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Flashcards in KEY Macbeth Quotes Deck (29)
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Said by Witches meaning appearances are often deceptive

“Fair is foul and foul is fair:”


Macbeth’s first line in Act 1, Scene 3

“So foul and fair a day I have not seen”


Ross to King Duncan in Act 1, Scene 2 Before Macbeth is made Thane Of Cawdor

“most disloyal traitor, The thane of Cawdor”


Asks us to question Macbeth’s nature in Act 1, Scene 2

‘Unseam’d him from the nave to’th’chops, and fixed his head upon the battlements’


Captain describes Macbeth to Duncan (The king) in Act 1, Scene 2

‘brave Macbeth — well he deserves that name’ / “O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman”


Banquo’s prophecy in Act 1, Scene 3

“Thou shalt get Kings, though thou be none”


Banquo, about witches using metaphor, suggesting that darkness works through them in Act 1, Scene 3

“The instruments of darkness”


Banquo to witches in Act 1, Scene 3 relates to the theme of gender, similarly to ‘unsex me here’ Act 1, Scene 5 by Lady Macbeth Also arguably a source of humor as all actors in jacobean times were men

“You should be women, and yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so”


Banquo to Macbeth in Act 1, Scene 3, assonance of ‘fear’ / ‘fair’

“Why do you start, and seem to fear things that do sound so fair?”


Macbeth — Abandonment of God, suggestion that evil has taken over the castle that Macbeth’s actions have led God away from him (setting — very little light, dark gloomy castle, light representing clearness/God)

‘One cried ‘God bless us!’ and ‘Amen’ the other; ‘ ‘I had most need of blessing, and ‘Amen’ stuck in my throat’


Links to “Fair is foul” Lady Macbeth to Macbeth in Act 1, Scene 5 antithesis (opposite), biblical allusion to Garden of Eden, sin and temptation

“Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t”


Lady Macbeth to Macbeth in Act 1, Scene 5 Relates to gender roles, shows Lady Macbeth to portray Macbeth as effeminate (Man having charactistics of a women)

“I fear thy nature;/ is too full o’th’milk of human kindness/to catch the nearest way”


Duncan, entering Inverness (situational irony, shows his good nature, comic element in the tragedy as he comments on the ‘pleasant’ atmosphere of the dark castle where he is about to meet his doom) in Act 1, Scene 6

‘This castle hath a pleasant seat’


in Act 1, Scene 7 Macbeth soliloquy exploring his motivations for murder — his fatal flaw (Hamartia) is ‘ambition’, personification

‘Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself’


in Act 2, Scene 1 Macbeth’s soliloquy, supernatural vision (or alternatively madness), violence — foreshadowing Duncan’s death, madness, manipulation by witches, rhetorical question — asking no one — is he being tricked by the witches, or is his own mind descending into madness?

‘Is this a dagger which I see before me


Lady Macbeth, covering guards in blood Act 2, Scene 2

‘I’ll gild the faces of the grooms withal’


In Act 2, Scene 3 (Donaldbain to Malcolm)

"There’s daggers in men’s smiles"


In Act 3, Scene 1 said by Macbeth (Macbeth Soliloquy) ‘Fruitless’, implies no legacy that will carry on, earth is ‘barren’, emptiness, lack of ability to grow, suggests worthlessness — link to Banquo ‘shalt get kings though thou be none’, semantic field of royalty juxtaposed with a semantic field of death/ inability to grow — the character in a soliloquy is onstage by themselves, and they voice their thoughts and feelings aloud to the audience, but the other characters can’t hear — this allows the audience insight into the situation, and it creates dramatic irony — we have an extra depth of understanding into the psychology of Macbeth’s character, but the other characters don’t know his thoughts and feelings

"Fruitless crown……barren scepter"


In Act 3, Scene 1 Banquo doubts Macbeth in a soliloquy — true feelings

‘I fear thou playd’st most foully for’t’


In Act 3, Scene 4 (Macbeth to himself, madness)

"Strange things I have in head that will to hand"


In Act 4, Scene 1 (Macbeth soliloquy regarding Macduff’s family, brutal, cold murderous thoughts)

"Give to the edge of the sword his wife his babes"


Lady Macbeth in Act 5, Scene 1

"Who’d have thought the old man to have so much blood in him"


Lady Macbeth in Act 5, Scene 1

"Out, damned spot"


In Act 5, Scene 5 Macbeth to himself, just before his death and just after hearing that Lady Macbeth has committed suicide by jumping to her death possibly link to earlier quotation of ‘fear’ / ‘fair’, a cold reaction to LM’s death given how close the couple were at the beginning of the play and how much he respected and listened (wrongfully) to her)

"I have almost forgot the taste of fears"


In Act 3, Scene 4 Macbeth is in a manic state after seeing the ghost of Banquo and is showing himself to be weak to the rest of the people, Lady Macbeth challenges his masculinity in order to get him back in check. Doesn’t work since he is so shaken. Dramatic irony, the audience knows something that the characters do not, we can see the ghost but everyone but Macbeth doesn’t.

“(Aside to Macbeth) Are you a man?”


In Act 1, Scene 7 Hubris/tragic downfall — suggesting men should not try to gain more power and become more than themselves)

“I dare do all that may become a man; /Who dares do more, is none”


Macbeth in Act 3, Scene 4

‘I am in blood/Stepp’d in so far that, should I wade no more,’


In Act 3, Scene 4 frightening, shocking to Macbeth but perhaps satisfying to audience who see he’s getting his comeuppance — foreshadowing (proleptic irony), suggesting part of Banquo will continue the throne/lineage, Macbeth’s evil reign is only temporary and good will triumph over evil in the end

“[ The GHOST OF BANQUO enters, and sits in MACBETH’s place ]”


In Act 5, Scene 5 Macbeth before death — shows his full tragic fall, descent into nihilism, absolute abandonment of hopes, dreams, spirituality, happiness, power

‘Life is but a walking shadow… a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing’