Macbeth told in key quotes

A bit of help for anyone struggling to learn quotes for the exam, I have tried to retell Macbeth in key quotes with a little bit of explanation (I haven't included Acts and Scenes as they aren't very important)


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A bit of help for anyone struggling to learn quotes for the exam, I have tried to retell Macbeth in key quotes with a
little bit of explanation (I haven't included Acts and Scenes as they aren't very important):
'When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning or in rain?'- witches control weather and 3 = evil/magic number.
'Fair is foul and foul is fair. Hover through fog and filthy air'- 'hover'= supernatural and parradoxical statement=
confusion and adds to element of supernatural.
'brave Macbeth' contrasts his later description as a 'tyrant' and 'sinful Macbeth, 'Devilish Macbeth'- shows the change
in the way his character is viewed.
'discomfort swells'- foreboding (even before Macbeth is titled the 'Thane of Cawdor')
'No more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceive'- ironic as Macbeth will soon be given this title and also deceive.
'So foul and fair a day I have not seen'- echoes witches= evil within him/ witches controlling already?
Macbeth says, 'So withered and so wild'- alliteration emphasises the witches appearance (should no not to trust by
appearance? -not sure if this point is slightly against modern teachings of not judging books by their covers etc???)
'You should be women...your beards forbid me to interpret you are so'- quite comical (could be used for a comedy in the
Gothic question.
'Why do you start, and seem to fear things that do sound so fair'- said by Banquo and suggests that Macbeth has had
thoughts of being King which was seen as deceit and also tells an actor playing Macbeth how to react to the witches
news due to a lack of stage directions by Shakespeare.
Macbeth says, 'Tell me more'- easy to remember due to the musical Grease :P and also shows Macbeth will become
obsessed with wanting knowledge from the witches.
'Why do you dress me in borrowed robes?' mirrors later (Act 5 scene 2) 'Now does his title hang loose aboiut him like a
giants robes'= his titles have never really fitted him- always been unnatural.
'Deepest consequence'= Banquo says believing the witches could lead to this, shows Banquo is a wise character (Links
to context as King James, who Shakespeare was writing the play for, was related to Banquo and he would have wanted to
please the King).
'Shakes so my single state of man'= sibilance illustrates how even thought of murder shakes him which reveals how Lady
Macbeth is able to manipulate him to murder King Duncan later for both of their ambitions.
'Stars, hide your fires, let not light see my black and deep desires'- stars are seen as heavenly and thought of them as
fires gives hell like imagery, choosing 'black' not 'light' shows Macbeth choosing evil and the alliteration 'd' emphasises
his inner longings.
'unsex me here and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruellty'= this shows Lady Macbeth's unnatural
evillness within, she wants to be more manly and lack the sentimentality which makes her a woman in order to be able to
complete the muderous acts.
'Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark'- Lady Macbeth also wants heaven to not see these evil acts and
chooses the 'dark side' (excuse the reference to Star Wars). Also links to the religious context.
'Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under't'= one of the many references to snakes (which are seen as
evil), Lady M tells Macbeth to be deceitful.
'screw your courage'- Lady M insults Macbeth, who would want to be insulted by a girl :P bit of a parrr
'against this murder shut the door'- said by Macbeth= he has higher morals/ realises the seriousness of murder, being
the talented solider that he is?
'I think not of them'= said by Macbeth about the witches= very dismissive to Banquo when B brings them up in
conversation= defensive of Macbeth as he actually can't stop thinking about them?
'Is this a dagger which I see before me?'= Macbeth's apparitions show his mind is infected with evil thoughts'.
'wicked dreams abuse the curtained sleep'= sleep assocaited with peace of mind and is natural but Macbeth's symptoms
juxtapose this.
'Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done't'= Lady M cannot murder King Duncan as he looks too much
like her father= she does have a heart after all!
'I heard the owl-scream and the crickets cry'= disturbance of nature and the death of King Duncan (reference to the
context as Macbeth has disrupted ruling by divine right saying God chooses the rightful king- links to religion).
'I could not say amen'= Macbeth cannot say a normal religious word- unnatural and again links to religious context as
religion played a large part in peoples lives back then.
'These deeds must not be will make us mad'= Lady M says that if they think of the murder too much it will
make them go crazy= ironic! She goes nuts at the end!!!
'A little water clear us off this deed'= Lady M is not fussed by the consequences of the murder.
'Some say the earth was feverous and did shake'- said by Lennox on the night King Duncan is murdered- again shows
context as they believed that disruption of the order of Kings would lead to disruption of Kingdom (here is has gone a
step further and said the entire world= emphasis)
'tis said they ate each other'- the horses go 'wild' and eat each other- violent and powerful imagery of nature being
'I fear thou played'st most foully for't'= Banquo wise and realises the witches prophecy has not been a matter of
chance but also by Macbeth's wicked deeds.
'We have scorched the snake, not killed it'- again reference to snakes= Macbeth realises he has not secured his title, he
needs to do more (vicious spiral of decline)
'Make our faces vizards to our hearts'= deceitfulness of Lady M (saying they should keep their agenda hidden)

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The worm thats fled hat nature that in time will venom breed'= Banquo's son will cause Macbeth's plan to be in
'wayward son'- witches say Macbeth is uncontrolable? All been his doing?? Son suggests he is one of them/as evil as
'security is mortals' chiefest enemy'= witches make Macbeth become more confident- further to fall in tragic downfall.
''we may again give to out tables meat, sleep to our nights'= order will be restored when Macbeth is dead.…read more



this is brilliant, thank you so much!! it will be a major help as my exam has been worrying me but this has all of the important ones in! thank you!!**

Maria Gunayon

Thank you so much!

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