trust: First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, strong both against the deed; then, as his host, who should against his murderer shut the door, not bear the knife myself…(1.7.1-16) Macbeth to selfcrimes have consequences, looking at reasons why he shouldn’t kill duncan. he should be protecting duncan
I dare do all that may become a man. Who dares to do more is none. (1.7.51-52) Macbeth to lady macbethhe will do what a man is meant to dodoing more=not a man
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 am settled and bend up each coporal agent to this terrible feat. away, and mock the time with fairest show. false face must hide what the false heart doth know. (1.7.92-96) macbeth to lady macbethhide under a friendly face, hide evil heartappearances vs reality
My bosom franchised and allegiance clear, i shall be counseled. (2.1.38-39) Banquo to macbethhe will be loyal as long as things are fine
is this a dagger which i see before me, the handle toward my hand? come, let me clutch thee…or art thou but a dagger of the mind, a false creation proceeding from the heat-oppress├ęd brain? (2.1.44-51) macbeth to selfimagining the dagger, freaking out about murder, guilt already in his heart, only killing for lady macbeth
Methought i heard a voice cry “sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep” – the innocent sleep, sleep that knits up the raveled sleave 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. (2.2.47-52) macbeth to lady macbethMENTAL BREAKDOWN OVER HERE. haunted by guilt, will never have peaceful nights, he will be sleepless
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
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
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
’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
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.
We have scorched the snake, not killed it. She’ll close and be herself whilst our poor malice remains in danger of her former tooth. (3.2.15-17) Macbeth to Lady MBmore to do which is why he keeps killing
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
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
Then live, Macduff; what need I fear of thee? But yet i’ll make assurance double sure and take a bond of fate. thou shalt not live (4.1.93-95) Macbeth to Apparitions and Witchesjust to make sure he will kill Macduff anyway
The very firstlings of my heart shall be the firstlings of my hand. And even now, to crown my thoughts with acts, be it thought and done (4.1.167-170) Macbeth to selfno longer acting with reason, just reaction
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
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
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
Macduff, this noble passion, child of integrity, hath from my soul wiped the black scruples, reconciled my thoughts to thy good truth and honor. (4.3.133-136) Malcolm to MacduffMacduff is loyal and good, everything was a test
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
Foul whisp’rings are abroad. Unnatural deeds do breed unnatural troubles. infected minds to their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets. (5.1.75-77) Doctor to Gentlewomanother theme- animals, nature, etc.discharge secrets – letting the guilt out
I think but dare not speak. (5.1.83) Doctor to Gentlewomannot going to say anything
this push will cheer me ever or disseat me now. I have lived long enough. My way of life is fall’n into the sere, 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. (5.3.24-33) macbeth to selfacceptance of death, realizes he has nothing, fight will either keep him king or take him away from the throne, people say they are loyal but are not
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
we have met with foes that strike beside us. (5.7.34-35) Malcolm to SiwardMacbeth’s army fighting w/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 MacbethHE IS THE SECOND GHOST and cut out of womb
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 lifeIN THE END: MACDUFF KILLS MACBETH AND MALCOLM BECOMES KING.

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