English: Macbeth Act I Quotes

  1. When shall we three meet again
    In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
    • All Witches
    • The witches plan to meet Macbeth when it's stormy
  2. Fair is foul, and foul is fair
    • All Witches
    • The whole idea of no rules/everything will be fair
  3. And fortune, on his damned quarrel smiling,
    Show'd like a rebel's whore: but all's too weak:
    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 he ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,
    Till he unseame'd him from the nave to the chaps,
    And fix'd his head upon our battlements
    • Sergeant to Duncan
    • Sergeant is praising Macbeth for his performance in battle and his capture of Macdonwald
  4. No more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive
    Our bosom interest: go pronounce his present death,
    And with his former title greet Macbeth.
    • Duncan to Ross
    • Duncan is going to have Macdonwald executed and Macbeth will become the new Thane of Cawdor
  5. I will drain him dry as hay:
    Sleep shall neither night nor day
    Hang upon his pent-house lid;
    He shall live a man forbid:
    • All Witches
    • They're going to curse the sailor and he won't be able to sleep
  6. So foul and fair a day I have not seen
    • Macbeth to Banquo
    • Macbeth has seen a really bloody battle, but it's a good thing because they won
  7. All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, than of Glamis!
    All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!
    All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!
    • Witches to Macbeth
    • The witches give Macbeth predictions of what he will become
  8. Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.
    Not so happy, yet much happier.Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none:So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo! Banquo and Macbeth, all hail!
    • Witches to Banquo
    • The Witches Give Banquo the prediction of his children becoming king and this will eventually cause Macbeth to become upset
  9. Stay,
    you imperfect speakers, tell me more:
    By Sinel's death I know I am thane of Glamis;
    But how of Cawdor? the thane of Cawdor lives,
    A prosperous gentleman; and to be king
    Stands not within the prospect of belief,
    No more than to be Cawdor. Say from whence
    You owe this strange intelligence? or why
    Upon this blasted heath you stop our way
    With such prophetic greeting? Speak, I charge you.
    • Macbeth to Witches
    • Macbeth wants to know more about the future, but the witches disappear
  10. Were such things here as
    we do speak about?
    Or have we eaten on the insane root
    That takes the reason prisoner?
    • Banquo to Macbeth
    • They can't believe they encountered witches and they think that they ate "insane root"; causing them to have hallucinations
  11. And, for an earnest of a
    greater honour,
    He bade me, from him, call thee thane of Cawdor:
    In which addition, hail, most worthy thane!
    For it is thine
    • Ross to Macbeth
    • Ross tells Macbeth that he will be Thane of Cawdor
  12. The thane of Cawdor lives:
    why do you dress me
    In borrow'd robes?
    • Macbeth to Ross
    • Macbeth doesn't understand how can be the Thane of Cawdor when Macdonwald is still alive
  13. Glamis, and thane of Cawdor!
    The greatest is behind. To ROSS and ANGUS
    Thanks for your pains.  To BANQUO
    Do you
    not hope your children shall be kings,
    When those that gave the thane of Cawdor to me
    Promised no less to them?
    • Macbeth to Himself/Banquo
    • This is an aside, and Macbeth cannot believe that the prophecies are coming true, but at the same time he doesn't want to become greedy
  14. Cannot be ill, cannot be
    good: if ill,
    Why hath it given me earnest of success,
    Commencing in a truth? 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 smother'd in surmise, and nothing is
    But what is not.
    • Macbeth to Himself
    • Macbeth is suffering from an inner turmoil. He's not sure if him becoming king is good or bad. He doesn't know whether or not he should kill the king or let nature take care of it.
  15. If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me,
    Without my stir.
    • Macbeth to Himself
    • This is an Aside, and Macbeth says that he doesn't need to take action and that he should just let nature take its course
  16. 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.
    • Malcom to Duncan
    • Malcom is saying that the thane of Cawdor threw everything away that he treasured and that's what he'll be remembered for.
  17. There's no art
    To find the mind's construction in the face:
    He was a gentleman on whom I built
    An absolute trust.
    • Duncan to Malcom
    • Duncan says that deep down people can be bad no matter what they look like. (Looks can be deceiving)
  18. The service and the loyalty I owe,
    In doing it, pays itself. Your highness' part
    Is to receive our duties; and our duties
    Are to your throne and state children and servants,
    Which do but what they should, by doing everything
    Safe toward your love and honour.
    • Macbeth to Duncan
    • This is an example of Dramatic Irony because he says one thing and means another. Macbeth is completely honorable and loyal to Duncan
  19. The Prince of
    Cumberland! that is a step
    On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap,
    For in my way it lies. 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.
    • Macbeth to Himself
    • Malcom is announced as the heir and now Macbeth must kill the Mcdonwald and Malcom.
  20. This have I thought good to deliver
    thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou mightst not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being
    ignorant of what greatness is promised thee. Lay it
    to thy heart, and farewell.'
