Macbeth Quotes

“Fair is foul and foul is fair…” Witches plan to meet with Macbeth with intentions of mischief.-“Appearances can present a false image” is reflected through the paradox.-Mood of opening scene is evil and mysterious.
“For brave Macbeth – well he deserves that name – disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel, …Till he unsealed him from the nave to the chops.” The captain tells King Duncan and Malcolm about the brave Macbeth slaying Mcdonwald.-Macbeth’s reputation and characteristics are established. -Fearless, valiant and violent but revered.
“All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king thereafter.” Banquo and Macbeth encounter the three witches and hear their prophecies.-Inciting scene that pushes Macbeth to turn his dreams into a reality.
“Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.” Banquo is given his prophecy.-Banquo doesn’t believe in witches. (descendent of King James I)-Best friends: Macbeth and Banquo are put against each other in the race to be king.
“He [the king] bade me, for him, call thee Thane of Cawdor!” Ross and Angus deliver news to Banquo and Macbeth about the Thane of Cawdor.-Witches establish credibility because the first prophecy is fulfilled.-The second plan is no longer a dream, but a possibility.
“And oftentimes, to win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness tell us truths, win us with honest trifles, to betray’s in deepest consequence.” Macbeth and Banquo talk about the prophecies.-Banquo’s skepticism shows. He only half believes the prophecies. Small predictions are possible but large predictions like kings are not.
“If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me, without my stir.” During an aside, Macbeth recognizes that King Duncan needs to die for Macbeth to become king.-He is firm that he will become king without his own intervention. He thinks of the consequences.-Chance is being personified.
“There’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face: he was a gentleman upon whom I built an absolute trust.” King Duncan talks to Malcolm about the Thane of Cawdor.-Appearances can be deceiving. -Is Macbeth trustworthy now that he’s filled the Thane of Cawdor’s shoes?
“The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step on which I must fall down or else o’erleap.” An aside with Macbeth reveals his opinion about Malcolm.-One more person is on his way to the throne. -Evil disrupts harmony. He has everything. Power, love, money. But he wants more.
“Yet I do fear thy nature; he is too full of the milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way.” Lady Macbeth finds out about the prophecies.-Macbeth is too good to kill King Duncan…right?-She does not question the authenticity of the witches at all.-She will stop at nothing to get what she wants. (similar to Macbeth)
“Come, you spirits that lead to deadly thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me, from crown to toe, top-full of direst cruelty!” Lady Macbeth rides a horse and rides on the thrill of her plans.-She wants to throw away gender roles so that she can kill King Duncan.-She is actively calling for darkness to come, unlike Macbeth.
“Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under it.” Lady Macbeth teaches Macbeth how to execute the plan.-Macbeth is compared to a serpent, like in the Garden of Eden.-Appearances can be deceiving as well as the mask motif.
“But here, upon this bank and shoes of time, We’d jump the life to come…He’s here in double trust:…as his host, I should against his murder shut the door, not bear the knife myself!” Macbeth reflects on the consequences of murder.-Ambition becomes blind.-He thinks about the reasons to kill Duncan besides his own personal benefit.
“We will proceed no further in this business.” Macbeth puts a stop to his wife’s plans.-He is finally putting a stop to everything his wife has been planning. -Taking a stand against her pushing.
“We fail? but screw your courage to the sticking place and we’ll not fail.” Lady Macbeth is still persistent with her plan.-Imbalance between reason and passion.-Macbeth is easily influenced by his emotions, similar to Duncan.
“Is this a dagger I see before me?” Macbeth is hallucinating before his wife rings the bell.-Under extreme amounts of stress, he will make incredible irrational decisions.-The blood motif.-He’s still not 100% with the plan, so the dagger taunts him because of what he will soon have to do.
“Had he not resembles my father as he spelt, I had done it…My Husband!” Lady Macbeth has drugged the guards, now she waits for Macbeth.-Lady Macbeth is done talking and now she is thinking about what she’s started.-She’s selfish, making other people do her dirty work.
“What hands are here? Ha! They pluck out mine eyes!” Macbeth is freaking out after he murders Duncan.-Macbeth wants to slip into a darkness where he does not see the blood on his hands.-The blood on the dagger has transferred onto his hands.
“Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No…” Macbeth is incredibly traumatized following the murder.-He used ocean, which makes me think of salt, and washing a wound in salt water only makes things worse.-Blood is a representation of guilt.
“A little water clears us of this deed. How easy it is then!” Lady Macbeth tries to comfort her husband.-She is back to being Macbeth’s rock. Logical and detached, she tries to fix everything. -She’s the exact opposite of Macbeth because she didn’t do anything!!
“To know my deed, it were best no know myself…Wake Duncan with your knocking…I wish you could!” Macbeth is scared of the knocking at the gate.-He is still incredibly guilty about the murder. Even his ambition will not save him from his guilt this time.
“You are [amiss], and you do not know it. The spring, the head, the fountain of your blood is stopped; the very source of it is stopped.” Duncan is found dead and everything is in chaos.-Now that the beginning of everything is gone, Malcolm and Donalbain are in danger.-Duncan’s family blood no longer flows, now it’s onto Macbeth’s family blood.
“Yet I do repent me of my furry, that I did tell the,…The expedition of my violent love outrun the passer, reason.” Macbeth goes off script and kills the guards.-Macbeth is no longer thinking about his actions, which only makes him more suspicious.
“Where we are there’s daggers in men’s smiles; the near in blood, the nearer in bloody.” Malcolm and Donalbain talk about leaving.-Both are not safe anymore because there is a murderer amongst them.-Appearances can lie.
