Famous Macbeth Quotes

Famous Macbeth Quotes 

Famous Macbeth Quotes Explained

Many famous quotes are there in Macbeth which is the shortest of all four great tragedies of Shakespeare; but many famous Macbeth quotes do not leave the shortest impression rather leave everlasting impression. Let's see some famous Quotes from Macbeth. 

Famous Macbeth Quotes Explained

Fair is foul and foul is fair: / Hover through the fog and filthy air. 

(Act I, Scene I)

Famous Quotations from Macbeth

Ans: The quoted words are uttered by the three witches in chorus in the first scene of the first act of Shakespeare's Macbeth. It means that what is fair to others is foul to the witches and vice versa. This comment tunes up the spirit of the play where everything has gone topsy-turvy and values are perverted and reversed. Actually the witches have levelled down all moral and aesthetic distinctions. The ambiguity of the language contributes to the enigmatic character of the play. 

And Fortune, on his damned quarrel smiling, / Show'd like a rebel's whore: but all's too weak. 

(Act I, Scene II)

Ans: In Shakespeare's Macbeth, the bleeding captain informs Duncan and his attendants that at the beginning of the battle between Duncan's army and the rebel army of Macdonwald, the rebel at the best of luck and fortune smiled on the rebel as Macdonwald was supplied with "kerns" and "gallowglasses" from the western isles. Luck thus proved herself to be the mistress of the rebel and bent her support to the wrong cause. The cause being unjust, fortune has to be called whore or mistress of the rebel, not the lawfully wedded wife. 

Till that Bellona's bridegroom, lapp'd in proof / Confronted him with self-comparisons.
(Act I, Scene II) 

Ans: The quoted lines are taken from Shakespeare's tragedy, Macbeth. According to Greek mythology, Bellona is the goddess of war. Here Macbeth is regarded as the spouse of Bellona because he stands in the same line in valour of the god of war. By saying this Rosse pays a tribute to Macbeth who wore armour of tested strength. 

So foul and fair a day I have not seen.
(Act I, Scene III) 

Ans: In Shakespeare's Macbeth, the comment is made by Macbeth while returning to the camp near Forres from the battlefield of Fife. He means to say that the day is "foul" because the weather is bad; it is "fair" because it has been a day of victory. But through this comment Macbeth unconsciously awakens in us an ominous feeling because of the similarity between his language and that of the witches (Fair is foul, and foul is fair). The similarity is not accidental ; it points to a fundamental spiritual kinship already existing between Macbeth and the witches. This is a dramatic irony. 

The earth hath bubbles, as the water has / And these are of them. Whither are they vanish?
(Act I, Scene III) 

Ans: Banquo says this to Macbeth. Immediately after prophesying, the three witches disappear as soon as they can. Banquo says this because it reminds him of the fleeting nature of the bubbles of the water as well as the transient existence on the earth. 

Present fears / Are less than horrible imaginings.
  (Act I, Scene III) 

Ans: Macbeth says the quoted line to himself in a part of an aside. He wants to mean that the present fears that he actually sees in reality are less horrible than those dreadful thoughts conceived in mind. In fact, in his agitated state of mind, what is unreal seems to him to be real and what real becomes unreal. 

New honours came upon him , / Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mould, / But with the aid of use.
(Act I, Scene III) 

Ans: In Shakespeare's Macbeth, the quoted comment is made by Banquo about Macbeth who is totally snatched away by the thoughts of the wirches' prophesies. Banquo thinks that this absorption of Macbeth in thoughts is due to his sense of surprise at the honour of the thaneship of Cawdor, he has lately and unexpectedly earned. Banquo says that just as a new dress does not fit the body except with use, so Macbeth fails to adjust himself to his new honours. 

There's no art / To find the mind's construction in the face.
  (Act I, Scene IV) 

Ans: In Shakespeare's Macbeth, the quoted comment is made by King Duncan. He says that there is no art that can teach one how to read a man's mind in his face. He realizes this after the treachery of the Thane of Cawdor. He had put absolute trust in the late Thane of Cawdor. But he is most sadly deceived. 

