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PinkMonkey.com-MonkeyNotes-Macbeth, by William Shakespeare


PinkMonkey® Quotations on . . .

Macbeth

By William Shakespeare QUOTATION: Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honor, breath
Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 5, sc. 3, l. 27-8.

“Mouth-honor” means merely superficial respect.

QUOTATION: It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury;
Signifying nothing.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 5, sc. 5.

QUOTATION: I ‘gin to be aweary of the sun,
And wish th’ estate o’ the world were now undone.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 5, sc. 5, l. 48-9.

“’Gin” means begin; “th’ estate o’ the world” means the condition or fixed order of the universe.

QUOTATION: 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.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 5, sc. 5, l. 18-22 (1623).

On hearing of the death of Lady Macbeth.

QUOTATION: Thou canst not say I did it; never shake
Thy gory locks at me.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 4, l. 49-50.

On seeing the ghost of the murdered Banquo.

QUOTATION: Lay on, Macduff,
And damned be him that first cries, “Hold, enough!”
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 5, sc. 8, l. 33-4.

QUOTATION: To make society
The sweeter welcome, we will keep ourself
Till supper-time alone.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 1, l. 41-3.

QUOTATION: I go, and it is done; the bell invites me.
Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven, or to hell.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 1, l. 62-4.

QUOTATION: Come, seeling night,
Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day,
And with thy bloody and invisible hand
Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond
Which keeps me pale.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 2, l. 46-50.

Night that “seels” or covers up (like stitching the eyelids of a hawk in order to tame it) is “bloody” because it provides concealment for murder; the “bond” is the obligation of love to all, as in Matthew 5:43-4, “do good to them which hate you.”

QUOTATION: What, will the line stretch out to the crack of doom?
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 1, l. 117.

Referring to the line of Banquo’s descendants; “crack of doom” means the peal of thunder on judgment day.

QUOTATION: This Duncan
Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
The deep damnation of his taking-off.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 7, l. 16-20.

Duncan has wielded power so mildly (”meek”), and been blameless (”clear”) as king, hence the “deep damnation” of killing him.

QUOTATION: I am settled, and bend up
Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 7, l. 80-1.

“Bend up” means brace every nerve in my body (from bringing a bow into tension); he is ready to murder Duncan (the “terrible feat”).

QUOTATION: Throw physic to the dogs! I’ll none of it.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 5, sc. 3, l. 49.

To the doctor who cannot cure his wife’s disease of the mind.

QUOTATION: This even-handed justice
Commends th’ ingredients of our poisoned chalice
To our own lips.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 7, l. 10-12.

QUOTATION: This even-handed justice
Commends th’ingredience of our poisoned chalice
To our own lips.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 7, l. 10-12 (1623).

Part of Macbeth’s soliloquy on his forthcoming murder of Duncan and its consequences.

QUOTATION: Present fears
Are less than horrible imaginings.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 3, l. 136-37 (1623).

Macbeth muses on the Witches’ prophesy that he will be king, “Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair And make my seated heart knock at my ribs Against the use of nature.”

QUOTATION: Pity, like a naked, new-born babe
Striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubins, horsed
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
That tears shall drown the wind.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 7, l. 21-5.

In Psalm 18:10 (Book of Common Prayer), God “rode upon the cherubins and did fly; he came flying upon the wings of the wind”; “sightless” means invisible.

QUOTATION: Light thickens, and the crow
Makes wing to th’ rooky wood.
Good things of day begin to droop and drowse,
Whiles night’s black agents to their preys do rouse.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 2, l. 50-3.

Invoking the powers of darkness before murdering Banquo.

QUOTATION: Had I but died an hour before this chance,
I had lived a blessed time; for from this instant
There’s nothing serious in mortality.
All is but toys; renown and grace is dead,
The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
Is left this vault to brag of.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 3, l. 91-6.

“Chance” means mischance, meaning the killing of Duncan; life (”mortality”) from henceforth is trivial (”toys”); the “vault” is the sky covering the earth.

QUOTATION: I am in blood
Stepped in so far, that should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 4, l. 135-7.

Implying that he might as well continue to kill; “no more” means no further.

QUOTATION: Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain,
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the fraught bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart?
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 5, sc. 3, l. 42-7 (1623).

Speaking to the Doctor of Physic.

QUOTATION: 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.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 2, l. 57-60.

“Incarnadine” means turn red.

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