Macbeth Act 2 and 3 Important Quotes

No o’er the onehalf world Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse The curtained sleep. 2.1.6163 Macbeth to himself as he looks at the dagger he will use to kill King Duncan. Now the world is asleep and being deceived by evil nightmares. Personification of the dreams abusing sleep. Darkness is advancing and nighttime is the time for murder and bad things.
I go, and it is done. The bell invites me. Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell That summons thee to heaven or to hell. 2.1.7577 Macbeth is still talking to himself in front of the dagger he will use to kill Duncan. Macbeth summons up all his courage and begins to go as the bell of Lady Macbeth tells him to begin. He tells sleeping Duncan to not wake because the bell is summoning his death, a metaphor for Macbeth’s inability to actually be confident with his actions.
It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman, Which gives the stern’st goodnight. 2.2.56 Lady Macbeth is talking herself up as Macbeth is murdering Duncan. She says it was the owl who screamed like the bells people ring before they execute other people. Personification. Metaphor comparing the owl to the bellman bringing death.
The sleeping and the dead Are but as pictures. ‘Tis the eye of childhood That fears the painted devil. 2.2.6971 Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are arguing about who should put back the dagger that Macbeth forgot to leave at the crime scene. Lady Macbeth is questioning his manhood and says the dead and sleeping people won’t hurt him as much as pictures can. Only children the afraid of scary pictures and scenes.
No, this my hand will rather The multitudinous seas incarnadine, Making the green one red. 2.2.7981 Macbeth is talking to himself as Lady Macbeth is returning the dagger. She knocks on the door and he gets really scared. He can’t recognize his hands and says he should wash them in the ocean, but he thinks this will only stain the ocean scarlet red like the blood of Duncan. Hyperbole and a metaphor, his bad deeds are so great that they cannot be washed away by the sea, evidence of his guilt.
My hands are of your color, but I shame To wear a heart so white. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are talking about the murder and she questions the moral regret he is coping with by saying she had as much of a part in the murder as he did, but she is ashamed his heart is so much weaker then hers is. She is questioning Macbeth’s mental toughness.
Had I but died an hour before this chance, I had lived a blessed time; for from this instant There’s nothing serious in mortality. All is but toys. 2.3.107110 Macbeth is talking to Lennox and Ross about life after Duncan’s death. Macbeth says if he had died before this event, he would have lived a blessed life, but now with Duncan dead, nothing is worth living for and everything is a sick joke. Macbeth is being overly dramatic to push suspicion Way from himself. all is but toys is a metaphor for how dramatic Macbeth is trying to be to shift the attention from himself
Look to the lady 2.3.146 Macduff is saying this to Macbeth, Malcolm, and Donalbain, referring to Lady Macbeth. Macduff is telling the men to take care of the Lady, as she has “just” seen Duncan after his murder. She is playing an act to sell her innocence. Dramatic irony.
There’s dagger’s in men’s smiles. 2.3.165 Donalbain is talking to Malcolm about their situation with their father dead. He says that wherever he and Malcolm go, people will smile but hide daggers, have motives. They are now the hunted because they are the heirs to the throne.
By th’ clock ’tis day, And yet dark night strangles the traveling lamp. Is’t night’s predominance or the day’s shame That darkness does the face of earth entomb When living light should kiss it? 2.4.812 Ross is talking to the Old Man. They are reflecting on the superstitious and unnatural things happening around them. They then make the connection between these things and Macbeth becoming king. and the eclipse in the sky. He is saying The clock says it’s daytime, but dark night is strangling the sun. Is it because night is so strong, or because day is so weak, that darkness covers the earth when it’s supposed to be light? Personification and metaphor
and I fear Thou played’st most foully for’t. 3.1.23 Banquo is discussing how Macbeth achieved the crown and he proclaims that Macbeth unfairly got the crown. He thinks Macbeth must have done something, kill Duncan, to get the crown and fulfill the witches prophecy. No literary device. Alliteration- trembling feeling of the f sound.
Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown And put a barren scepter in my grip, Thence to be wrenched with an unlineal hand, No son of mine succeeding. 3.1.6669 Macbeth is discussing with himself the worth of actually becoming king. According to the prophecy, They gave him a crown and a scepter that Macbeth can’t pass on. Someone outside my family will take these things away from me, since no son of mine will take my place as king.
Come, seeling night, Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day And with thy bloody and invisible hand Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond Which keeps me pale. 3.1.5255 Macbeth is nervous about going to face his dinner party because Banquo, who knows he killed Duncan, is still alive. He is talking to Lady Macbeth and then says to the night, Come, night, and blindfold the kindhearted day. Use your bloody and invisible hand to tear up Banquo’s lease on life, which keeps me in fear. Macbeth is planning and scheming, asking the night to cover up his remorse, just like Lady Macbeth earlier in the story. Personification
Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly Thou mayest revenge— 3.3.25 Banquo and Fleance are riding to the dinner party when the murders jump out and attack Banquo in the woods. As Banquo is being murdered, he shouts out to his son, Get out of here, good Fleance, run, run, run! Someday you can get revenge for this. Foreshadowing revenge in the future.
Thou canst not say I did it. Never shake Thy gory locks at me. 3.4.61 Macbeth is at the dinner table at his party and the ghost of Banquo appears at the table, but only he can see it. He tells the ghost You can’t say I did it. Don’t shake your bloody head at me, but everyone else thinks Macbeth is crazy. No device.
It will have blood, they say; blood will have blood. Macbeth has instructed everyone to leave as he recovers from his interaction with the ghost. He says to Lady Macbeth There’s an old saying: the dead will have their revenge, this is a metaphor, violence will have a chain effect on everyone.
…I am in blood Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go o’er. 3.4.168170 Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are talking after everyone has left the dinner party. Macbeth reflects how deep into this mess he is. Macbeth has walked so far into this river of blood that even if he stopped now, it would be as hard to go back to being good as it is to keep killing people.
He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear His hopes ‘bove wisdom, grace and fear. And you all know, security Is mortals’ chiefest enemy. 3.5.3234 Hecate, leader of the witches, is talking to one of the witches and planning a horrible deed against Macbeth, who she thinks is spoiled and selfish. She doesn’t like how Macbeth got a prophecy without her knowing, and then acted selfishly. She wants to make it so he will be fooled into thinking he is greater than fate, he will mock death, and he will think he is above wisdom, grace, and fear. According to her, overconfidence is man’s greatest enemy. Foreshadowing their further confrontation.
…that a swift blessing May soon return to this our suffering country Under a hand accursed. 3.5.53 Lennox is talking to The Lord about the whereabouts of Duncan’s son Macduff and how he needs to come back to take down Macbeth, who he believes to be a tyrant. Lennox wants him to return to save Scotland from Macbeth. Macduff went to get Malcolm to help remove Macbeth.