Macbeth: Key Images and Quotations

Here is a very quick and partial list of some key images and quotations for Macbeth.

Given the nature of the activity this list was intended for the aim was not to produce a full list of all the best or most useful quotations and so please see it in that context. It is, by design, partial and not definitive, but perhaps it might be useful.

Banquo

— ‘cursed thoughts that nature gives way to in repose’

— ‘instruments of darkness

— ‘are you fantastical or that indeed which outwardly you show’


Macbeth

— ‘o full of scorpions is my mind’

— ‘Macbeth does murder sleep’

— ‘will all great Neptune’s oceans wash this blood clean from my hand?’

— ‘It is a knell that summons thee to hell’

— ‘So fair and foul a day I have not seen’

— ‘brave’, ‘Bellona’s bridegroom’, ‘Valor’s minion’, ‘unseamd him from nave to the chaps’,

— ‘rapt’

— ‘virtues plead like angels’

— ‘vaulting ambition that oer’leaps itself’

— ‘let not light see my black and deep desires’

— ‘this tyrant, whose sole name blisters our tongues’

— ‘dead butcher and his fiend like queen’


Lady Macbeth

— ‘a little water clears us of this deed’

— ‘all the perfumes of arabia will not sweeten this little hand’

— pour my spirits in thine ear’

— ‘too full of the milk of human kindness’

— ‘fair and noble hostess’

— ‘dash’d the brains out’

— ‘unsex me here’

— ‘look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under’t’

— ‘Come to my woman’s breasts,

And take my milk for gall’

— ‘fair and noble hostess’


Duncan

— ‘silver skin laced with golden blood’

— ‘gash’d stabs look’d like a breach in nature’

— ‘this castle hath a pleasant seat’

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