Macbeth Key Quotes

  • Created by: Livs24
  • Created on: 23-04-17 13:01

Act 1, Scene 2 & 3

Scene 2

  • Macbeth's sword is "smok'd with bloody execution".
  • Violent verb "smoked" could show Macbeth's braveness and portray to the audience that he is  a (tragic) hero.
  • The Thane of Cawdor has commited treason, FORESHADOWING

Themes: fear, battle, masculinity 

Scene 3

  • The three witches meet, one has been "killing swine" which doesn't create fear. "I'll drain him dry as hay"- Macbeth is metaphorically drained at the end of the play.
  • Banquo is used to contrast Macbeth. "Neither beg nor fear your favours nor your hate"
  • Macbeth finishes the scene with "So foul and fair a day I have not seen" which mirrors the chant that the witches say at the very begining of the play to show the audience that Macbeth is already under the manipulation of the witches

Themes: Supernatural 

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Act 1, Scene 4

  • Duncan says it's difficult to "find the minds construction in the face" linking to the idea of hidden identity
  • Duncan is so greatful for Macbeth that he could cry: "My plenteous joys/ Wanton in fullness... in drops of sorrow"- this is very hyperbolic and connotes that Duncan is completely oblivious to what Macbeth wants (to murder him).
  • Macbeth says "Stars hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires" links to the idea of concealment, the colour "black" could connote death showing the audience Macbeth's plans to kill Duncan.

Themes: evilness, brutality, concealment, hidden identity

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Act 1, Scene 5

  • First glimpse of Lady Macbeth
  • Lady Macbeth reveals the private side of Macbeth
  • She fears his "nature" and he is "too full o'th milk o'th human kindness" 
  • At the end of the scene, Lady Macbeth decides that Macbeth needs to kill Duncan, this implies that she can easily manipulate her husband- is she the fifth witch?
  • Lady Macbeth says "Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under't" Similie could suggest that Macbeth started of innocent, the metaphor could suggest concealment, hidden identity or possibly confusion.
  • It might also demonstrate the fact that Lady Macbeth looks down on her husband.

Themes: Appearance vs Reality

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Act 1, Scene 6 & 7

Scene 6

  • Duncan praises his castle because it "hath a pleasent seat" which is ironic because this is where he will be murdered.

Scene 7

  • Macbeth argues in soloiquy why he shouldn't kill the king.
  • Foreshadowment- Macbeth wonders what the after-effects of the murder will be.
  • He says he has "no spur" meaning no motive to kill Duncan accept his vaultig ambition.
  • Lady Macbeth enters after this is said which gives the audience a visual clue as to what his motive might be.
  • "When you durst do it then you are a man"- Lady Macbeth
  • This might show that Macbeth is under his wife's 'spell'
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Act 2, Scene 1

  • Set on a DARK NIGHT.
  • Lady Macbeth and Macbeth call for darkness to hide their deeds
  • Banquo has had trouble sleeping- he has been troubled by the witches.
  • In contrast to Macbeth, Banquo has looked to "merciful powers" to help him.
  • "Is this a dagger I see before me or but a dagger of the mind"- Macbeth. 
  • This metaphor is probably one of the most famous quotes from the whole play, it denotes Macbeth's first sign of madness- although, he has already decided to kill Duncan.
  • The dagger is not a prompt to kill the king!!
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Act 2, Scene 2

  • The murder is done offstage so the audience can still feel some sympathy for Macbeth in order to fulfil his role as a tragic hero.
  • "I have done the deed"
  • Macbeth is fearful and hysterical which shows that he still has at least some sanity left at this point.
  • Lady Macbeth only shows emotion when she attempts to kill Duncan but cannot bring herself to do so.
  • "A little water clears us of this deed"- Lady Macbeth.
  • This extended metaphor of blood and water shows the Jacobean audience that although the physical bloody can be washed away, murder will never be mentally washed away- it will always be blood-stained.
  • Macbeth brings the daggers with him- a metaphor for guilt?
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Act 2, Scene 3 & 4

Scene 3

  • Humour is created by the drunk porter telling a story to juxtapose the tension built up in the last scene.
  • Macbeth enters afterwards.
  • Macbeth's speech is short and simple.
  • This is the first time that he seems in control.

Scene 4

  • focus on the heirarchy belief at this time
  • compares nature with human life
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Act 3, Scene 1

  • Macbeth is plotting to ill Banquo.
  • Banquo's solioquy: "I fear thou lay'dst most foully for't"
  • He thinks whatever Macebth is doing, he has something in it for him: "May they not be my oracles as well"
  • Key Techniques: double meanings, puns, irony
  • Banquo is Macbeth's "cheif guest"- clearly not a good thing!
  • Macbeth is beginning to trun evil -more like his wife.
  • Macbeth tells Banquo "fail not our feast" imperitive, ironic as he will be turning up as a ghost.
  • Linking to a message of the play- evil corrupting good?

What do you think the moral message of the play is?

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Act 3, Scene 2 & 3

Scene 2

  • shows state of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth's relationship.
  • "Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck"
  • "What's done is done"

Scene 3

  • Macbeth is plotting to kill Banquo and Fleance
  • Macbeth is challenging fate
  • Sends 3 murderers- shows he doesn't trust anyone
  • One murderer says: "We've lost the best half of our affair"- Fleance (the real threat) has escaped.
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Act 3, Scene 4, 5 & 6

Scene 4

  • murderer enters at the feast, Banquo's ghost is sat in Macbeth's seat.
  • Macbeth feels he needs to murder to more people.
  • "I am in blood, stepped so far"- metaphor.

Scene 5

  • Hecate's speech- no introduction.

Scene 6

  • regiside= the act of killing the king.
  • summary of how the others feel about Macbeth being king.

Exam booster: think about how the character's feel and how the Jacobean audience would respond to their feeling, write about it in your answer.

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Act 4, scene 1

Scene 1

  • Back to witches
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