    • Lady Macbeth to Herself
    • This is a soliloquy and Lady Macbeth is reading Macbeth's letter. She finds out that he is now the Thane of Cawdor and his future predictions
  21. Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be
    What thou art promised: yet do I 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
    • Lady Macbeth to Herself
    • This is a soliloquy and it reveals that Lady Macbeth believes her husband doesn't have enough strength to become king. She thinks she's stronger than he is and with her as queen she will make up what he lacks
  22. And that which rather thou dost fear to do
    Than wishest should be undone.' Hie thee hither,
    That I may pour my spirits in thine ear;
    And chastise with the valour of my tongue
    All that impedes thee from the golden round,
    Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem
    To have thee crown'd withal.
    • Lady Macbeth to Herself
    • This is a soliloquy and Lady Macbeth is determined in taking an active role in Macbeth becoming king because she needs to be queen. She wants Macbeth to follow through with the plan
  23. 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! Come to my woman's breasts,
    And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers,
    Wherever in your sightless substances
    You wait on nature's mischief! Come, thick night,
    And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
    That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
    Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,
    To cry 'Hold, hold!'
    • Lady Macbeth to Herself
    • This is a soliloquy that reveals her ruthlessness. She wants to become manly and emotionless. She doesn't want to be motherly and sensitive.
  24. Thy letters have
    transported me beyond
    This ignorant present, and I feel now
    The future in the instant.
    • Lady Macbeth to Herself
    • Lady Macbeth feels that the future is coming true and she enjoys the idea of becoming queen.
  25. 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.
    • Lady Macbeth to Macbeth
    • Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth that he should try to look innocently welcoming like a flower on the outside, but on the inside he should still know his true motives like a serpent.
  26. Only look up clear;
    To alter favour ever is to fear:
    Leave all the rest to me.
    Lady Macbeth to Macbeth
  27. This castle hath a
    pleasant seat; the air
    Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
    Unto our gentle senses.
    • Duncan to Banquo
    • This passage is ironic because as the reader we know Duncan's true motives even though he says how neat and nice the castle is.
  28. All our service
    In every point twice done and then done double
    Were poor and single business to contend
    Against those honours deep and broad wherewith
    Your majesty loads our house: for those of old,
    And the late dignities heap'd up to them,
    We rest your hermits.
    • Lady Macbeth to Duncan
    • This is dramatic irony and Lady Macbeth is being hypocritical. As the readers we know that LM is plotting against Duncan.
  29. 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'ld jump the life to come
    • Macbeth to Himself
    • This is a soliloquy and Macbeth is still conflicted about his inner turmoil
  30. He's here in double trust;
    First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
    Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,
    Who should against his murderer shut the door,
    Not bear the knife myself. 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;
    • Macbeth to Himself
    • This is a soliloquy and Macbeth is still trying to rationalize killing Duncan because he knows that Duncan really didn't do anything wrong because he's a good leader. Also Macbeth is struggling with a double trust because he is Duncan's kinsman and host. Macbeth is leaning more towards keeping him alive.
  31. We will proceed no further
    in this business:
    He hath honour'd me of late; and I have bought
    Golden opinions from all sorts of people,
    Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,
    Not cast aside so soon.
    • Macbeth to Lady Macbeth
    • Macbeth backs out of the plan in killing Duncan. He decides to let nature take its course.
  32. Was the hope drunk
    Wherein you dress'd yourself? hath it slept since?
    And wakes it now, to look so green and pale
    At what it did so freely? From this time
    Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard
    To be the same in thine own act and valour
    As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that
    Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life,
    And live a coward in thine own esteem,
    Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would,'
    Like the poor cat i' the adage?
    • Lady Macbeth to Macbeth
    • Lady Macbeth calls Macbeth a coward and questions his manhood. She's furious with his decision and wants to get under his skin.
  33. I have given suck, and
    How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me:
    I would, while it was smiling in my face,
    Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,
    And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you
    Have done to this.
    • Lady Macbeth to Macbeth
    • This shows how ruthless Lady Macbeth is. She says that if she was going to do something she'd do it and wouldn't back out. So if she said she'd kill a baby then she'd do it.
  34. When Duncan is asleep--
    Whereto the rather shall his day's hard journey
    Soundly invite him--his two chamberlains
    Will I with wine and wassail so convince
    That memory, the warder of the brain,
    Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason
    A limbeck only: when in swinish sleep
    Their drenched natures lie as in a death,
    What cannot you and I perform upon
    The unguarded Duncan? what not put upon
    His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt
    Of our great quell?
    • Lady Macbeth to Macbeth
    • Lady Macbeth's plan is distract Duncan's guards when he's asleep by her charming ways and with wine.
  35. Bring forth men-children
    For thy undaunted mettle should compose
    Nothing but males. Will it not be received,
    When we have mark'd with blood those sleepy two
    Of his own chamber and used their very daggers,
    That they have done't?
    • Macbeth to Lady Macbeth
    • After he hears Lady Macbeth's plan, he insults her by saying that she must only be able to give birth to boys because of how ruthless she acts.
  36. False face must hide what
    the false heart doth know.
    • Macbeth to Lady Macbeth
    • He says that he must act one way on the outside and another way on the inside.
Card Set
English: Macbeth Act I Quotes
Speaker to Reader (who's talking to who) Importance