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Famous Quotations from Macbeth

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Witch. When shall we three meet again
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
Second Witch. When the hurlyburly ’s done,
When the battle ’s lost and won. (1.1.1)

Fair is foul, and foul is fair. (1.1.13)

For brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name -
Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel,
Which smoked with bloody execution,
Like valour's minion carved out his passage
Till he faced the slave;
Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,
Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps,
And fix'd his head upon our battlements. (1.2.19)

They doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe:
Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds,
Or memorize another Golgotha,
I cannot tell. (1.2.40)

So foul and fair a day I have not seen. (1.3.38)

What are these,
So withered, and so wild in their attire,
That look not like th' inhabitants o' the earth,
And yet are on 't? (1.3.39)

If you can look into the seeds of time,
And say which grain will grow and which will not,
Speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear
Your favours nor your hate. (1.3.58)

Were such things here as we do speak about?
Or have we eaten on the insane root
That takes the reason prisoner? (1.3.83)

What! can the devil speak true? (1.3.107)

And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
Win us with honest trifles, to betray ’s
In deepest consequence. (1.3.132)

Two truths are told,
As happy prologues to the swelling act
Of the imperial theme. (1.3.136)

I am Thane of Cawdor:
If good, why do I yield to that suggestion
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair
And make my seated heart knock at my ribs,
Against the use of nature? Present fears
Are less than horrible imaginings;
My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,
Shakes so my single state of man that function
Is smothered in surmise, nothing is
But what is not. (1.3.141)

Come what come may,
Time and the hour runs through the roughest day. (1.3.156)

Nothing in his life
Became him like the leaving it; he died
As one that had been studied in his death
To throw away the dearest thing he owed,
As ’t were a careless trifle. (1.4.7)

Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be
What thou art promised. Yet I do fear thy nature;
It is too full o' the milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way; thou wouldst be great,
Art not without ambition; but without
The illness should attend it; what thou wouldst highly,
That thou wouldst holily; wouldst not play false,
And yet wouldst wrongly win. (1.5.16)

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; make thick my blood,
Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect and it! (1.5.38)

Your face, my thane, is as a book where men
May read strange matters. To beguile the time,
Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye,
Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower,
But be the serpent under't. (1.5.63)

This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air
Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
Unto our gentle senses. (1.6.1)

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly: if the assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
With his surcease success; that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
We'd jump the life to come. But in these cases
We still have judgement here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return,
To plague the inventor; this even-handed justice
Commends the ingredients of our poisoned chalice
To our own lips. (1.7.1)

Besides, 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;
And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, horsed
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself,
And falls on the other. (1.7.16)

I have bought
Golden opinions from all sorts of people. (1.7.31)

I dare do all that may become a man;
Who dares do more is none. (1.7.46)

Screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we'll not fail. (1.7.54)

Memory, the warder of the brain. (1.7.74)

False face must hide what the false heart doth know. (1.7.82)
There's husbandry in heaven;
Their candles are all out. (2.1.4)

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? (2.1.33)

Now o'er the one half-world
Nature seems dead. (2.1.49)

Thou sure and firm-set earth,
Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear
Thy very stones prate of my whereabout. (2.1.56)

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. (2.1.65)

That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold,
What hath quenched them hath given me fire. (2.2.1)

The attempt and not the deed,
Confounds us. (2.2.12)

Had he not resembled
My father as he slept I had done't. (2.2.14)

I had most need of blessing, and "Amen"
Stuck in my throat. (2.2.35)

Methought I heard a voice cry, "Sleep no more!
Macbeth does murder sleep!" (2.2.36)

’T is the eye of childhood
That fears a painted devil. (2.2.58)

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. (2.2.61)

A little water clears us of this deed. (2.2.68)

The labour we delight in physics pain. (2.3.56)

Who can be wise, amazed, temperate and furious,
Loyal and neutral, in a moment? (2.3.116)

Where we are,
There's daggers in men's smiles: the near in blood,
The nearer bloody. (2.3.146)

A falcon, towering in her pride of place,
Was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed. (2.4.12)

To be thus is nothing;
But to be safely thus. (3.1.48)
We have scotched the snake, not killed it. (3.2.9)

Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck,
Till thou applaud the deed. 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! Light thickens, and the crow
Makes wing to the rooky wood;
Good things of day begin to droop and drowse,
Whiles night's black agents to their preys do rouse. (3.2.45)

Better be with the dead,
Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace,
Than on the torture of the mind to lie
In restless ecstasy. Duncan is in his grave;
After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well:
Treason has done his worst; nor steel, nor poison,
Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing,
Can touch him further. (3.2.23)

You lack the season of all natures, sleep. (3.4.141)

Is mortals' chiefest enemy. (3.5.32)

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble. (4.1.10)

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes. (4.1.43)

How now, you secret, black, and midnight hags! (4.1.49)

Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn
The power of man, for none of woman born
Shall harm Macbeth. (4.1.79)

Show his eyes, and grieve his heart;
Come like shadows, so depart! (4.1.124)

What, will the line stretch out to the crack of doom? (4.1.130)

His flight was madness: when our actions do not,
Our fears do make us traitors. (4.2.3)

Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell. (4.3.22)

What! man; ne'er pull your hat upon your brows;
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart, and bids it break. (4.3.209)

Let's make us medicine of our great revenge,
To cure this deadly grief. (4.3.216)

Out, damned spot! out, I say! (5.1.38)

Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him? (5.1.43)

The Thane of Fife had a wife: where is she now? (5.1.46)

Here's the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. (5.1.55)

I would not have such a heart in my bosom for the dignity of the whole body. (5.1.60)

What's done cannot be undone. (5.1.75)

I have lived long enough: my way of life
Is fall'n into the sear, the yellow leaf;
And that which should accompany old age,
As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have; but, in their stead,
Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honour, breath,
Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not. (5.3.22)

I have almost forgot the taste of fears.
The time has been my senses would have cooled
To hear a night-shriek, and my fell of hair
Would at a dismal treatise rouse and stir
As life were in't. I have supped full with horrors;
Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts,
Cannot once start me. (5.5.9)

She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word,
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
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. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing. (5.5.16)

If that which he avouches does appear,
There is nor flying hence, nor tarrying here.
I 'gin to be aweary of the sun,
And wish the estate o' the world were now undone.
Ring the alarum-bell! Blow, wind! come, wrack!
At least we'll die with harness on our back. (5.5.47)

I bear a charmed life, which must not yield
To one of woman born. (5.7.41)


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