Macbeth Quotes (them of ambition and power, the supernatural and appearances vs reality)

fair is foul and foul is fair Witches reflects the overall theme. hard to distinguish between fair (good) and foul (evil)
So foul and fair a day I have not seen Act 1, Scene 3 – Macbeth – opening line – paradox similar to witches – potential for supernaturalness
Stars hide your fires; let not light see my black and deep desires MACBETH, in the beginning, is ashamed of his evil thoughts and intentions. He recognizes that it’s wrong and should hide his intentions from the Heavens
Come you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here Lady Macbeth conjures up the witches to assist her in being less of a woman (nurturing, motherly), and “manly” enough to commit the murder herself
Come, thick night, and pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell Lady Macbeth. Her lines are parallel (similar) to the same thoughts that Macbeth spoke earlier. Calling on the darkness of the night to hide her actions is another example of thinking she can hide her dark deeds from Heaven (deception) and get away with it.
Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t Lady Macbeth’s words reflect the theme of deception–trying to disguise evil by looking innocent. Also has religious imagery (the serpent = evil)
Is this a dagger which I see before me? Macbeth: he interprets that seeing a dagger as his destiny (fate).
“Methinks I heard a voice cry, “Sleep no More!” MACBETH realizes that the evil of murdering someone while he was innocently sleeping; plus he knows that he his own guilty conscience will forever rob him of sleep.
Beware Macduff! Beware the Thane of Fife! This is spoken by the witches apparition and gives Macduff power in the play because the King needs to fear him
None of woman born shall harm Macbeth The second apparition, a “bloody Child,” delivers to Macbeth a deceptive prophecy.
Macbeth shall never be vanquished until Great Birnham wood to high Dunsinane Hill comes against him Third Apparition: Macbeth is safe until the forest outside his castle advances towards him
Is execution done on Cawdor? Duncan says this, in reference to Cawdor being a traitor. The King punishes evil-doing and rewards loyalty, and clearly KNOWS the difference between them, though finds it difficult to detect those who are deceptive (traitors). Irony — MACBETH becomes a traitor under the same title.
Thou hast it now: king, Cawdor, Glamis, all, As the weird women promised, and I fear Thou played’st most foully for ‘t. Banquo airs his suspicions of Macbeth–he suspects “foul play.” Even though he offers to talk openly to Macbeth about it, as friends, Macbeth puts on the “mask” of deception and pretends he doesn’t know about it.
out, damned spot! out, I say spoken by lady Macbeth as she sleepwalks and is an outward manifestation of her inward guilt – “a little water clears us of this guilt” thus the contrast shows how lady Macbeths guilt in her role of duncan banquo and lady mcduffs death this is compared to Macbeth who loses all feeling of remorse “my soul is too much chargedWith blood of thine already”
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
This is the very painting of your fear Lady Macbeth is telling him he is too guilty and worries too much through this metaphor, and this is the consequence. This is ironic because she eventually goes mad too.
False face must hide what the false heart doth know This meaning that Macbeth is portraying he’s innocent although he knows he is guilty. Go now, and pretend to be a friendly hostess. Hide with a false pleasant face what you know in your false, evil heart.
What’s done, cannot be undone This is about more than actual blood staining her hands as blood is a symbol for guilt. Lady Macbeth has grown so ill that the doctor says there’s nothing he can do to help her. It’s not a physical sickness a doctor can treat.
Life’s but a walking shadow…signifying nothing. Macbeth compares his existence to the condition of being a mere ghost.
The devil himself could not pronounce a title more hateful to mine ear Young Siward finds Macbeth and asks him his name. Macbeth replies, ‘Thou’ll be afraid to hear it’. When Macbeth does name himself, Young Siward’s response comes as an insult. Young Siward is a minor character in Macbeth. However, his brief role in the play shows Macbeth’s arrogance and the commitment of the English Army to end his reign as king.

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