“Tis unnatural, even like the deed that’s done.” An old man talks to Ross about Duncan’s murder’s effect on nature.-Evil disrupts harmony.
“Thou hast it all now: king, Cawdor, Glamis, all, as the weird women promised, and I fear thou played most foully for it.” Banquo talks to Macbeth in an apostrophe.-Fair and foul are repeated again.-He wonders about his own prophecies.
“To be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus..Our fears in Banquo stick deep…” Macbeth gives another soliloquy.-Macbeth’s ambition and greed show once again.-He wants his children to become king, but then Banquo’s prophecy gets in the way.
“Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown and put a barren scepter in my gripe,…no son of mine succeeding.” Macbeth continues his soliloquy.-The garden motif comes up.-Macbeth believes he can manipulate prophecies however he wants.
“It is concluded: Banquo, thy soul’s flight, if it find heaven, must find it tonight.” Macbeth hires two murderers to kill Banquo.-He is now calling the shots himself, without Lady Macbeth’s encouragement.-He is ruthless, willing to do anything to keep this position.
“Nought’s had, all’s spent, where our desire is got without content. Tis safe to be that which we destroy than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.” We get a look into Lady Macbeth’s thoughts.-They have given everything to get everything, but they are still not satisfied. -Anyone can kill them at anytime. They have no peace of mind.
“O, treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly!” Banquo is murdered and tries to save his son.-This scene is the turning point for Macbeth. He has officially left his morality at the door.-Fleance is compared to a bird.-Banquo died a very heroic death.
“Thou canst not say I did it; never shake thy gory locks at me!” Macbeth sees Banquo’s ghost and freaks out at a dinner party.-The ghost is a representation of Macbeth’s guilt over the death.-From the beginning of his kingship, he is already driven to the breaking point because of the consequences of his previous actions.
“I am in blood stepped in so far that, should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as to go o’er.” Macbeth talks to his wife about what he saw.-Macbeth has chosen his path and he has to continue on it. -It is too much to try to undo things.
“And you all know security is mortal’s chiefest enemy.” Hecate talks to the three witches.-When your guard is down, you are weak and vulnerable.-This acts as foreshadowing to how the witches will play with Macbeth.
“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes…” The witches anticipate meeting Macbeth.-Other evil can recognize the evil in Macbeth.-Within evil, he can be comfortable.
“Laugh to scorn the power of man, for none of woman shall harm Macbeth.” The second apparition gives Macbeth a prophecy.-He gets a false sense of security because every woman is born of woman, right?!
“But I remember now I am in this earthly world, where to harm is often laudable, to do good sometimes accounted dangerous folly.” Lady Macduff responds to a message about danger coming her way.-Good things happen to bad people and vice versa. -She is only the second female character and she’s already dead.
“Your castle surprised. Your wife and babes savagely slaughtered.” Ross tells Macduff about the attack on his castle.-For Macduff, the fight against Macbeth is no longer just political. It has now become personal.-The S sounds like a serpent in the Garden of Eden.
“I shall do so [dispute it a man]; but I must also feel it as a man. I cannot remember such things were that were most precious to me…” Malcolm and Ross urge Macduff to get revenge.-Macduff is emotional, but logical enough to function.-He uses his emotions as a drive to avenge the death of his family.
“Receive what cheer you may. The night is long that never finds the day.” Malcolm gives the army a speech.-Death is correlated with darkness again.-Day will come to defeat the darkness.
“Out damn spot, out I say- who wouldd have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?…Here’s the smell of blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand!” Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking and sleepwalking.-Previously, she said that a bit of water could wash blood out. She has since changed her mind.-Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have switched roles.
“Unnatural deeds do breed unnatural troubles.” The doctor and Lady Macbeth’s handmaiden have overheard the conversation.-Evil deeds do disrupt the natural state of things.
“Those he commands move only in command, nothing in love.” Angus tells others about Macbeth’s soldiers.-Scotland is turned on him and he is only supported by those that are too scared to oppose him.
“I have lived long enough…and that which should accompany old age, as honor, love, obedience, troops of friends, I must not look to have.” Macbeth prepares for battle against his own people.-He is not worried about losing at all because of the prophecies.-He is looking at the future and what he will have to enjoy, which is nothing.
“Let every soldier hew him down a bough and bear it before him.” Malcolm tells the soldiers to camouflage.-The forest is coming up to Dunsinae hill, which will fulfill prophecy one.-Malcolm is the cunning leader.
“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow…out, out, brief candle. Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is then heard from no more…Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Macbeth has lost everything now that his wife has died.-With nothing to lose anymore, he will fight recklessly and he doesn’t care if he dies.-He compares life to a play and how the character eventually ends. This is his end.
“If thy speech be sooth, I pull in resolution, and begin to doubt equivocation of the fiend that lies like truth.” Macbeth’s worst nightmare has come true.-He realized that the prophecy has come true and curses the witches for their sly nature.-He is thrown out of his comfort zone, foreshadowing his defeat.
“Deapri thy charm. I was from my mother’s womb untimely ripped!” Macduff reveals the truth of his birth.-The final prophecy is fulfilled and now Macbeth can be defeated by Macduff.-This shows the equivocation of the witches’ prophecy.
“I will not yield, to kiss the ground before young Malcolm’s feet.” Macbeth refuses to go down without a fight.-He is still prideful and he will not give up.-He recognizes all that he did and he is not sorry at all. He’s pure evil and he is not hiding it at all anymore.
“[We will now call] home our exiled friends abroad that fled the snares and watchful tyranny…of this dead butcher and his fiendlike queen.” Malcolm addresses the crowd of soldiers and citizens following his victory.-He balances between Duncan and Macbeth’s ruling style.

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