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PinkMonkey.com-MonkeyNotes-Macbeth, by William Shakespeare


PinkMonkey® Quotations on . . .

Macbeth

By William Shakespeare QUOTATION: I have lived long enough: my way of life
Is fallen into the sere, the yellow leaf;
And that which should accompany old age,
As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 5, sc. 3, l. 22-6.

“Sere” means dry and withered; “As honor” means such as honor.

QUOTATION: If it were done when ‘tis done, then ‘twere well
It were done quickly. If th’ 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.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 7, l. 1-2.

“If it were done when ‘tis done” means if the deed were at an end, completely finished, at the moment it is done; Macbeth thinks that if he could avoid (”trammel up” means catch in a net) the consequences of murder with the death (”surcease”) of Duncan, he would take a chance on the life to come (on earth, and in heaven or hell).

QUOTATION: Withered murder,
Alarumed 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.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 1, l. 52-6.

The murderer is imagined as roused to action by the howling of the wolf, and moving like Tarquin, who raped Lucretia, the wife of Collatinus, in ancient Rome.

QUOTATION: Stars, hide your fires;
Let not light see my black and deep desires!
The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be
Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 4, l. 50-1.

Contemplating murder; “wink at” means overlook, or connive at what the hand does.

QUOTATION: Go, bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready,
She strike upon the bell.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 1, l. 31-2.

To a servant.

QUOTATION: Come what come may,
Time and the hour run through the roughest day.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 3, l. 146-7.

Recalling the proverb, “time and tide stay for no man.”

QUOTATION: Away, and mock the time with fairest show;
False face must hide what the false heart doth know.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 7, l. 81-2.

Recalling the proverb, “false face, foul heart.”

QUOTATION: Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 2, l. 55.

QUOTATION: Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men,
As hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs,
Shoughs, water-rugs, and demi-wolves, are clept
All by the name of dogs.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 1, l. 91-4.

Speaking to the murderers he has hired; “shoughs” are rough mongrels, and “water-rugs” dogs used for fowling; “clept” means called.

QUOTATION: Now o’er the one half-world
Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse
The curtained sleep.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 1, l. 49-51.

“Curtained” suggests both bed curtains and the unconsciousness of sleep that shuts off the control exerted by the conscious mind.

QUOTATION: Banquo, thy soul’s flight,
If it find heaven, must find it out tonight.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 1, l. 140-1.

Having arranged the murder of Banquo.

QUOTATION: What rhubarb, senna, or what purgative drug
Would scour these English hence?
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 5, sc. 3, l. 55-6.

Wishing he could get rid of his enemies by purging.

QUOTATION: Macduff. What three things does drink especially provoke?
Porter. Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes: it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macduff and Porter, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 3, l. 26-30.

“Marry” means by the Virgin Mary (an oath); “nose-painting” means red noses.

QUOTATION: Confusion now hath made his masterpiece!
Most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope
The Lord’s anointed temple, and stole thence
The life o’ the building.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macduff, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 3, l. 66-9.

Echoing biblical ideas of the King as the “Lord’s anointed” (anointed with holy oil; 2 Samuel, 1:16), and of the body as “the temple of God” (1 Corinthians, 3:16).

QUOTATION: Each new morn
New widows howl, new orphans cry, new sorrows
Strike heaven on the face.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macduff, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 3, l. 4-6.

On the affliction Macbeth has brought to Scotland.

QUOTATION: But cruel are the times when we are traitors
And do not know ourselves, when we hold rumor
From what we fear, yet know not what we fear,
But float upon a wild and violent sea
Each way and move.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macduff, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 2, l. 18-22.

“When we hold rumor/ From what we fear” means when we are led by fear to believe rumors; “Each way and move” means this way and that, making no headway.

QUOTATION: Macduff was from his mother’s womb
Untimely ripped.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macduff, in Macbeth, act 5, sc. 10, l. 15-16 (1623).

Macduff explains that he was born by Caesarean Section, showing Macbeth his delusion in invoking the witches’ promise: “I bear a charmed life, which must not yield/To one of woman born.”

QUOTATION: Did you say all? O hell-kite! All?
What, all my pretty chickens and their dam
At one fell swoop?
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macduff, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 3, l. 217-9.

On learning that his wife and children have been murdered by Macbeth.

QUOTATION: Shake off this downy sleep, death’s counterfeit,
And look on death itself!
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Macduff, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 3, l. 76-7.

On the death of Duncan; varying the proverb, “sleep is the image of death.”

QUOTATION: Malcolm. Dispute it like a man.
Macduff. I shall do so;
But I must also feel it as a man.
I cannot but remember such things were
That were most precious to me.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Malcolm and Macduff, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 3, l. 220-3.

“Dispute it” means struggle against your grief.

QUOTATION: To show an unfelt sorrow is an office
Which the false man does easy.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Malcolm, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 3, l. 136-7.

“Easy” means easily.

QUOTATION: Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Malcolm, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 3, l. 209-10.

“Whispers” means whispers to the overburdened heart.

QUOTATION: Receive what cheer you may;
The night is long that never finds the day.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Malcolm, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 3, l. 239-40.

QUOTATION: 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 ‘twere a careless trifle.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Malcolm, in Macbeth, act 1, sc. 4, l. 7-11 (1623).

Referring to Cawdor.

QUOTATION: The king-becoming graces,
As justice, verity, temperance, stableness,
Bounty, perseverance, mercy, lowliness,
Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude,
I have no relish of them.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Malcolm, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 3, l. 91-4.

A catalog of virtues Malcolm says he lacks; “lowliness” means humility.

QUOTATION: Let us seek out some desolate shade, and there
Weep our sad bosoms empty.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Malcolm, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 3, l. 1-2.

QUOTATION: My more-having would be as a sauce
To make me hunger more.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Malcolm, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 3, l. 81-2.

QUOTATION: Let us not be dainty of leave-taking,
But shift away.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Malcolm, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 3, l. 144-5.

“Dainty of” means particular about.

QUOTATION: Not in the legions
Of horrid hell can come a devil more damned
To top Macbeth.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Malcolm, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 3, l. 55-7.

QUOTATION: Nay, had I power, I should
Pour the sweet milk of concord into hell,
Uproar the universal peace, confound
All unity on earth.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Malcolm, in Macbeth, act 4, sc. 3, l. 97-100.

“Uproar” means throw into confusion.

QUOTATION: Is there no respect of place, persons, nor time in you?
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Malvolio, in Twelfth Night, act 2, sc. 3, l. 91-2.

Reprimanding Sir Toby and his companions for their rowdiness at night.

QUOTATION: I think nobly of the soul.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Malvolio, in Twelfth Night, act 4, sc. 2, l. 55.

Protesting his sanity.

QUOTATION: I’ll be revenged on the whole pack of you.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Malvolio, in Twelfth Night, act 5, sc. 1, l. 378.

His famous exit line, after being duped and treated as mad.

QUOTATION: In my stars I am above thee, but be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ‘em.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Malvolio, in Twelfth Night, act 2, sc. 5, l. 139-41 (1623).

Reading out Maria’s letter, purportedly from the countess Olivia.

QUOTATION: Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ‘em.
ATTRIBUTION: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Malvolio, in Twelfth Night, act 2, sc. 5.

Quoting Maria’s letter.

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