Macbeth: Act 1 Quotes

When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain? First Witch
When the hurly-burly’s done, when the battle’s lost and won. Second Witch
Fair is foul, and foul is fair, hover through the fog and filthy air. Witches
What bloody man is that? He can report, as stem by his plight, of the revolt the newest state. Duncan
This is the sergeant who, like a good and hardy soldier, fought ‘against my captivity.–Hail, brave friend! Say to the King the knowledge of the broil as thou didst leave it. Malcolm
Doubtful it stood, as two spent swimmers that do cling together and choke their art. The merciless Macdonwald (worth to be a rebel, for to that the multiplying villainies of nature do swarm upon him) from the Western Isles of kerns and gallowglasses is supplied; Captain
And Fortune, on his damned quarrel smiling, showed like a rebel’s w hore. But all’s to weak; for brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name), disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel, which smoked with bloody execution, like valor’s minion, carved out his passage till he aced the slave; which ne’er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, till he unseated him from the nave to th’ chops, and fixed his head upon our battlements. Captain
As whence the sun ‘gins his reflection shipwracking storms and direful thunders break, so from that spring whence comfort seemed to come discomfort swells. Captain
Mark, King of Scotland, mark: no sooner justice had, with valor armed, compelled these skipping kerns to trust their heels, but the Norweyan lord, surveying vantage, with furbished arms and new supplies of men, began a fresh assault. Captain
Dismayed not this our captains, Macbeth and Banquo? Duncan
Yes, as sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion. If I say sooth, I must report they were as cannons overcharged with double cracks, so they doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe. Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds or memorize another Golgotha, I cannot tell– But I am faint. My gashes cry for help. Captain
So well thy words become thee as thy wound: they smack of honor both. –Go, get him surgeons. Duncan
What a haste looks through his eyes! So should he look that seems to speak things strange. Lennox
From Fife, great king, where the Norweyan banners flout the sky and fan our people cold. Norway himself, with terrible numbers, assisted by that most disloyal traitor, the Thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict, till that Bellona’s bridegroom, lapped in proof, confronted him with self-comparisons, point against point, rebellious arm ‘against arm, curbing his lavish spirit. Ross
That now Sweno, the Norways’ king, craves composition. Nor would we deign him burial of his men till he disbursed at Saint Colme’s Inch ten thousand dollars to our general use. Ross
No more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceive our bosom interest. Go, pronounce his present death, and with his former title greet Macbeth. Duncan
What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won. Duncan
A sailor’s wife had chestnuts in her lap and munched and munched and munched. “Give me,” quoth I. “Aroint thee, witch,” the rump-fed runnion cries. First Witch
Her husband’s to Aleppo gone, master o’ th’ Tiger; but in a sieve I’ll thither sail, and like a rat without a tail, I’ll do, I’ll do, and I’ll do. First Witch
I myself have all the other, and the very ports they blow, all the quarters that they know i’ th’ shipman’s card. I’ll drain him dry as hay. Sleep shall neither night nor day hang upon his penthouse lid. First Witch
He shall live a man forbid. Weary sev’nnights, nine times nine, shall dwindle, peak, and pine. Though his bark cannot be lost, yet it shall be tempest-tossed. First Witch
Here I have a pilot’s thumb, wracked as homeward he did come. First Witch
The Weird Sisters, hand in hand, posters of the sea and land, thus do go about, about , thrice to thine and thrice to mine and thrice again, to make up nine. Peace, the charm’s wound up. Witches
So foul and fair a day I have not seen. Macbeth
How far is ‘t called to Forres? What are these, so withered, and so wild in their attire, that look not like th’ inhabitants o’ th’ earth and yet are on ‘t? Live you? Or are you aught that man may question? Banquo
You seem to understand me by each at once her choppy finger laying upon her skinny lips. You should deb women, and yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so. Banquo
Good sir, why do you start and seem to fear things that do sound so far? I’ th’ name of truth, are you fantastical, or that indeed which outwardly you show? My noble partner you greet with present grace and great prediction of noble having and of royal hope, that he seems rapt withal. Banquo
To me you speak not. 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 favors nor your hate. Banquo
Lesser than Macbeth and greater. Not so happy, yet much happier. Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none. So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo! Witches
Stay, you imperfect speakers. Tell me more. By Sinel’s death I know I am Thane of Glamis. But how of Cawdor? The Thane of Cawdor lives a prosperous gentleman, and to be king stands not within the prospect of belief, no more than to be Cawdor. Macbeth
Say from whence you owe this strange intelligence or why upon this blasted heath you stop our way with such prophetic greeting. Speak, I charge you. Macbeth
The earth hath bubbles, as the water has, and these are of them. Whither are they vanished? Banquo
Into the air, and what seemed corporal melted, as breath into the wind. Would they had stayed! Macbeth
Were such things here as we do speak about? Or have we eaten on the insane root that takes the reason prisoner? Banquo
The King hath happily received, Macbeth, the news of thy success, and when he reads thy personal venture in the rebels’ fight, his wonders and his praises do contend which should be thine or his. Ross
Silenced with that, in viewing o’er the rest o’ th’ selfsame day he finds thee in the stout Norweyan ranks, nothing afeard of what thyself didst make, strange images of death. As thick as tale came post with post, and every one did bear thy praises in his kingdom’s great defense, and poured them down before him. Ross
