Macbeth Key Quotes (Edexcel GCSE English Literature Paper 1)

‘Would they had stayed’-Macbeth
I wish they would have stayed-Act1Sc3 (curiosity, supernatural)
‘Glamis, and Thane of Cawdor! The greatest is behind’-Macbeth
I’m the thane of Glamis and the thane of Cawdor. And the best part of what they predicted is still to come-Act1Sc3 (ambition)
‘If ill, Why hath it given me earnest of success,
Commencing in a truth?’-Macbeth
If it’s a bad thing, why was I promised a promotion that turned out to be true? -Act1Sc3 (supernatural, good vs evil)
‘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’-Macbeth
But if this is a good thing, why do I find myself having bad thoughts so horrifying that they make my hair stand on end and my heart pound inside my chest?-Act1Sc3 (evil, good vs evil, murder, violence)
‘We will establish our estate upon Our eldest, Malcolm, who we name hereafter The Prince of Cumberland’-King Duncan
Malcolm will become the Prince of Cumberland (who will then become king)-Act1Sc4 (ambition, qualities of a king)
‘Stars, hide your fires, let not light see my black and deep desires’-Macbeth
Please don’t let my evil thoughts be exposed-Act1Sc4 (evil, violence, ambition)
‘Yet I do fear thy nature: it is too full o’the milk of human kindness’-Lady Macbeth [to Macbeth whilst reading letter alone]
You are too kind to murder Duncan and become king-Act1Sc5 (qualities of a good king, ambition, power)
‘chastise with the valour of my tongue All that impedes thee from the golden round’-Lady Macbeth
I will encourage you with my words to be courageous and stop being afraid of murdering Duncan-Act1Sc5 (ambition, power, evil, temptation)
‘unsex me here and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty’-Lady Macbeth
Make me no longer a woman and fill me with evil thoughts-Act1Sc5 (ambition, gender roles, evil)
‘look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t’-Lady Macbeth
Look innocent and friendly but underneath, have evil and violent thoughts-Act1Sc5 (ambition, good vs evil, false perceptions)
‘All our service….Were poor and single business to contend
Against those honours deep and broad wherewith
Your majesty loads our house’-Lady Macbeth
Everything we are doing is nothing compared to what you have done for us-Act1Sc6 (irony, false perceptions)
‘his virtues Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
The deep damnation of his taking-off’
Duncan is such a good man that if murder him, I will be damned forever-Act1Sc7 (guilt, loyalty, qualities of a good king)
‘I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition’-Macbeth
I am fearful of committing what I have imagined, but I have a lot of ambition-Act1Sc7 (ambition, guilt)
‘We will proceed no further in this business’-Macbeth
King Duncan is too kind and I will feel too guilty if I kill him, we will no longer proceed with this murder-Act1Sc7 (guilt, loyalty)
‘Art thou afeard To be the same in thine own act and valor
As thou art in desire?’-Lady Macbeth
Are you afraid of acting upon what you desire?-Act1Sc7 (cowardice, ambition, gender roles, courage)
‘Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible, to feeling as to sight’-Macbeth
Macbeth is unsure whether the dagger is a hallucination or real, Macbeth is losing touch of reality-Act2Sc1 (appearance and reality, supernatural)
‘There’s daggers in men’s smiles’-Donalbain
People are deceitfu and people who appear cheerful on the outside could be hiding dark secrets, Donalbain knows that there is a traitor-Act2sc3 (appearance and reality, secrecy)
‘Will all Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand’-Macbeth
Macbeth wants to wash the blood from his hands and hide from the evil that he has committed-Act2sc2 (guilt and conscience)
‘What hath quenched them hath given me fire’-Lady Macbeth
Unlike Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is bold and confident following Duncan’s murder-Act2sc2 (guilt, ambition)
‘Wake Duncan with thy knocking, I wish thou could’st’-Macbeth
Macbeth is feeling remorse and guilt over what he has done and wishes Duncan was still alive-Act2Sc2 (guilt, bravery)
‘A falcon..was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed’-Old Man
Many unnatural events have taken place including an owl eating a falcon-Act2sc4 (supernatural, evil)
‘sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth’-Ross
As Donalbain and Malcolm have fled, Macbeth will be appointed king and the witches’ third prophecy has come true-Act2Sc4 (supernatural)
‘O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife’-Macbeth
Macbeth is having poisonous and murderous thoughts-Act3sc2 (evil, ambition)
‘Are you a man?’-Lady Macbeth
Lady Macbeth becomes dominant and belittles Macbeth at the banquet by questioning his sanity-Act3Sc4 (masculinity, bravery, pride)
‘Banquo, thy soul’s flight, if it find heaven, must find it out tonight’-Macbeth
Macbeth orders the murderers to murder Banquo that night-Act3Sc1 (evil)
‘Be innocent of the knowledge’-Macbeth
The relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth has changed as Macbeth is no longer sharing his plans with her, he is taking control-Act3sc2 (relationships, power)
‘I am in blood stepped in so far’-Macbeth
Macbeth has been overtaken by evil influences and returning to innocence would be as difficult as murder-Act3sc4 (evil, guilt)
‘By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes’-Second Witch
Shows the extent of Macbeth’s evil as the witches are very wicked but they are referring to him as ‘wicked’-Act4sc1 (evil, supernatural)
‘None of woman born shall harm Macbeth’-Second Apparition
Macbeth believes he is safe because he can not be harmed by anyone-Act4sc1 (deception, supernatural)
‘Until Great Birnan Wood to high Dunsinane Hill Shall come’-Third Apparition
Macbeth is safe until Birnan Wood comes towards Macbeth’s castle, which seems impossible-Act4sc1 (deception, supernatural)
‘The castle of Macduff I will surprise’-Macbeth
Macbeth is now at his lowest point as he is murdering innocent people-Act4sc1 (evil)
‘Bring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself, within my sword’s length set him’-Macduff
Macduff is prepared to take revenge on Macbeth for the killing of his wife and children-Act4sc3 (revenge, violence, conflict)
‘What, will these hands ne’er be clean’-Lady Macbeth
Lady Macbeth is feeling extreme guilt over Duncan’s murder and is psychologically harmed-Act5sc1 (guilt and conscience)
‘A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury’-Macbeth
Macbeth sees life as pointless and idiotic (fate, end of life)
‘Fair is foul and foul is fair’-The witches
To be bad is good-Act1Sc1 (Evil, supernatural)
‘O valiant cousin! Worthy gentleman!’-King Duncan
Good, courageous friend-Act1Sc2 (nobility, courage, loyalty, bravery)
‘What are these, so withered and so wild in their attire’-Banquo
What are these creatures? They’re so withered-looking and crazily dressed-Act1Sc3 (supernatural)
‘Live you?’-Banquo
Are you alive?-Act1Sc3 (supernatural)
‘All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!’-Third Witch
All hail, Macbeth, the future king!-Act1Sc3 (ambition)
‘Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none’-Third Witch [to Banquo]
You will not be a king but your children will-Act1Sc3 (conflict)

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