english themes

come your spirits that tend on moral thoughts, unsex me here ... and take my milk for gall.

gender; Lady Macbeth is calling to the evil spirits to unsex her, she is removing her womanhood which impeded her from committing murder. her ambition is strong enough to drive her husband forward. she is disputing against her societal gender role, taking

Are you a man?

gender; lady Macbeth questions Macbeths power through manipulation.

when you durst do it, you were a man

gender and manipulation; she is manipulating Macbeth into committing murder. she usurps his power over his decisions, representing herself as the leading of the couple despite her gender. she fills the natural order of her family.

thou wouldst be great; art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it: Yet I do fear thy nature; it is too full o' the milk of human kindness

metaphor. gender, good and evil; lady Macbeth believes that Macbeth is too weak to take the matter into his own hands, resulting in her decision to project her evil onto him. uses him to gain power for herself as she has no power alone.

whats to be done, leave the rest to me

power, gender, ambition; Shakespeare portrays Lady Macbeth determination and decisiveness, and the influence she has over her husband.

But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we'll not fail.

metaphor. ambition; Macbeth must tighten up his courage in order to perform the evil deed.

what beast was it then, that broke your enterprise to me?

metaphor; ambition, manipulation; turning point in Lady Macbeth's loss of innocence and femininity, aligning masculinity with cruelty, saying that he was more of a man then than he was now.

macbeth not being able to say 'amen'

plot device; good vs evil, god; through committing regicide, Macbeth has ruined the sanctity of God, and has committed such a sin that he is now full of evil

All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!

ambition, supernatural; the witches foreshadow his success, motivating him to flip the great chain of being.

by the pricking of my thumb something wicked this way comes

foreshadowing; supernatural; first Macbeth is looked for by the witches, and now Macbeth looks for the witches himself. change in power, they planted the seed and now he desperately needs their water to grow. the purposely ambiguous news is make Macbeth m

is this a dagger that I see before me? handle towards my hand. I have thee not and yet I see thee still. A dagger of the mind, a false creation, proceeding from the heat oppressed brain?

imagery or metaphor; antithesis/parallelism/paradox, supernatural, guilt, ambition; it is ambiguous to seperate the audience ; is it an omen that Macbeth should proceed, or a warning of his conscience? his confusion over seeing the dagger, but not picking

to know my deed, twere best not know myself

irony, guilt; Macbeth feels remote for his deeds, yet continues bloodshed to gain control over his disorder. he understands that he represents the great chain of being, but at what cost.

How is it with me when every noise appals me

metaphor; Macbeth hears the knocking of his doom after the murder, he knows what he has just done.

Me thought I heard a voice cry sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep �the innocent sleep, sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care

guilt, sleep, metaphor, equivocation; as Duncan has died sleeping, this is a manifestation of Macbeth's fear of power, and how he must carry the dagger with him. this drives his insanity, as he does not feel safe again, motivating him to continue the bloo

out damned spot, out I say. wash your hands, put on your nightgown, look not so pale. I will tell you again, Banquo is buried, he cannot come out ons grave. whats done cannot be undone, to bed, to bed, to bed

water, blood, light and dark; she sleepwalks with a candle. she realises that no water is able to cleanse her of her sin, character development from act 1. she cannot wash away her guilt.

Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?

imagery; guilt, blood; macbeth knows that he cannot rid himself fro his sin, illustrates the dangers of his crimes (regicide and god)

... Ere we will eat our meal in fear, and sleep/ in the affliction of the terrible dreams/ That shake us nightly... Better be with the dead.

imagery; guilt ; sleep, night; Macbeth and Lady Macbeth express their guilt for regicide, as they say it is better to be dead than to be unhappy. they have caused disorder, and need new motivation. Macbeth is motivated to kill banquo, as this will provide

This is the very painting of your fear; This is the air-drawn dagger which you said led you to Duncan

imagery; supernatural; Lady Macbeth is suggesting that banjo is a vision similar to his manifestation of guilt with the daggers. directs the audience to Macbeth being haunted by his sins and guilt.

Duncan is now in his grave, after life's fitful fever he sleeps well

irony?,sleep; Macbeth sees death as a blessing, and believes that when he sleeps he will die. both lady Macbeth and Macbeth see death as an end to their guilt and madness.

