Macbeth quotes and meanings Flashcard Example #84892

Banquo: “Thou hast it now: King, Cawdor, Glamis, all,
As the weird women promised, and I fear
Thou play’dst most foully for’t.” (referring to Macbeth)
You have received the predictions the witches made, you are King, Cawdor and Glamis. I am afraid that you did evil deads to make these come true.
Donalbain: “There’s daggers in men’s smiles.”
These men are not as they seem, there is something evil and violent about them
Lady Macbeth: “Out, damned spot! out, I say!”
Trying to wash invisible blood off her hands, she sees the figurative become literal in her mind. Her guilt can not be washed away.
Lady Macbeth: “Had he not resembled
My father as he slept, I had done’t.” (referring to Duncan)
If he hadn’t looked so much like my father I would have killed him myself – a hint at some morality or ethical boundary that she is unwilling to cross
Lady Macbeth: “Yet do I fear thy nature; it is too full of the milk of human kindness.” (referring to Macbeth)
I am afraid that Macbeth is too kind a man to actually go through with murder
Lady Macbeth: “A little water clears us of this deed.”
Following the murder of Duncan, Lady Macbeth comforts Macbeth by promising that they can wash away the evidence.
Lady Macbeth: “Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t.” (referring to Macbeth)
Pretend to be innocent, but in your heart be sly and evil
Lady Macbeth: “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!”
Take away my feminine and innocent tendencies, make me like a man, strong enough to commit the deeds.
Lady Macbeth: “But screw your courage to the sticking-place, And we’ll not fail.”
Don’t be a coward, if you are courageous we shall not fail
Macbeth: “All our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
All the decisions we have made in the past have lead us to our doom and death. life is like a candle, easily blown out – in response to the suicide of his wife.
Macbeth: “She should have died hereafter.” (referring to Lady Macbeth)
She should have lived to an old age and died a natural death.
Macbeth: “From this moment
The very firstlings of my heart shall be
The firstlings of my hand.”
Whatever I think I shall act upon without thinking too much, I will act on instinct
Macbeth: “They say, blood will have blood.”
Violent acts lead to violent revenge
Macbeth: “False face must hide what false heart doth know.”
We must pretend to be innocent, and appear innocent despite what wicked deeds our hands have done.
Macbeth: “Let not light see my black and deep desires.”
Let not God or good see how evil my thoughts really are.
Macbeth: “Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand?”
In his mind Macbeth imagines a dagger, the symbol of the death he is about to commit. The handle towards my hand refers to him accepting that he will commit the crime.
Macbeth: “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage.
A metaphor comparing life to an actor who only exists for the hour (the approximate length of a Shakespearean play). Life is brief. This is also an example of irony.
Macduff: “Macduff was from his mother’s womb
Untimely ripp’d.”
Macduff was born via a cesarean section.
witches: “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.”
Not everything that appears to be good is good. Evil may come in disguise.

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