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Flashcards in Quotes Deck (35)
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"There’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face."

King Duncan, at the palace in Act 1. There is no way to tell what a man is like just by looking at his face. Foreshadows Macbeth's betrayal.


"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."

Lady Macbeth, before the murder has been planned, wanting to become less "womanly" (i.e. powerful, cruel, etc.) in order to commit the deed.


"Had he not resembled / My father as he slept, I had done’t"

Lady Macbeth, after the murder, saying she could've killed the king if he didn't look like her father. Brings up the father motif.


"Why do you bring these daggers from the place?"

Lady Macbeth, after the murder, asking why Macbeth has brought back the daggers instead of giving them to the guards.


"Drink, sir, is a great provoker of three things . . . nose-painting, sleep, and urine."

Porter (Macbeth's drunken doorman), to Macduff about alcohol, which played a part in the murder.


"Screw your courage to the sticking place."

Lady Macbeth, to Macbeth, trying to encourage him. The "sticking place" is where arrows are placed on a bow. She wants him to have the power and courage to follow through with the murder and become king.


"Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o' th' milk of
human kindness To catch the nearest way"

Lady Macbeth, to Macbeth, fearing that his nature is too kind to carry out the deed and become king.


"The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap, For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires"

McBeth, in response to the king naming his son his successor. He desires to be king but wishes to hide it.


" I dare do all that may become a man; Who dares do more is none "

Macbeth, to Lady Macbeth, countering her statements that he is a coward. He saying he's not afraid to do anything that is suitable for a man to do, and going beyond would make him no longer a man.


"Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent underneath 't."

Lady Macbeth, telling Macbeth that to successfully commit the murder, he must be friendly and kind, but have cruel intentions.


"Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand?"

Macbeth, before the murder, as the witches are conjuring an illusion of a dagger to push him to madness and his crime.


"There's daggers in men's smiles."

Donalbain, to Malcom, after the murder, expressing that they are not safe with the murderous intent around.


"Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red."

Macbeth, after the murder, expressing his guilt and feeling that his hands will never be clean of his actions. Calls upon the recurring hand washing motif.


"Sleep shall neither night nor day Hang upon his penthouse lid; He shall live a man forbid: Weary . . ."

The witches, cursing a sailor to be without sleep in the first act. Brings about the sleep motif and foreshadows Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's lack of it.


"Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. “

Macbeth, after hearing that Lady Macbeth has died, noting his own indifference and dissatisfaction with the meaninglessness of everything that has brought him to where he is.


“scale of dragon, tooth of wolf/ witch's mummy, maw and gulf/ of the ravined salt-sea shark, root of hemlock digged i'th' dark/ liver of a blaspheming Jew"

Witches, stirring the cauldron.


"Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble."

Witches, stirring the cauldron.


"By the pricking of my thumbs,/ something wicked this way comes:/open, locks,/whoever knocks!"

Witches, stirring the cauldron, referring to Macbeth as "something wicked."


"Out, damned spot! Out, I say! One: two: why, then 'tis time to do't. Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie! A soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our pow'r to accompt? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?"

Lady Macbeth, as she's sleepwalking. She recalls the bloodiness of the crime and bring back blood as a symbol of guilt.


“Wisdom! To leave his wife, to leave his babes, his mansion and his titles, in a place from whence himself does fly? He loves us not; he wants the natural touch: for the poor wren, the most diminutive of birds, will fight, her young ones in the nest, against the owl. All is the fear and nothing is the love; as little is the wisdom, where the flight so runs against all reason."

Lady Macduff, to Ross, after her husband has left, before she and her children are murdered. She believes that he is a fool and has no natural instinct to stay to protect his family.


"Then the liars and swearers are fools; for there are liars and swearers enow to beat the honest men and hang up them."

Macduff's son to Lady Macduff, at their castle before they are killed. He is saying that the liars are fools to allow themselves to be hung by the honest men, because there are enough liars to over power the few honest.


"I conjure you, by that which you profess, howe'er you come to know it, answer me: though you untie the winds and let them fight against the churches; though the testy waves confound and swallow navigation up; though bladed corn be lodged and trees blown down; though castles topple on their warders' heads; though palaces and pyramids do slope their heads to their heads to their foundations; though the treasure of nature's germens tumble all together, even till destruction sicken, answer me to what I ask you."

Macbeth, to Hecate and the three witches, asking them for answers. He is challenging them, commanding them in the name of whatever dark powers they serve, showing how dark he himself has become.


"Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! Beware Macduff! Beware the Thane of Fife. Dismiss me: enough."

The first apparition from the witches' cauldron, to Macbeth, warning him of Macduff's vengefulness and foreshadowing Macbeth's downfall at his hands.


"Be bloody, bold, and resolute! Laugh to scorn The pow'r of man, for none of woman born Shall harm Macbeth."

The second apparition from the witches' cauldron, to Macbeth, assuring him that no woman born person can harm him, giving him false comfort. Calls back the recurring motif of masculinity/femininity.


"Be lion-mettled, proud, and take no care who chafes, who frets, or where conspirers are: Macbeth shall never vanquished be until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill Shall come against him."

The third apparition from the witches' cauldron, to Macbeth, telling him he has nothing to fear until the forest comes against him, foreshadowing the camouflage method used by Macduff's army.


"who can impress the forest, bid the tree/ unfix his earthbound root? Sweet bodements, good!"

Macbeth, to the witches' apparitions. He is insisting that there is no one who can command the forest to uproot itself and move in upon him.


"All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. "

Lady Macbeth, while sleepwalking, expressing her guilt and calling back the blood on the hands/hand washing motif.


" I bear a charmed life "

Macbeth, to Macduff while battling him. The double meaning of the word charmed is used. Macbeth's life has become charmed as in blessed, as he became royalty, but also charmed as in spellbound, due to the meddling of the witches.


"Out, out brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury Signifying nothing."

Macbeth, to Lady Macbeth's corpse. He is commenting on the meaninglessness of life, comparing it to a play.


" What 's done is done "

Lady Macbeth to Macbeth after the murder, making an attempt to comfort him, telling him that fretting now about what's been done cannot change it, so there's no use paying mind to it.


"I 'gin to be aweary of the sun, And wish th' estate o' th' world were now undone."

Macbeth to the messenger who informed him that the "forest" was approaching. He has become afraid of what's to come, finally accepting the witches' prophecy. He wishes that his current state and the situation could be undone.


"My way of life Is fallen into the sere, the yellow leaf; And that which should accompany old age, As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends, I must not look to have; but in their stead, Curses not loud but deep, mouth-honor, breath, Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not."

Macbeth to the (ironically named) servant Seyton, who has delivered the news of the approaching army. He is commenting on his feeling that he is approaching the "autumn" of his life, his death.


"I shall do so, But I must also feel it as a man. I cannot but remember such things were, that were most precious to me. Did heaven look on, And would not take their part?"

Macduff to Malcolm, altering hearing of the slaughter of his family. He notes that he must feel it like a man and avenge their deaths, although he could "play the woman" with his eyes and weep. Calls upon the sexual inversion theme.


It will have blood, they say: blood will have blood. / Stones have been known to move and trees to speak; / Augurs and understood relations have / By maggot pies and choughs and rooks brought forth / The secret’st man of blood.

Macbeth to Lady Macbeth, predicting all of the violence, death, and blood that their evil deed will cause. Calls upon the blood motif.


"Fair is could, and foul is fair."

Three witches, at the beginning of the play, on the Heath. Means that what seems to be good is bad and vice-versa.