Macbeth Soliloquy Glossary: If it were done when 'tis done... (1.7.1-29)
Will plead like angels...couriers of the air (19-23)
Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
The deep damnation of his taking-off;
And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, horsed
Upon the sightless couriers of the air.
plead: advocate; plead their case.
taking-off: a euphemism for Duncan's death.
striding: standing with legs apart.
blast: gust of air.
cherubim: an order of angels. The hierarchy of angels ranked from lowest to highest into the following nine orders: angels, archangels, principalities, powers, virtues, dominions, thrones, cherubim, and seraphim. Note that the First Folio has cherubin but most editors believe the plural is required here. Compare The Tempest (1.2.178) and Timon of Athens (4.3.65).
sightless couriers: invisible messengers -- i.e. the winds.
How to cite this article:
Mabillard, Amanda. Macbeth Soliloquy Glossary. Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2000. (date when you accessed the information) < http://shakespeare-online.com/plays/macbeth/soliloquies/plead.html >.