I have else been perfect ... But now I am cabined, cribbed, confined, bound in / To saucy doubts and fears.

metaphor; juxtaposition; Macbeth is doubtful and fearful for his throne. Macbeth compares marble to being confined by his doubts and fears, he is trapped by his conscience, his ambition to remain in his disorder.

To be this is nothing , but to be safely thus. Our fears in Banquo Stick deep, and in his royalty of nature / reigns that which would be feared

fear/paranoia; Macbeth recognises that he cannot being king unless he is safe. he is suspicious of banquo, which leads his to commit murder.

faces wizards to our hearts

metaphor, imagery; appearance vs reality; Macbeth must disguise his true intentions on his power and title.

These deeds must not be thought
After these ways; so, it will make us mad.

guilt; Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to ignore his guilt, as she knows it will manifest and make him mad.

the season of all natures ... sleep

metaphor; sleep; sleep is seen as a necessity, and Macbeths lack of sleep creates a haunting of his guilt. Shakespeare uses the word sleep as a literary device which symbolises fear, guilt, and haunting.

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 favors nor your hate.

foreshadowing; imagery; metaphor; Macbeth is clearly moved from the witches influence, as they can see into time. recognises them as an authority.

his silver skin was laced with golden blood

blood; metaphor; imagery; Duncan's golden blood permanently stains his skin, as he know becomes what he has destroyed.

Be bloody, bold, and resolute. Laugh to scorn
The power of man

ambition; blood; through the witches words, Macbeth becomes motivated to be wicked, as he believes he cannot be defeated.

blood will have blood, the secretest man of blood, what is the night

blood; guilt; Macbeth knows that he will suffer for the bloodshed, he recognises that others will be motivated to destroy him to gain his power.

here is the smell of the blood still all of the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand

blood, guilt ; Lady Macbeth is haunted by her evil deeds, as she sees and smells blood on her hands. is an extension of whats done is done.

cool it with a baboons blood

blood; foreshadows the witches prophecy of Macbeth;s bloodshed.

Come, thick night, and pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell

night; appearance vs reality; Lady Macbeth asks the heavens and the skies to hide her sins. this can be her way of expressing her maddening fears and manifestations for her evil deeds.

And yet dark night strangles the traveling lamp.

unnatural; night; emphasises the unnatural nature of Macbeths malicious deed.

come sealing night, scarf up the tender eyes of pitiful day

night; symbolism ; Macbeth calls into the darkness to conceal his evil deeds of Banquo's murder.

brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name

ambition; good vs evil; Macbeth is considered brave and honourable at the beginning of the play; this is used as a contrast to his fallen hero characterisation and using evil to his advantage.

he thee hither, let me pour my spirits in thine ear, and chastise with the valour of my tongue, all that impedes from the golden round

manipulation; power; good vs evil; metaphor/imagery; lady Macbeth is pouring evil thoughts into Macbeth's ear to convince him to murder Duncan. she achieves this through her manipulative language

For mine own good
All causes shall give way. I am in blood
Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o'er.

blood; imagery; symbolism; Macbeth recognises that he has caused so much bloodshed, that it is too late for him to turn back, and so he must keep going forward. turning point in his character, he does not depend but merely continue his evil spiral.

there the serpent lies, the worm thats fled in time venom will breed.

appearance vs reality; although fleance appears to be but a worm, his venom will breed, and banquos descendants will rule over Macbeth. fear for his throne, motivation to continue bloodshed

What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won.

good vs evil ; irony; emphasises Macbeths change in character, as he was appointed the title for a traitor being killed, and in awarding his title he creates disorder and chaos, flipping the great chain of being and in turn becomes the traitor himself.

