Macbeth quotes

Aside when actor is telling their thoughts to only the audience.
“If chance shall have me king, why chance may crown me without my stir” -Macbeth-Macbeth has been told be the witches that he will be king, he says he will not interfere with the process.-Macbeth ends up killing his way to the throne and continues to kill once he is there.
“The prince of Cumberland; that is a step on which I must fall down, or else o’erlap. For in my way, it lies. Stars, hide your fifes, Let not light see my black and deep desiers” -Macbeth-Macbeth decides that he is going to do whatever it takes to get to the thrown and become king, he is going to stir the pot (kill Duncan).-Macbeth will do something to become king.
“Fair is foul, and foul is fair” -The witches-Witches muttering it at the begging of the play, to trap Macbeth in and tell him his future.-Shows that not everything is as it seems, Macbeth will be bad. Macbeth also says “So fair and foul a day I have not seen.” later on in the act.
“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-Duncan has arrived and Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are planning to kill him.-Macbeth is upset that he is only driven by ambition and not some wrothy motive for killed Duncan, his family.
“But screw your courage to the sticking-place” -Lady Macbeth-She is downgrading Macbeth and his maleness.-Making a medaphor to muder
“To be thus is nothing, But to be safely thus” -Macbeth -There was a conflict between Macbeth and Macduff. Macbeth realizes once he dies it will be up to someone else to be the king and he does not have any kids.-He will later on go to kill anyone that could threaten his throne.
“Mark Anthony was by Ceaser” Allusion
“Upon my head they placed a fruit less crown” -Macbeth-Get his crown as he is now the King Of Scotland.-All of work as king will be pointless since he does not have any kids that will get the throne after him.
“Whats done is done” -Lady Macbeth-Telling Macbeth they did what they did and that they cannot do anything to change that.-It is a central theme throughout the play, you cannot go back. Macbeth has morally screwed himself
“Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest Chuck” -Lady Macbeth-A shift in powers is happening between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth himself.-Macbeth will no longer be the innocent person he was at the begging of the play and Lady Macbeth will not as hardcore as she used to be.
“Good things of day begin to droop and drowse;Whiles night’s black agents to their preys do rouse.” -Macbeth-It is night time and Macbeth is worried something bad will happen to him, scared to sleep at night because of his deed.-This fear will cause him to kill anything against him.
“Blood will have blood” -Macbeth-Lady Macbeth and Macbeth have said goodnight to everyone and are talking about their fears of their current situation.-Central theme throughout the play
“I speak not as in our absolute fear of you; I think our country sinks beneath the yoke” -Malcolm -Macduff and Malcolm are having an exchange over the damage that is occurring because Macbeth is the King Of Scotland.
“Yet do I fear thy nature, It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way.” – Lady Macbeth (Act I, Scene V)Sarah Siddons as Lady MacbethSarah Siddons who is famous for her portrayal of Lady MacbethThis line is said by Lady Macbeth after she reads a letter from her husband informing her of the prophecy of the witches which say that Macbeth would be King. She is excited by the letter but fears that Macbeth is too ‘full of the milk of human kindness’ or of too good a nature, to take the shortest route to the crown which would be to eliminate the king and seize the throne.
“Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under ‘t.” – Lady Macbeth (Act I, Scene V)This line is said by Lady Macbeth during a speech in which she is convincing her husband to pretend like a perfect host when King Duncan visits them to hide their true purpose of murdering Duncan. Hence she tells Macbeth to look like an innocent flower but be like the serpent which hides underneath it.
“Be bloody, bold, and resolute. Laugh to scorn the power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth.” – Second Apparition (Act IV, Scene I)Witches conjuring an apparition by William RimmerA painting by William Rimmer depicting the witches’ conjuring of an apparitionThe ‘bloody child’ is the second of the three apparitions that the witches conjure for Macbeth and it is perhaps the most famous. It tells Macbeth to be confident and without fear, for no person who is born of a woman can harm him. This convinces Macbeth that he is invincible as he would never be killed by another man. He chooses to neglect the first apparition which warned him of Macduff and doesn’t realize that the ‘bloody child’ is in fact the infant Macduff covered with the blood of the untimely ripped womb of his mother.
