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Great Important Quotes From MacBeth by William Shakespeare

Updated on May 6, 2011

“When shall we three meet again?

In thunder, lightning, or in rain?”

These are the opening lines to the play, and as the three old witches decide Macbeth’s fate, they create images of madness, darkness and magic while the three old witches plan Macbeth’s fate. When the witches mention thunder and lightning images are created of things that are out of human control such as fate.

“For brave Macbeth – well he deserves that name –

Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel”

                                                            - The Captain

            This is an important image as it shows how Macbeth was once known for his bravery and his loyalty to the king on the battlefield. This is significant because Macbeth was proud to be just the Thane of Glamis and had not even considered being the King. He did not instantly decide to murder King Duncan, but was slowly convinced by lady Macbeth that this was the right thing to do

“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

            This image shows that Lady Macbeth is determined to have Duncan murdered and she has no hesitation. She is the motivation behind Macbeth, and convinces him to murder Duncan. She asks the spirits to fill her with cruelty and when she says “unsex me here” she is implying that she wants to be stripped of stereotypical feminine qualities and to be filled with violence and power.

“Is this a dagger which I see before me,

the handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee - ”

                                                            - Macbeth

            After Macbeth is unwillingly convinced that he will murder Duncan in order to become King, he starts having second thoughts. But the vision he see of the dagger which seems to be directing him to Duncan creates the image of no control, that Macbeth is no longer deciding weather or not he should kill Duncan, but is bein forced to because the three Witches have determined his fate.

“Here’s a knocking indeed! If a man were porter of

hell-gate he should have old turning the key.”

-          Porter

The Porter pretends to be the porter of Hell, which is ironic as Macbeth hasjust committed one of the most evil crimes possible in Scotland. From this night on, Macbeth has changed and has begun his fall in all moral aspects. This image is almost comical, which is a change from all the horror and violence.

“Avaunt, and quit my sight! Let the earth hide thee!

Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold.

Thou hast no speculation in those eyes

Which thou dost glare with”

                                                - Macbeth

            This image shows the guilt that Macbeth has after killing his best friend Banquo. This guilt has been building up inside him on top of the shame of killing his King. It also shows that, although they are now the rulers of Scotland, they are never happy or content and Macbeth constantly feels threatened and feels he needs to get rid of all his oppositions.

“                                              I am in blood

Stepped in so far, that, should I wade no more”

-          Macbeth

This image shows that Macbeth has decided that he has gone so far in murder, tyranny, and seeing into his future that he will not turn back. He makes a decision to go see the Weird Sisters again and he will strike down anyone that crosses him.

“Out damned spot! Out, I say! – One: two: why

then, ‘tis time to do’t. –Hell is murky!”

-          Lady Macbeth

This image shows the distress of Lady Macbeth, who is reliving the night that Macbeth murdered Duncan. She talks about how she cannot get rid of Duncan’s blood, but on the actual night she gave out to Macbeth for saying that all the oceans could not wash the blood off him. This shows that she is regretting what she did and how it is all really because of her that Macbeth murdered Duncan.

“Throw physic to the dogs! I’ll none of it. –

Come, put mine armour on, give me my staff.”

-          Macbeth

The image created by this quote shows that Macbeth no longer cares about anything except staying in power


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    • profile image

      Lybrah 4 years ago

      My only love, sprung from my only hate; too early seen unknown, and known too late...


    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 5 years ago from New Jersey

      These are some great quotes. It would be great to turn this into a quiz hub.

    • profile image

      martinnetsims 5 years ago

      long time no see paul if you are still in need of them here is there contact

      and some info ,ring them for advice ,tell them mart put you on

    • profile image 5 years ago

      thanks LTS - this took me back to my schooldays - our english teacher made us learn a shakespearan quote He said if you learn a quote from Shakespeare it will stay with you for life!

    • the pink umbrella profile image

      the pink umbrella 6 years ago from the darkened forest deep within me.

      i love quotes and these were great to be reminded of. voting up and awesome.

    • FCEtier profile image

      Chip 6 years ago from Cold Mountain

      "...slings and arrows of outrageous fortune."