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Macbeth Glossary
supernatural soliciting... (1.3.138)

i.e., the witches' prompting of Macbeth.

In The Age of Shakespeare, editor Boris Ford elegantly explains why this aside is a defining moment in the play:

...the words do not only point inward to the presumed state of Macbeth's mind but, as it were, outward to the play as a whole. The equivocal nature of temptation, the commerce with phantoms consequent upon false choice, the resulting sense of unreality ('nothing is but what is not'), which has yet such power to 'smother' vital function, the unnaturalness of evil ('against the use of nature'), and the relation between disintegration in the individual ('my single state of man') and disorder in the larger social organism - all these are major themes of the play which are mirrored in the speech under consideration." (Ford, Boris., ed. The Age of Shakespeare. Middlesex. Penguin Books Ltd., 1955, [p.p. 230])

Back to Macbeth (1.3)


Related Articles

 Macbeth: The Annotated Play
 Macbeth Character Introduction

 Soliloquy Analysis: If it were done when 'tis done (1.7.1-29)
 Soliloquy Analysis: Is this a dagger (2.1.33-61)
 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)
 Explanatory Notes for the Witches' Chants (4.1)

 Macbeth Plot Summary (Acts 1 and 2)
 Macbeth Plot Summary (Acts 3, 4 and 5)

 The Curse of Macbeth
 Shakespeare's Sources for Macbeth
 Macbeth Q & A
 Macbeth Study Quiz (with detailed answers)
 Quotations from Macbeth (Full)
 Top 10 Quotations from Macbeth
 Metaphors in Macbeth (Biblical)

 Shakespeare's Writing Style
 Shakespeare's Language
 Shakespeare's Metaphors and Similes
 Shakespeare's Reputation in Elizabethan England
 Shakespeare's Impact on Other Writers
 Why Study Shakespeare?

 Quotations About William Shakespeare
 Shakespeare's Boss


How to cite this article:

Mabillard, Amanda. Macbeth Glossary. Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2000. (date when you accessed the information) <
/macbeth/macbethglossary/macbeth1_1/macbethglos_twotruths.html >.