Macbeth's Soliloquy -
Is this a dagger which I see before me (2.1) Please click on the text for commentary.
Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I draw.
Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going;
And such an instrument I was to use.
Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses,; I see thee still,
Or else worth all the rest
And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,
Which was not so before. There's no such thing:
It is the bloody business which informs
Thus to mine eyes. Now o'er the one halfworld, and wicked dreams abuse
Nature seems dead
The curtain'd sleep; witchcraft celebrates, and wither'd murder,
Pale Hecate's offerings
Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf,
Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace.
With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design
Moves like a ghost. Thou sure and firm-set earth,
Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear
Thy very stones prate of my whereabout,
And take the present horror from the time,. Whiles I threat, he lives:
Which now suits with it
Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.
A bell rings
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.
Continue to Soliloquy Analysis
Macbeth: The Complete Play with Annotations and Commentary
The Metre of Macbeth: Blank Verse and Rhymed Lines
Macbeth Character Introduction
Metaphors in Macbeth (Biblical)
Soliloquy Analysis: If it were done when 'tis done (1.7.1-29)
Soliloquy Analysis: To be thus is nothing (3.1.47-71)
Soliloquy Analysis: She should have died hereafter (5.5.17-28)
Explanatory Notes for Lady Macbeth's Soliloquy (1.5)
The Psychoanalysis of Lady Macbeth (Sleepwalking Scene)
Lady Macbeth's Suicide
Is Lady Macbeth's Swoon Real?
Explanatory Notes for the Witches' Chants (4.1)
Macbeth Plot Summary (Acts 1 and 2)
Macbeth Plot Summary (Acts 3, 4 and 5)
A Comparison of Macbeth and Hamlet
The Effect of Lady Macbeth's Death on Macbeth
The Curse of Macbeth
Shakespeare's Sources for Macbeth
Macbeth Q & A
Aesthetic Examination Questions on Macbeth
What is Tragic Irony?
Macbeth Study Quiz (with detailed answers)
Quotations from Macbeth (Full)
Top 10 Quotations from Macbeth
Characteristics of Elizabethan Tragedy
Shakespeare's Workmanship: Crafting a Sympathetic Macbeth
Temptation, Sin, Retribution: Lecture Notes on Macbeth
Untie the winds: Exploring the Witches' Control Over Nature in Macbeth
Why Shakespeare is so Important
Shakespeare's Influence on Other Writers
In the Spotlight
"The second act is devoted wholly to the murder of Duncan. There is practically no time interval between this and the preceding act. It begins after midnight on the day of the king's arrival at Inverness, with a scene devoted to the preliminaries of the murder, and closes late in the following day with a scene telling us of the immediate consequences of the deed, the flight of the princes and the election of Macbeth to the sovereignty" [Thomas Marc Parrott]. Read on...