Macbeth- Quotes Analysis 1

“Fair is foul, and foul is fair/ Hover through the fog and filthy air” Good is bad and bad is good- Antithesis. Hints that good Macbeth turns bad.- rhyming couplets adds to the evil foreboding atmosphere. Starts theme of reality vs appearances
“Till he unseamed him from the nave to th’chaps”- Captain Mouth to the belly – brave/ heroic Macbeth killed the traitor Macdonwald with the Scottish army.
“Gainst my captivity. Hail, brave friend” Ironic, he is being told “hail” yet when he becomes King this language no longer reflects who he is.
” Or memorise another Golgotha”- Captain Allusions/religious imagery- re-enact a slaughter like Christ’s crucifixion
“Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel,/ Which smoked with bloody execution” Metaphor/ imagery of a gory sword smoking from hot blood.- foreshadow to dagger scene where he has become a tyrant. Shakespeare contrasts eerie witch scene with gory battle scene- violent mood for play
“O valiant cousin, worthy gentlemen”- Duncan Later Duncan is killed by him- link to “This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air/ Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself.”- dramatic irony
“When the hurly-burly’s done/ When the battle’s lost and won” Rhyming couplets & paradoxes (contradicts itself) – unclear at first but becomes clearer throughout
“brave” & “valiant” Macbeth is a hero and loyal to king, but as the witches say, things may not be as they seem.
“The merciless Macdonwald” Very ironic- later Macbeth
“What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won” Thane of Cawdor executed for being a “disloyal traitor”
“Her husband’s to Aleppo gone, master o’th’ Tiger” Tiger- an English ship that finally arrived home after disastrous 81week voyage. Metaphor of a sailor representing Macbeth- storm stops him sleeping like Macbeth guilt stops his sleep. Ship is destroyed like Scotland
“Sleep shall neither night nor day” Sailor- Foreshadow
“A drum, a drum: / Macbeth doth come” Rhyming couplets- link to knocking?
“Thrice to thine and thrice to mine, /And thrice again, to make up nine” Three times in my direction, three times in your’s. Creates a circle for Macbeth to walk into.- Assonance
“So foul and fair a day i have not seen” Macbeth’s first line of the whole play- link to Witches, he is a puppet of the witches from the moment he walks into their circle, he is spell bound.
“neither beg nor fear/ Your favours nor your hate”
“Hail”, “Hail”, “Hail” Witches each talk in threes
“Lesser tha. Macbeth, and greater” & “Not so happy, yet much happier” Paradoxes/ riddles to confuse them. Macbeth will have more but be unhappy
“Stay you imperfect speakers. Tell me more” Macbeth uses imperatives
“Why do you dress me/ In borrowed robes” Macbeth questions why he’s Thane of Cawdor. Ironic- later doesn’t borrow but murders Duncan’s position.
“The instruments of darkness tell us truths;/ Win us with honest trifles, to betray’s / In deep consequence.”- Banquo Banquo knows they are evil witches that manipulate
(Aside) “Cannot be ill, cannot be good.” Macbeth talks to himself. Unsure if the Witches are good or bad, Banquo knows they’re evil
“Worthy Macbeth”- Banquo In act 3, lose all trust as friends
“rapt withal” Macbeth is left spellbound by the witches within his thoughts. – lust for power fighting between ambition and conscience.
Contrast- Thane of Cawdor a gentlemen who Duncan had “An absolute trust” to Macbeth walking in “O worthiest cousin” Ironic- will soon be Macbeth who is disloyal
“Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds” Duncan asks if Macbeth was scared in battle. It appears that he wanted to bathe in the blood of the enemy.
“disloyal traitor”- description of Thane of Cawdor Ironic- this will be Macbeth later on!
“What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won”- Duncan Fate has Macbeth Thane of Cawdor, but later he tries to change is fate through murder
“Sleep shall neither night nor day”- Witches Metaphor/foreshadow of Macbeth losing sleep like the sailor. Further symbolic of Scotland under Macbeth’s tyranny later on- nationwide shock & fear
“All hail Macbeth…”, “All hail Macbeth…”, “All hail Macbeth…”- Each Witch Anaphora- repletion of words at the beginning of successive sentences. Link to religious Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
“If you can look into the seeds of time/ And say which grain will grow and which will not, / Speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear/ Your favours nor your hate”- Banquo Banquo doesn’t want any favors from the Witches. Link to “And set me up in hope? But hush, no more” Act 3- Banquo thinks about the Witches, but doesn’t take actions.
“Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.” “Not so happy, yet much happier”- 2x Witches Paradoxes/ riddles to confuse Macbeth. Foreshadow, Macbeth will get what he wants, but not be happy.
“Stay you imperfect speakers. Tell me more” Imperatives/ commands
“Or have be eaten on the insane root, / That takes the reason prisoner?”- Banquo Banquo questions his own sanity- asks if he is on drugs e.g. hemlock or henbane caused people to go mad
“A drum, a drum; / Macbeth doth come” Foreshadow to Macbeth knocking?
“Why do you dress me in borrowed robes?” Ironic- later on Macbeth doesn’t borrow!
“Instruments of darkness”- Banquo Metaphor- evil devils
“Cannot be ill, cannot be good”- Macbeth Macbeth is unsure if they are good or bad, Banquo is CERTAIN they are evil
“Worthy Macbeth”- Banquo Later on, he loses all trust in his friend- link to Act 3 Scene 1
“Look how our partner’s rapt” Macbeth is spell bound
“If chance will have me king, why chance may crown me / Without my stir” Macbeth is thinking rationally- maybe I fate will have me king
“He was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust”- Duncan Ironic- traitor Thane of Cawdor
“I have begun to plant thee and will labour/ To make thee full of growing”- Duncan Duncan is a kind/ caring king
“Stars, hold your fires, / Let not light see my black and deep desires” – Macbeth Wishes of becoming king come true and gaining of power to be kept secret.
