Macbeth Quotes

“fair is foul and foul is fair” The witches to themselves-theme, paradox, foreshadowingThings aren’t always as they seem, establishes mood
“No more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive our bosom interest. Go pronounce his present death. And with his former title, greet Macbeth” Duncan –> Ross -CoupletDuncan learns of the Thane of Cawdor’s treason and gives the title to Macbeth
“So fair and foul a day I have not seen.” Macbeth –> Banquo-ParadoxNever seen a day so good and bad
“Good sir, why do you start and seem to fear things that do sound so fair?” Banquo –> Macbeth-Foreshadow*Asks why Macbeth seems so startled by the witches’ predictions
“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 us in deepest consequence.” Banquo –> Macbeth-ForeshadowWarning to not believe the things the witches said
“There’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face. He was a gentleman on whom I had built an absolute trust” Duncan –> Malcolm-Thematic, Irony (then trusts Macbeth who kills him)The look on his face was untrustworthy
“The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step on which I must fall down, or else o’erleap, for in my way it lies.” Macbeth to himself-ForeshadowingMacbeth talking about Malcolm being in his way of becoming king
“Glamis that art, and Cawdor; and shalt be what thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature; it is too full of the milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way.” Lady Macbeth to herself-Foreshadow-suggests something will happen to MacbethFears Macbeth is too kind to get what he wants, to be king
“Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t” Lady Macbeth to Macbeth-Foreshadow, Theme, Simile & MetaphorLook innocent but be guilty inside
“…that we but teach bloody instructions, which being taught, return to plague the inventor” Macbeth to himself-Foreshadow, Theme: KarmaFears that people who kill will be killed
“The bell invites me. Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell that summons thee to heaven or to hell.” Macbeth to himself-CoupletMacbeth is nervous and hopes Duncan has not heard the bell that leads him to his death
“Me though I heard a voice cry, ‘Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep, the innocent sleep, sleep that knits up the revealed sleeve of care..” Macbeth to Lady Macbeth-ForeshadowHe feels so guilty that he doesn’t think he deserves sleep
“Infirm of purpose. Give me the daggers. The sleeping and the dead are but as pictures; ’tis the eye of childhood that fears a painted devil.” Lady Macbeth to Macbeth-MetaphorLady Macbeth will go back and frame the servants
“Will all great Neptune’s Oceans wash this blood from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red.” Macbeth to Lady Macbeth-Foreshadow, HyperboleFeels like he has so much blood on his hands that he would turn the whole ocean red
“Our separated fortunes shall keep us both the safer. Where we are, there’s daggers in men’s smiles. The near in blood, the nearer bloody.” Donalbain to Malcolm-Thematic: fair is foul & foul is fairThey should flee to Ireland because they can’t trust the men here
“Thou hast it now, King, Cawdor, Glamis, all as the weird women promised, and I fear thou played most foully for it.” Banquo to himself-ForeshadowSuspects Macbeth killed the king
“Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown and put a barren scepter in my grip, then to be wrenched with an unlimited hand, no son of mine succeeding.” Macbeth to himself-ForeshadowHe knows nothing will come of him being king since Bandquo’s sons will take the crown
“Naught’s had, all’s spent, where our desire is got without content. ‘Tis safer to be that which we destroy than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy” Lady Macbeth to herself-Couplet/Foreshadow*regretful of killing Duncan, would rather be the one killed than the killer.”
“There the grown serpent lies; the worm that’s fled hath nature that in time will venom breed, no teeth for the present.” Macbeth to the first murderer-MetaphorBanquo is dead but his son had fled
“It will have blood; they say, blood will have blood.” Macbeth to Lady Macbeth-Theme: RetributionKarma, everything will come back to him
“I am in blood stepped in so far that should I wade no more, should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go’er” Macbeth to himself-ForeshadowingMacbeth is tired of tormenting himself already killed King and Banquo
“My strange and self abuse is the initiate fear that wants hard use; returning were as tedious as go o’er” Macbeth to Lady Macbeth-CoupletHe’s imagining things because he can’t sleep
“Security is mortal’s chiefest enemy” Hecate to Lady Macbeth-Theme: nothing as it seems, CoupletFor Macbeth to feel secure would be disastrous