Nothing in his life / Became him like the leaving it
  (Act I, Scene IV) 

Ans: These lines occur in Shakespeare's Macbeth. Malcolm says this about the Thane of Cawdor. According to Malcolm, the Thane of Cawdor has not done anything worthy noble deeds except his acceptance the death. He who has studied the death carefully throws away his life as an insignificant thing. 

Stars hide your fires / Let not light see my black and deep desires;
  (Act I, Scene IV) 

Ans: Macbeth says the quoted lines in Shakespeare's tragedy, Macbeth. Macbeth says this in mental conflict between ambition and conscience to devise the plan of committing the murder of his obstacle Malcolm. He does not want to disclose the plan. 

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Yet do I fear thy nature: / It is too full o'th' milk of human kindness.
  (Act I, Scene V) 

Ans: Lady Macbeth says this when she comes to know the prophecy of the witches through a letter sent to her by Macbeth. Lady Macbeth feared that her husband might have failed to kill the king Duncan as he lacked the hideous nature that is necessary for achieving his ambition. She thinks that her husband's heart is too full of the milk of human kindness. 

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! 
 (Act I, Scene V) 

Ans: Lady Macbeth says the quoted line. Here Lady Macbeth entreats the evil spirits to make her steady to execute the killing of Duncan. She wants to get rid of feminine weaknesses. She wants to throw away the prick of conscience and pity by making g her blood thicker. She is determined to serve her cruel purpose and its accomplishment. 

To beguiled the time, / Look like the time ; bear welcome in your eye, / Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower, / But be the serpent under't.
(Act I, Scene V) 

Ans: Through the quoted lines taken from Shakespeare's Macbeth, Lady Macbeth tutors Macbeth to suit his look to the occasion. She means to say that Macbeth must learn how to play at hide and seek. While his mind must nurse the thought of murder, his eyes and hands and tongue, his words and ways and gestures must beam with warmth, innocence and hospitality. Macbeth should look like the innocent flower but be a serpent lurking with evil intentions under it.

He's here in double trust

Ans: Through the quoted line taken from Shakespeare's Macbeth, Macbeth means to say that King Duncan is double trust in him or he has two reasons to feel safe in Macbeth's house. First, Macbeth is his cousin and his subject. As his cousin, Macbeth is bound to him by ties of blood, as his subject, he is bound to him by the bond of allegiance or loyalty. Secondly, Macbeth is the King's host. So it is his duty to protect the King from any kind of hostility. Both are the strong reasons against the contemplated murder of Duncan. 

And pity like a naked new born babe

(Act I, Scene VII)  

Ans: Through the quoted line taken from Shakespeare's Macbeth, Macbeth weighs the pros and cons of the contemplated murder of Duncan. He thinks that if he murders Duncan, pity like a helpless innocent infant or like a heavenly seraph will rise above the tempest of horror and indignation caused by the murder and proclaim the horrible deed the whole world over, so that even wrath will be drowned in sympathetic tears that will spring to the eyes of all.

I have given suck, and know / How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me:
   (Act I Scene VII) 

Ans: Lady Macbeth says this when Macbeth hesitates to commit the murder of king Duncan. She says this in order to give him moral strength to execute the crime. Nothing can stand in the way of keeping the promise. She even dares to kill the sucking baby plucking him from her nipple just to keep her promise. 

A dagger of the mind, a false creation, / Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
   (Act II, Scene I) 

Ans: Here an imaginary dagger is referred. This dagger is nothing but the imaginary dragger created out of Macbeth's heat-oppressed brain. When Macbeth went to Duncan's chamber to kill him, he saw a dagger hanging in the air with the handle towards him. But when he tries to seize it, ha can't. Then he tries to analyse it that it may be an unreal dagger; the product of his heat-oppressed brain. 

With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design / Moves like a ghost
     (Act II, Scene I) 

Ans: Through the quoted lines, taken from Shakespeare's Macbeth, Macbeth says that night is the suitable time for the dark deed of murder. At this time, the ghastly pale murderer is roused to do his wicked deeds by the howling of wolf and proceeds to his dark deed with stealthy footsteps like Tarquin Or Sextus Tarquinius, the son of King Tarquinius Superbus, who in 510 B. C. raped the Roman matron Lucretia who stabbed herself and died. 