Black Macbeth will seem as pure as snow

appearance vs reality; symbolism; imagery Macduff compares the lies of Malcolm to Macbeth, saying these lies in comparison make the evil Macbeth seem good.

my dearest partner of greatness vs chuck

Lady Macbeth being called chuck as opposed to something loving represents the drift of their relationship, as the lost closeness results in formality.

macduff are called chickens, their son is called egg

imagery of birds, power; Macbeth is the powerful owl, whilst the chicken and egg are innocent, weak birds.

only / vaulting ambition which o'erleaps itself / and falls on th'other

ambition; Macbeth acknowledges that the only think motivating him towards killing Duncan is his ambition for power, and nothing else.

against the use of nature? all present fears are less than horrible images

supernatural ; Macbeth acknowledges that he is going against the natural order, but cannot help thinking of regicide. his acknowledgement of the evil he in turn will create, and his accompanied fear for it.

worthy macduff

macduff is a foil to Macbeth; he constantly demonstrated his worthiness to Duncan and Malcolm, in comparison with Macbeth's evil deeds. worthy vs devilish

The instrument of darkness tell us truths. Win us with honest trifles to betray's in deeper consequences

irony; supernatural; ambition; Macbeth believes the witches have predicted him becoming thane of Cawdor, however in the previous scene, it is observed that he was already given the title by Duncan. the witches did not predict the future, but simply manipu

the dead butcher and his fiend-like queen

butcher - does not show any remorse for his killings. Macbeth does, however he understands he has gone too far in order to change. fiend like queen - Macbeth introduces evil into the play through her manipulation and disorder.

False face must hide what the false heart doth know

appearance vs reality; Macbeth is finally convinced by Lady Macbeth to kill Duncan, he shifts his morals, and appears more deceiving to his guests.

Stars hide your fires; let not light see my black and deep desires

ambition, juxtaposition; Macbeth wants his secret yearning for the throne to remain hidden. Macbeth is extremely ambitious to usurp power, but is also cowardice to face the reality of the consequences.

Life is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury, signifying nothing

metaphor; lady Macbeth's passing and the ruin of Macbeths power is undone in this scene. he makes his crimes seem less awful, as it signifies nothing. this is not a turning point for Macbeth, but a confirmation to the audience that whats done truly cannot

O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!

metaphor; Macbeth is paranoid over fleance and banquo being alive, as he cries to his wife.

and be these juggling fiends no more believed that palter with us in a double sense, that keep the word of promise to our ear and break it to our hope. I'll not fight with thee.

metaphor; supernatural; Macbeth is beginning to realize that the three witches have been deceiving him since he first encountered them. Like jugglers, they have kept changing their forecasts in order create confusion.Shakespeare wanted to portray Macbeth,

the raven himself is hoarse that croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan under my battlements

imagery of birds; the raven in the bird of death, and once Duncan enters the battlements he is croaked by death.

it was an owl that shrieked

supernatural, birds; owls in folklore foretold an imminent death, she compares the owl with the bellman, as his bell foretold the death of Duncan.

bloody instructions, which being taught, return to plague the inventor

blood; foreshadowing how Macbeths actions will return to haunt him, suggests that Macbeth is aware that it will open a door to the dark and sinful world.

unnatural deeds to breed unnatural troubles, infected minds to their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets

disorder; gentlewoman has heard the implications lady Macbeth has told in the murders, and to not betray her says this ambiguous line suggesting she has heard all of her secrets.

why do you dress me in borrowed robes?

appearance; Macbeth suspects some trickery, as he cannot believe he is now thane of Cawdor, this is a joke to hide his true ambitions.

cursed thoughts of the witches

supernatural; banquo is having cursed thoughts about the witches, a foil to Macbeth's belief in the witches words.

Macbeth has foolish thoughts

lady Macbeth is dismissing Macbeths remorse for the murder. this is a comparison in lady Macbeths attitude towards remote after the murder, and in act 5

sleep is death, an earnest good night

lady Macbeth recognises that the only way she can rid her guilt is through death; foreshadowing her suicide.

fair is foul and foul is fair

supernatural; juxtaposition, convincing Macbeth that his life - foul, can become fair. foreshadows reality vs appearance.

Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under't

appearance vs reality; lady Macbeth tells Macbeth to be deceiving in order to successfully kill Duncan.