We are sent to give thee from our royal master thanks, only to herald thee into his sight, not pay thee. Lennox
And for an earnest of a greater honor, he bade me, from him, call thee Thane of Cawdor, in which addition, hail, most worthy thane, for it is thine. Ross
The Thane of Cawdor lives. Why do you dress me in borrowed robes? Macbeth
Who was the Thane lives yet, but under heavy judgment bears that life which he deserves to lose. Whether he was combined with those of Norway, or did line the rebel with hidden help and vantage, or that with both he labored in his country’s wrack, I know not; but treasons capital, confessed and proved, have overthrown him. Angus
Glamis and Thane of Cawdor! The greatest is behind. Thanks for your pains. Do you not hope your children shall be kings when those that gave the Thane of Cawdor to me promised no less to them? Macbeth
That, trusted home, might yet enkindle you unto the crown, besides the Thane of Cawdor. But ’tis strange. 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. Cousins, a word, I pray you. Banquo
Two truths are told as happy prologues to the swelling act of the imperial theme. I thank you, gentlemen. This supernatural soliciting cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill, why hat it given me earnest of success commencing in a truth? Macbeth
If good, why do I yield to that suggestion whose horrid image doth unfix my hair and make my seated heart knock at my ribs against the use of nature? Macbeth
Present fears are less than horrible imaginings. My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, shakes so my single state of man that function is smothered in surmise, and nothing is but what is not. Macbeth
If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me without my stir. Macbeth
New honors come upon him, like our strange garments, cleave not to their mold but with the aid of use. Banquo
Come what come may, time and the hour runs through the roughest day. Macbeth
Give me your favor. My dull brain was wrought with things forgotten. Kind gentlemen, your pains are registered where every day I turn the leaf to read them. Macbeth
Think upon what hath chanced, and at more time, the interim having weighed it, let us speak our free hearts each to other. Macbeth
My liege, they are not yet come back. But I have spoke with one that saw him die, who did report that very frankly he confessed his treasons, implored you Highness’ pardon, and set forth a deep repentance. Malcolm
Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it. He died as one that had been studied in his death to throw away the dearest thing he owed as ’twere a careless trifle. Malcolm
There’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face. He was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust. Duncan
O worthiest cousin, the sin of my ingratitude even now was heavy on me. Thou art so far before the swiftest wing of recompense is slow to overtake thee. Would thou hadst less deserved, that the proportion both of hanks and payment might have been mine! Only I have left to say, more is thy due than more than all can pay. Duncan
The service and the loyalty I owe in doing it pays itself. Your Highness’ part is to receive our duties, and our duties are to your throne and state children and servants, which do but what they should by doing everything safe toward your love and honor. Macbeth
I have begun to plant thee and will labor to make thee full of growing. Noble Banquo, that hast no less deserved nor must be known no less to have done so, let me enfold thee and hold thee to my heart. Duncan
There, if I grow, the harvest is your own. Banquo
My plenteous joys, wanton in fullness, seek to hide themselves in drops of sorrow. Sons, kinsmen, thanes, and you whose places are the nearest, know we will establish our estate upon our eldest, Malcolm, whom we name hereafter the Prince of Cumberland; which honor must not unaccompanied invest him only, but signs of nobleness, like stars, shall shine on all deservers. Duncan
The rest is labor which is not used of you. I’ll be myself the harbinger and make joyful the hearing of my wife with your approach. So humbly take my leave. Macbeth
The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step on which I must fall down or else o’erleap, for in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires; let not light see my black and deep desires. Macbeth
The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be which the eye fears, when it is done, to see. Macbeth
True, worthy Banquo. He is full so valiant, and in his commendations I am fed: is it a banquet to me. Let’s after him, whose care is gone before to bid us welcome. It is a peerless kinsman. Duncan
“They met me in the day of success, and I have learned by the perfecta’s report they have more in them than mortal knowledge. When I burned in desire to question them further, they made themselves air, into which they vanished.” Lady Macbeth reading Macbeth’s letter
“Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it came missives from the King, who all-hailed me “Thane of Cawdor”, by which title, before, these Weird Sisters saluted me and referred me to the coming on of time with “Hail, king that shalt be.” This have I thought good to deliver the, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou might’s not lose the dues of rejoicing by being ignorant of what greatness is promised the. Lay it to thy heart, and farewell.” Lady Macbeth reading Macbeth’s letter
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 without ambition, but without the illness should attend it. Lady Macbeth
What thou wouldst highly, that wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false and yet wouldst wrongly win. Thou’d’st have, great Glamis, that which cries “Thus thou must do,” if thou have it, and that which rather thou dost fear to do, than wishest should be undone. Lady Macbeth
Hie thee hither, 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, which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem to have thee crowned withal. Lady Macbeth