Had he not resembled / My father as he slept, I had done't. 
 (Act II, Scene II) 

Ans: Lady Macbeth says this quoted line in Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth. The lines show the prick of conscience in the hearts if Lady Macbeth who is regarded as the fourth witch for her inhumane nature. But it shows human side of Lady Macbeth's character. It is not ruthless not  inhuman here. 

I had most need of blessing, and Amen / Stuck in my throat.
   (Act II, Scene II) 

Ans: These lines are uttered by Macbeth after he returned from murdering Duncan. It reveals the agony felt by conscience stricken soul of Macbeth. After the murder, he had the greatest need for a blessing, yet how much he tried 'amen' stuck in his throat and made him remorseful. 

Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood / Clean fron my hand?
  (Act II, Scene II) 

Ans: Macbeth says this in Shakespeare's tragedy, Macbeth. These lines throw the light on the inner conflict in the mind of Macbeth. A prick of conscience always torments him to such an extent that he thinks the blood in his hand can change the green water of all the oceans to a red colour. 

Wake Duncan with thy knocking. 
 (Act II, Scene II) 

Ans: These words from the lips of Macbeth indicate that he is already lamenting the murder of king Duncan. At this time he hears the knocking at the gate and his subconscious mind, for a moment, wants to undo the work and make Duncan wake up. But soon he realises that Duncan can't wake up. 

Approach the chamber, and destroy your sight / With a new Gorgon.
    (Act II, Scene III) 

Ans: Through these quoted lines, taken from Shakespeare's Macbeth, Macduff expresses his horror at the sight of the murdered king Duncan. According to Greek mythology, Gorgons are three frightful sisters named Stheno, Euryale and Medusa. Medusa, alone of the trio, was mortal and to look on her turned people to stone. Here Macduff means to say that just as the sight of Medusa turned one to stone, so too would the sight of the murdered king Duncan turn one to stone. 

Duncan is in his grave ; / After life's fitful fever, he sleeps well; 
 (Act III, Scene II) 

Ans: The quoted words are said by Macbeth to his wife Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare's tragedy, Macbeth. Macbeth becomes restless as the prick of conscience as well as the fear of losing the crown always torments him. In spite of killing Duncan, Macbeth becomes envious of Duncan who enjoys now eternal peace and happiness. No earthly matters can disturb him now. Macbeth feels jealous of Duncan's peace and happiness. 

Nought's had, all's spent. 

Ans: Through the quoted line, taken from Shakespeare's Macbeth, Lady Macbeth says that nothing is obtained, all is spent, since their desire has been fulfilled as Macbeth has become the king, but contentment remains as far as off as ever. She means to say that they had succeeded to murder Duncan, but they can not rejoice in their success. The dead (Duncan) enjoys peace which they sigh for. It is better to be the person whom they killed than to be in joy mixed with fear. 

Out, damned spot! out! I say!
     (Act V, Scene I) 

Famous Lady Macbeth Speech

Ans: These lines are from the famous "Sleep walking scene" of Lady Macbeth and are an indicator of her state of mind. She is lonely, brooding, exhausted and nervous. The horror associated with the murder of Duncan has made her lose control over her mind and she seems to have found a spot filled with blood in her hands. Echoing a similar incident with Macbeth, she tries to wash off the blood but can not. 

All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.
   (Act V, Scene I) 

Ans: The quoted words said by Lady Macbeth express her tormented mind. She is seen in raving due to the excessive mental agitation and tension. She tries to wash off the indelible strain of blood on her hand but in vain. In this mental condition, she thinks that all the perfumes produced in Arabia will nit sweeten the smell. 

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: 
  (Act V, Scene V) 

Famous Macbeth Quotes

Ans: These words from the mouth of Macbeth reveal his state of realization about the vanity of human life. He feels that life is without any importance and thus insignificant and compares it to a shadow which is immaterial and valueless. This soliloquy presents his state of mind and his tortured conscience. 

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