“There’s daggers in men’s smiles. The near in blood, The nearer bloody.” – Donalbain (Act II, Scene III)This line is said by the younger son of King Duncan in a conversation with his elder brother after their father’s murder. Donalbain suspects that the people who surround them and are acting kindly contain among them the person who murdered their father. He says that daggers are present in men’s smile probably referring to the canines which show when one smiles and implying that not everyone who acts friendly is a friend. ‘The near in blood, the nearer bloody’ implies that beware of the ones who are in the closest-relation with you as they are most likely to betray and murder you.
“Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests; I bear a charmed life, which must not yield to one of woman born.” – Macbeth (Act V, Scene VIII)Painting of Macbeth and Banquo with the WitchesMacbeth and Banquo with the Witches by Henry FuseliThis line is spoken by Macbeth when Macduff challenges him. He says that let your blade fall on chests that are vulnerable or fight with someone who can be defeated. He adds that he leads a charmed life which can’t be ended by anyone born of a woman. Macbeth gets this illusion of being invincible due to the second apparition which states that “none of woman born shall harm Macbeth.” Macduff then states that he was not born but cut out of his mother’s womb before she could bear him naturally. This quote gave rise to the famous phrase ‘charmed life’. Though charmed meant magical in Shakespeare’s times, the phrase was extended to mean anyone who was lucky and escaped danger narrowly.
“Fair is foul, and foul is fair” – The Witches (Act I, Scene I)Among the last lines in Scene I of Act I, this famous quote is said by the witches and sets the tone of the play. It could be simply deciphered as what is fair or pretty will become foul or ugly and vice versa, i.e. things would be opposite to what they appear. It could be also interpreted as suggesting that Macbeth’s world will become upside down and he will do things he considers foul or unfair disregarding what appears fair to him. This line is among the most important in Macbeth and can be considered closest to describing the theme of the play.
“To know my deed, ’twere best not know myself.” – Macbeth (Act II, Scene II)This famous quote is spoken by Macbeth in the scene where he returns after killing Duncan in his sleep. Macbeth is stating that it would be better if he was completely unaware of himself than to be conscious and think of the crime he had committed. He doubts whether he knows the man who committed the crime. The quote reflects that although Macbeth chooses to realize his ambition by unethical means, he is also aware of his wrongdoing.
“Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.” – Macbeth (Act V, Scene V)Macbeth (1948) directed by Orson WellesFilm adaptation of Macbeth (1948) directed by Orson WellesThis quote is from one of the most famous soliloquies in Macbeth. It is spoken by Macbeth after he hears that his wife has committed suicide and he also knows that armies are marching against him. He says that days on this world are short, a ‘brief candle’ and ultimately one is enveloped in darkness. He compares life to an unimportant actor, a ‘walking shadow’ for the character he plays. This insignificant actor “struts and frets his hour upon the stage” or is proud and anxious for the small part he has to perform on stage and then he is heard no more. He then compares life to the tale told by a director which is full of noise and passion but ultimately it signifies nothing. Comparing life to theatre, Shakespeare not only questions the purpose of life but also gives a reminder of the illusionary nature of theatre.
“Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. “ – Lady Macbeth (Act V, Scene I)Painting of The Sleepwalking Lady MacbethThe Sleepwalking Lady Macbeth by Johann Heinrich FussliThis line is from the famous sleepwalking scene after which Lady Macbeth commits suicide off-stage. It is part of what is considered one of the greatest passages capturing guilt in English literature. Lady Macbeth is traumatized and guilt-ridden and she says that she cannot get rid of the smell of blood from her hands, not even if all the perfumes of Arabia are applied to it. This is in sharp contrast to her statement to Macbeth when he murdered Duncan where she said “a little water clears us of this deed”. Knowing that she was the prime force that led Macbeth to this murderous path, her guilt dominates her thoughts and she is unable to turn away from what she now considers sins.
“Things without all remedy should be without regard: what’s done, is done.” – Lady Macbeth (Act III, Scene II)Lady Macbeth says these lines to her husband in an effort to make him get over the guilt and fear he is experiencing due to the murder he has committed. She says that things which cannot be remedied should not be given regard to or you shouldn’t think about things which you can’t rectify. She adds “what’s done, is done” implying that “there’s no changing the past, so forget about it and move on.” Although Shakespeare didn’t coin the phrase “what’s done, is done” but Macbeth remains one of the first recorded use of it and it definitely made the phrase popular.

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