There's dagger in men's smiles

appearance vs reality; Donalbain flees as he cannot trust anybody and fears for his life.

play the humble host

appearance vs reality; Macbeth must deceive his guests

none of woman born shall harm Macbeth

equivocation; ambiguity of this language convinces Macbeth that he cannot be beaten, causing him to act more wicked.

one half of the world, nature seems dead

disorder; foreshadowing unnatural deeds?

hells gate

good vs evil; metaphor; macbeth is the devil, and his gate is hells gate.

twas unnatural, just like the deed that is done

disorder; disorder in nature vs the unnatural act that is committed. reflection of the plays events to highlight its evil.

tis day, and yet dark strangles the travelling lamp

night; good vs evil; signifies the unnatural nature of Macbeth's deeds, represents the flipping of the great chain of being.

threatens his bloody stage

irony; life is but a stage...

I know that this is joyful trouble for you

oxymoron; encourages the audience to think more deeply, it is joyful for Macbeth as he has become king, but a trouble as he had to murder for it.

Was the hope drunk wherein you dressed yourself?

ambition; lady macbeth questions if macbeth has come up with the idea while he was drunk, as he has now lost his courage.

I have given suck and now how tender tis to love the babe that milks me: I would while it was smiling in my face, have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums and dashed the brains out, had I sworn to you as you have done to this

is a statement of her own ambition and capacity for violence.

are you a man? shame itself! why do you make such faces? When all's done you look but on a stool

supernatural; guilt; Lady macbeth holds macbeth for fearing nothing, which is ironic as she succumbs to the visions of blood that she sees later in the play.

by grace of grace

good vs evil ; a prayerful allusion to monarchies divine right and authority.

the devil could not pronounce a title more hateful to mine ear

good vs evil; he is by all definition a devil in disguise; this suggests his complete turn over to evil.

My hands are of your color, but I shame to wear a heart so white

gender, power; lady Macbeth scolds Macbeth for behaving so weak, she is disappointed in his inability to perform the duties of a man.

yet who would have the thought the old man to have so much blood in him?

guilt; so much; accentuates her immense guilt to Duncans murder.

bad things always happen at night

night; lady macbeth and Macbeths attraction to evil things at night.

Why, it stood by her: she has light by her/ continually; 'tis her command

light vs dark; juxtaposition; in order to escape evil spirits and her guilt, lady macbeth carries a candle while sleep walking.

What is night? Almost at odds with morning, which is which.

night; Macbeth is losing his grasp on reality, as he continues his evil deeds.

It weeps it bleeds, and each new day a gash is added to her wounds

personification; tyranny; how Scotland feels under Macbeth's reign.

I'gin to be aweary of the sun and wish th' estate o' th' world were now undone.

guilt; the wish for what is done to be undone.

Angels are bright still , though the brightest fell

appearance vs reality; metaphor; those with kind faces can still be deceiving. Malcolm does not know if macduff is deceiving or not.

If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me

ambition; Macbeth is suggesting that if chance does not make him king, he may have to take it into his own hands. suggests that he is solely responsible for his deeds and it is in his control.

(it) cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill, / Why hath it given me earnest of success, Commencing in a truth?

alliteration; supernatural; Macbeth is tossing between choosing the witches

as happy prologues to the swelling act

metaphor; this is a stage

my thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,/ Shakes so my single state of man,

ambition; Macbeth is deciding whether to murder king Duncan or not, as it goes against his then morals. it is his awareness of his evil that drives his actions

He is kingsman and I his subject

Macbeth is listing his morals which refute Macbeth killing the King

You should be women, And yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so

good vs evil; supernatural, Banquo pokes fun at the witches, representing a dramatic foil between his and Macbeths attitudes towards the supernatural

the castle will laugh a siege to scorn

metaphor; representation of Macbeths character, as just like the laughing castle, he gloats his power, leading to his turmoil.

I have almost forgot the taste of fears

macbeth has been desensitised and dehumanised through his reigning.

sir, good lord

upon banquo suspecting macbeth in Duncans murder, their relationship shifts

now over the one half world, nature seems dead

sterility after Duncans murder, as opposed to Duncan talking of planting a tree - fertility through the destruction of the natural order.

dispute it like a man - I shall do so but also feel it as a man

macduff teaches Malcolm a lesson about masculinity which embraces emotions in a patriarchal society

banquo has the royalty of nature, he hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour to act in safety