“my dearest partner of greatness” & “heart and farewell”- Macbeth in letter Equal couple
“too full o’th’milk of human kindness” Lady M thinks Macbeth is too kind
“That i may pour my spirits in thine ear/ And chastise with the valour of my tongue” Pure evil
“Under my battlements” Possessive pronoun
“Come you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here” Calls on spirits- Apostrophe- calling on something that is personified/ absent
“crown to the toe topfull/ Of direst cruelty” Asking to be full of evil and not feel fear
“And take my blood for gall, you murdering ministers” Gall- bitter poison Alliteration- reminds audience of the seriousness
“blanket of the dark” Blanket descending over castle
“Great Glamis, worthy Cawdor” “all-hail hereafter” Flattering Macbeth
“O never shall sun that morrow see” That day will never come
“my dispatch” Possessive pronouns
“This castle hath a pleasant seat… the air/ Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself”- Duncan Dramatic irony
“Fair and noble hostess”- Duncan Irony!
“In every point twice done and then done double”- Lady Macbeth If everything we do for you is doubled then doubled again, it is nothing compared to what you do to us.- mirroring the Witches
“”this blow”, “If th’assassination”, “horrid deed”- Macbeth Euphemism- doesn’t say the word murder or kill. Link to Witches “A deed without a name”
“He’s here in double trust”- Macbeth Witch language “double”
“I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent” Horse imagery
“And live a coward in thine own esteem””When you durst do it, then you were a man””Wherein you dressed yourself?””Be so much more than a man” Landy M chastises her husband and questions his masculinity
“I would, while it was smiling in my face, /Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums/ And dashed the brains out” She is merciless and not a motherly figure! Violent imagery
“False face must hide what the false heart doth know”- Ends Act 1 Assonance & alliteration- “show” linked to Act 4 scene 1 witches: “show”, “show”, “show”
“A friend” – Macbeth Tells Banquo this, is it really true?
Interruption “I think not of them”- Macbeth Banquo states he has dreamed of them. Deceptive Macbeth. Break down of relationship as they now interrupt each other.
“Witchcraft celebrates Pale Hecate’s off’rings” Hecate- goddess of witchcraft
“A dagger of the mind, a false creation” See’s dagger
“With Tarquin’s ravishing strides” Tarquin- Roman prince who raped women- Macbeth compares himself to him
“Here it not Duncan for it is knell/ That summons thee to heaven or to hell” Rhyming couplets- Witches
“Hark, peace”- Lady Macbeth startled by every noise
“Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done’t” Only emotions she shows
“I heard the owls scream and the crickets cry”- Lady Macbeth Death connotations
“sorry sight” Regrets
“I could not say ‘Amen'” Satan not God now
“Macbeth does murder sleep”
” So brain sickly of things” Lady M”Go….””Give….””Be….” Imperatives
Sleep- “sleeve of care””sore labour’s balm””life’s feast” Sleep compared to many things.
“I’ll gild the faces of the grooms withal” gild- decorative metaphorical image of painting the faces
“Neptune’s oceans wash this blood” Hyperbole
“To wear a heart so white” Connotation of calm/ kindness
“A little water clears us of this deed” Ironic/ foreshadowing to her frantic hand washing at end of play
“the multitudinous seas incarnadine” Vivid image of seas turning red
“Of dire combustion and confused events”
“O horror, o horror, o horror”
“The Lord’s anointed temple” God like figure
“O gentle lady” Lady M faints ironically
“His silver skin laced with his golden blood” Metaphorical/ God like
“A falcon tow’ring in her pride of place/ Was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed” Order and disorder- The Great Chain of Being
“solem supper sir”- Macbeth Deceit to his friend who he’s about to kill
“But hush, no more”- Banquo Has bad thoughts but doesn’t act on them
“Fail not our feast”- Macbeth Alliteration of Macbeth
“I wish your horses swift and sure of foot”- Macbeth deceit
“My genius is rebuked” My angel is frightened
“As hounds, and greyhounds, mongrels…””All by the name of dogs” Macbeth compared murderers to dogs which are at the bottom of the Divine Order
“why do you keep alone”- LM Relationship breaking
“we have scorched the snake not killed it” Religious imagery
“restless ecstasy” happiness vs going mad oxymoron
“And make our faces vizards to our hearts” Masks
“O full of scorpions is my mind dear wife” Animal imagery
“Be innocent of the knowledge dearest chuck” Patronising?
“Black agents to their prey do roust” Hunters
Banquo murder- (with a torch) Angel?
“Whole as marble, founded as rock” Strong
“cabined, cribbed, confined” Alliteration
“But Banquo’s safe?” Contronym
“never shake thy gory locks at me” Bloody hair
“There the grown serpent lies ; the worm that’s fled” Ironic animals
“My Lord is often thus” Deception
“This is the very painting of your fear” Link to “gild”
“I am in blood stepped in so far that should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go o’er” Imagery
“And you all know security is mortals chiefest enemy” Witches say he’s too confident
“Secret, black and midnight hags” When Macbeth returns to them, he talks in threes
(an armed head) and (a child crowned) Juxtaposition of innocent child and warfare
“assurance double sure”

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