Macbeth Quotes by Theme and Imagery

the illness should attend it Thou wouldst be great. Art not without ambition, but without …Lady Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 5Suggests that Macbeth is not ruthless/evil (illness) enough to achieve greatness. Is it the influence of the supernatural that makes him do evil?Theme: AMBITION
vaulting ambition I have no spur / To prick the sides of my intent, but only … which o’erleaps itself / And falls on the other.Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 7Famous image of ambition as a spur to a horse – foreshadowing the eventual ‘fall’ or nemesis that Macbeth’s fatal flaw will lead to. Echoes Macbeth’s use of the word ‘o’erleap’ in Act 1 Scene 4, when he says he must o’erleap the Prince of Cumberland to become king. Ambition overreaches itself.Theme: AMBITION
All causes shall give way For mine own good…Macbeth, Act 3 Scene 4By the end of the scene with Banquo’s ghost, ambition and horror have so overlaid Macbeth’s conscience that he will overcome anything to retain power. The word ‘good’ is ironic: he means ‘success’, but it underlines the central antithesis of good and evil.Theme: AMBITION
sound so fair? Good sir, why do you start, and seem to fear / Things that do…Banquo, Act 1 Scene 3As soon as Macbeth hears the prophesies, Banquo comments on his startled, fearful reaction, suggesting that he is immediately having treasonous thoughts of ambition. The word ‘fair’ echoes the witches’ paradoxical ‘Fair is foul and foul is fair’, linking ambition immediately with evil.Theme: AMBITION
tedious as go o’er I am in blood / Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more / Returning were as…Macbeth, Act 3 Scene 4The murder of Banquo, Macbeth’s friend, creates a turning point for Macbeth, where he realises that he can no longer turn from his path of violence. He has done so much evil now that it is easier to follow it to its dreadful conclusion than to try to go back and undo or repent his terrible deeds.Imagery: BLOOD
blood will have blood It will have blood; they say, …Macbeth, Act 3 Scene 4Macbeth realises that evil deeds will lead to more evil deeds. Religious allusion to Genesis: ‘Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.’ Foreshadows Macbeth’s eventual bloody death.Imagery: BLOOD
noble Macbeth What he hath lost, … hath wonDuncan, Act 1 Scene 2Theme: SUPERNATURAL
foul and fair So … a day I have not seenMacbeth, Act 1 Scene 3Theme: SUPERNATURAL
black and deep desires Stars, hide your fires; let not light see my …Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 4Theme: AMBITION
milk of human kindness It is too full o’ the … To catch the nearest wayLady Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 5Theme: AMBITION
False … face must hide what the … heart doth knowMacbeth, Act 1 Scene 7Theme: DECEIT
great Neptune’s ocean Will all … wash this blood Clean from my hand?Macbeth, Act 2 Scene 2Theme: GUILT
most foully I fear, Thou play’dst …. for’tBanquo, Act 3 Scene 1Theme: DECEIT
Nought’s had, all’s spent …. Where our desire is got without content:Lady Macbeth, Act 3 Scene 2Theme: AMBITION
Something wicked By the pricking of my thumbs, …. this way comesWitch, Act 4 Scene 1Theme: SUPERNATURAL
taint with fear Till Birnam wood remove to Dunsinane, I cannot …Macbeth, Act 5 Scene 3Theme: DECEIT
dead butcher This … and his fiend-like queenMalcolm, Act 5 Scene 8Imagery: BLOOD
damned spot! Out, …. Out, I say!Lady Macbeth, Act 5 Scene 1Imagery: BLOOD
horror, horror, horror O … ! Tongue nor heart Cannot conceive nor name thee!Macduff, Act 2 Scene 3Theme: UNNATURAL
chance If … will have me king, why, … may crown me.Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 3Theme: KINGSHIP
my spirits That I may pour … in thine earLady Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 5Theme: SUPERNATURAL
murder My thought, whose … is yet fantasticalMacbeth, Act 1 Scene 3Theme: CONFLICT
innocent flower Look like th’ … , But be the serpent under’tLady Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 5Theme: DECEIT
innocent of the knowledge Be … , dearest chuckMacbeth, Act 3 Scene 2Theme: GENDER and DECEIT
Unsex … me here Lady Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 5Theme: GENDER
Sleep no more Methought I heard a voice cry, …. Macbeth does murder sleepMacbeth, Act 2 Scene 2Theme: SLEEP