So please you, it is true. Our thane is coming. One of my fellows had the speed of him, who, almost dead for breath, had scarcely more than would make up his message. Messenger
The raven himself is hoarse that croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan under my battlements. 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. Lady Macbeth
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. Lady Macbeth
Come to my woman’s breasts ad take my milk for gall, you murd’ring ministers, wherever in your sightless substances you wait on nature’s mischief. Come, thick night, and pall thee in the dunes 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!” Lady Macbeth
O, never shall sun that morrow see! Your face, my thane, is as a book where men may read strange matters. To beguile the time, look like the time. Bear welcome in your eye, your hand, your tongue. Lady Macbeth
Look like th’ innocent flower, but be the serpent under ‘t. He that’s coming must be provided for; and you shall put this night’s great business into my dispatch, which shall to all our nights and days to come give solely sovereign sway and masterdom. Lady Macbeth
Only look up clear. To alter favor ever is to fear. Leave all the rest to me. Lady Macbeth
This castle hath a pleasant seat. The air nimbly and sweetly recommends itself unto our gentle senses. Duncan
This guest of summer, the temple-haunting martlet, does approve, by his loved mansionry, that the heaven’s breath smells wooingly here. No butty, frieze, buttress, nor coign of vantage, but this bird hath made his pendant bed and procreant cradle. Where they most breed and haunt, I have observed, the air is delicate. Banquo
See, see our honored hostess! The love that follows us sometime is our trouble, which still we thank as love. Herein I teach you how you shall bid God ‘ild us for your pains and thank us for your trouble. Duncan
All our service, in every point twice done and then done double, were poor and single business to contend against those honors deep and broad wherewith your majesty loads our house. For those of old, and the late dignities heaped up to them, we rest your hermits. Lady Macbeth
Where’s the Thane of Cawdor? We coursed him at the heels and had a purpose to be his purveyor; but he rides well, and his great love (sharp as his spur) hath helped him to his home before us. Fair and noble hostess, we are your guest tonight. Duncan
Your servants ever have theirs, themselves, and what is theirs in compete to make their audit at your Highness’ pleasure, still to return your own. Lady Macbeth
Give me your hand. Conduct me to mine host. We love him highly and shall continue our graces towards him. By your leave, hostess. Duncan
If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well if 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. Macbeth
But in these cases we still have judgment here, that we but teach bloody instructions, which, being taught, return to plague th’ inventor. This even-handed justice commends th’ ingredient of our poisoned chalice to our own lips. Macbeth
He’s here in double trust: first, as I am his kinsman and his subject, strong both against ht edged; then, as his host, who should against his murderer shut the door, not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been so clear in his great office, that his virtues will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against the deep damnation of his taking-off; Macbeth
and pity, like a naked newborn babe striding the blast, o heaven’s cherubin horsed upon the sightless couriers of the air, shall blow the horrid deed in every eye, that tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o-erleaps itself and falls on th’ other… Macbeth
We will proceed no further in this business. He hat honored me of late, and I have bought golden options from all sorts of people, which would be worn now in their newest gloss, not cast aside so soon. Macbeth
Was the hope drunk wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since? And wakes it now, to look so green and pale at what it did so freely? From this time such I account thy love. Lady Macbeth
Art thou afeard to be the same in thine own act and valor as thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that which thou esteem’s the ornament of life and live a coward in thine own esteem, letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would,” like the poor cat i’ th’ adage? Lady Macbeth
Prithee, peace. I dare do all that may become a man. Who dares do more is none. Macbeth
What beast was ‘t, then, that made you break this enterprise to me? When you durst do it, then you were a man; and to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man. Nor time nor place did then adhere, and yet you would make both. Lady Macbeth
They have made themselves, and that their fitness now does unmake you. I have given suck, and know how tender tis to love the babe that milks me. I would, while it was smiling in my face, have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums and dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done to this. Lady Macbeth
We fail? But screw your courage to the sticking place and we’ll not fail. When Duncan is asleep (whereto the rather shall his day’s hard journey soundly invite him), his two chamberlains will I with wine and wassail so convince that memory, the warder of the brain, shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason a limbeck only. Lady Macbeth
When in swinish sleep their drenched natures lies as in a death, what cannot you and I perform upon th’ unguarded Duncan? What not put upon his spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt of our great quell? Lady Macbeth
Bring forth men-children only, for thy undaunted mettle should compose nothing but males. Will it not be received, when we have marked with blood those sleepy two of his own chamber and used their very daggers, that they have done ‘t? Macbeth
Who dares receive it other, as we shall make our griefs and clamor roar upon his death? Lady Macbeth
I am settled and bend up each corporal agent to this terrible feat. Away, and mock the time with fairest show. False face must hide what the false heart doth know. Macbeth

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