Key quotations (English Literature - The Gothic)

Key quotations for Frankenstein, Macbeth and The Pardoner's Tale.

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Macbeth (character)

  • 'Curséd head' of the 'dead butcher'
  • 'Noble'
  • 'Worthy gentleman'
  • 'Valiant cousin'
  • 'Rapt' in the witches' words
  • 'Too full o' th' milk of human kindness'
  • 'If we should fail?' (not as courageous as Lady M., worries about the consequences) --> 'settled'
  • 'Playedst most foully'
  • There cannot 'come a devil more damned in evil to top Macbeth'
  • 'I could not say "Amen"' (after killing Duncan)
  • 'If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me' (i.e. if the witches say I will be king, then I will be king)
  • 'Lion' --> 'bear-like' (tied to a 'stake', powerless), 'weed', 'monster'
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Lady Macbeth (character)

  • 'Out, damnéd spot! Out, I say!' (spot of blood - paranoid)
  • 'What's done cannot be undone'
  • 'Look like th'innocent flower but be the serpent under't' (appearance vs. reality)
  • 'Serpent' (insideous, conniving, manipulating)
  • 'We'll not fail' (contrasts with Macbeth's 'If we should fail?')
  • 'Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done't'
  • 'Infected minds' sleepwalk
  • 'Chastise with the valour of my tongue'
  • 'Raven himself is hoarse'
  • 'Pour my spirits in thine ear'
  • 'Unsex me'
  • 'Make thick my blood' (so pity does not pass through to her heart)
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The Pardoner's Tale: Death (character and theme)

  • 'Why artow al forwrapped save thy face?' (why are you covered up apart from your face - this is said to the Old Man who is thought to be Death in disguise; the fact that he is hiding his body suggests that he is disguising his true identity)
  • 'Privee theef'
  • 'False traitour'
  • 'He shall be slain, he tthat so manye sleeth'
  • 'He that haunteth swiche delices is deed, while liveth in tho vices' (he who lives for pleasure is living death in life)
  • 'On the ground, which is my moodres [mother's - refers to mother nature] gate, I knokke with my staf [stick]...and seye, "Leeve mooder [dear mother], leet me in!"' (i.e. the Old Man is begging mother nature to let him die)
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The Pardoner's Tale: The Old Man (character)

  • 'Why artow al forwrapped save thy face?'
  • 'Mekely hem grete' (is humble compared with the revellers)
  • 'Povre' (poor)
  • Wasting away of his 'flesh and blood and skin'
  • His face is 'ful pale and welked [withered]'
  • 'Walke I, lyk a resteless kaitif' (kaitif = prisoner/captive; suggests that he is trapped in his life and longs to escape)
  • 'On the ground, which is my moodres gate, I knokke with my staf...and seye, "Leeve mooder, leet me in!"'
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Frankenstein: pursuit/revenge (themes)

  • 'The reward of my benevolence...the miserable pain of a wound' (the monster)
  • 'Am I to be thought the only criminal when all humankind sinned against me?' (the monster)
  • 'Revenge henceforth, dearer than light and food' (the monster)
  • 'I must pursue and destroy the being to whom I gave existence' (Victor)
  • 'One hand was stretched out' (the monster - wants friendship/acceptance?)
  • 'Our lives will be free from the misery I now feel' (the monster - wants a female companion)
  • ‘Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds which I should first break through' (Victor)
  • ‘Engaged, heart and soul, in the pursuit of some discoveries which I hope to make’ (Victor)
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Frankenstein: Gender - females (theme)

  • 'Heaven sent' (Elizabeth)
  • 'Cetestical stamp of features' (Elizabeth) 
  • ‘So amiable’, incapable of committing ‘so appalling' a crime (Justine)
  • 'Calmer and more concentrated' (Elizabeth)
  • 'Destruction of the purest creature on earth' (Elizabeth)
  • ‘Fortitude and benignity of the best of women’ (Caroline)
  •  ‘I looked upon Elizabeth as mine – mine to protect, love, and cherish’
  • ‘She presented Elizabeth to me as her promised gift’
  • ‘Till death she was mine only’ (Elizabeth)
  • ‘Cloudless blue eyes' (Elizabeth - innocence)
  • ‘Fairer than a garden rose among dark-leaved brambled’ (Elizabeth) 
  • ‘So expressive of sensibility and sweetness' (Elizabeth)
  • ‘Brightest living gold’ (Elizabeth)
  • ‘Very thin and fair’ (Elizabeth)
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Macbeth: Gender (theme)

  • 'Look like th'innocent flower but be the serpent udner't' (Lady M)
  • 'You should be women, and yet your beards forbid me to interpet' (the witches)
  • 'Serpent' (Lady M)
  • 'Raven' (Lady M - associated with death)
  • 'Are you not a man?' (said to Macbeth)
  • 'Noble', 'valiant', etc. (Macbeth)
  • 'Hags' (the witches)
  • 'Unsex me' (Lady M - unfeminine)
  • ‘Keep the natural ruby of your cheeks when mine is blanched with fear’ (contrast between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth - he is in fear, she is fearless and powerful (context))
  • 'If we should fail?' (Macbeth) --> 'And we'll not fail' (Lady M) - contrast as above
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The Pardoner's Tale: Gender (theme)

  • 'Tombersteres...whiche been the verray develes officeres' (dancing girls...which are the devil's officers)
  • 'Hasard is verray mooder of lesinges' (gambling is the mother of lies)
  • 'Moodres gate' (mother nature)
  •  ‘I yow assoille by myn heigh power' (The Pardoner)
  • 'Tombersteres...fetys [neat] and small'
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Frankenstein: the monster (character)

  • ‘Catastrophe’
  • ‘Filthy daemon’
  • ‘Daemonical corpse to which I had so miserably given life’
  • ‘The devil’
  • ‘The miserable monster whom I had created'
  • ‘My own vampire forced to destroy everything dear to me’
  • ‘Hideous’
  • ‘Dull yellow eye’
  • ‘Straight black lips’
  • ‘His hair was a lustrous black’
  • ‘Shrivelled complexion’
  • ‘Eyes, if they may be called eyes’ 
  • '"I felt half frightened finding myself so desolate"'
  • 'Deformity of its aspect more hideous than belongs to humanity'
  • 'The murderous mark of the fiend's grasp was on her neck'
  • '"I was a poor, helpless, miserable wretch...I sat down and wept"'
  • 'These luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes'
  • 'He muttered some inarticulate sounds'
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