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37 Best Quotes by Macbeth (Himself)

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Get all the best quotes by Macbeth, himself, from the famous Shakespeare play Macbeth, about his brave rise to power and how he became a tragic hero committing evil deeds based on deception and testing fate versus free will.

life's but a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

It's hard not to love the important story of Macbeth, who becomes powerful in Scotland, but whose heroic nature was tested after a meeting with three supernatural witches.

Then, there's also the control Macbeth's wife has over his manhood, challenging him to commit acts of violence that ultimately cause the demise of many.

It's a timeless story of light and dark, of loyalty and betrayal.

Let's explore what Macbeth himself had to say about it all.

Great Quotes by Macbeth

Below are frequently asked questions about the most notable lines by Macbeth himself, followed by more good quotations by Macbeth.

Frequently Asked Questions about Key Lines

What quote did Macbeth say when he killed Duncan?

When Macbeth kills Duncan, he admits he did so in Duncan's sleep by way of these words:

“Methought I heard a voice cry, ‘Sleep no more!
Macbeth does murder sleep:  the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.”

What quotes Macbeth's guilt?

After killing Duncan, Macbeth expresses remorse and guilt in Act Two, Scene Two, in these words: "I'll go no more: I am afraid to think what I have done; Look on't again I dare not."

What is the famous speech from Macbeth?

After the death of Lady Macbeth, Macbeth grieves in this famous soliloquy about the fleeting, meaningless nature of life, which has inspired the titles of books like The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tommorow by Gabrielle Zevin.

"There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
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."

What are Macbeth's final words?

As Macbeth enters his final battle with Macduff, he strives to test fate and speaks his final sentence before death: "'Before my body I throw my warlike shield. Lay on, Macduff, And damned be him that first cries, 'Hold, enough!'"


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More Quotes by Macbeth

"This supernatural soliciting / Cannot be ill, cannot be good."

"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, / And nothing is but what is not."

“Come what come may, / Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.”

“False face must hide what the false heart doth know.”

"I will tomorrow, / And betimes I will, to the weird sisters: / More shall they speak; for now I am bent to know, / By the worst means, the worst." 

“I dare do all that may become a man; / Who dares do more is none.”

“If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well / It were done quickly.”

“To prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself and falls on th’other.”

"Is this a dagger which I see before me, / This 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-oppressèd brain?"

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

"It will have blood, they say. Blood will have blood."

"I am in blood / Stepp'd in so far that, should I wade no more."

"Who can be wise, amazed, temp’rate, and furious, / Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man."

"Th’expedition of my violent love / Outrun the pauser, reason."

"Who could refrain, / That had a heart to love, and in that heart / Courage to make’s love known?"

“Tis the eye of childhood, That fears a painted devil.”

"From this moment / The very firstlings of my heart shall be / The firstlings of my hand."

"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."

"This even-handed justice / Commends the ingredients of our poisoned chalice To our own lips."

"I have no spur / To prick the sides of my intent, but only / Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself / And falls on th’ other."

"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!"

"Good things of day begin to droop and drowse; / While night's black agents to their preys do rouse."

“Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill.”

"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."

"Bring me no more reports. Let them fly all. / Til Birnam Wood remove to Dunsinane / I cannot taint with fear."

"The spirits that know / All mortal consequences have pronounced me thus:
'Fear not, Macbeth. No man that’s born of woman / Shall e’er have power upon thee.'”

"Then fly, false thanes, / And mingle with the English epicures. / The mind I sway by and the heart I bear / Shall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear."

"I have liv'd long enough: my way of life / Is fallen 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-honor, breath, / Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not."

"Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased, / Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow, / Raze out the written troubles of the brain / And with some sweet oblivious antidote / Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of that perilous stuff / Which weighs upon the heart?"

"Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests; I bear a charmed life, which must not yield to one of woman born."

"It is too late, he drags me down; I sink, I sink, — my soul is lost forever!"


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