English: Macbeth Act II Quotes

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  1. Hold, take my sword. There's husbandry in
    Their candles are all out. Take thee that too.
    A heavy summons lies like lead upon me,
    And yet I would not sleep: merciful powers,
    Restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature
    Gives way to in repose!
    • Banquo to Fleance
    • Banquo is giving Fleance his sword because he feels guilty about knowing the prophecy. He thinks that maybe he wasn't supposed to know about it and by giving Fleance the sword, he's trying to protect him.
  2. What, sir, not yet at rest? The king's a-bed:
    He hath been in unusual pleasure, and
    Sent forth great largess to your offices.
    This diamond he greets your wife withal,
    By the name of most kind hostess; and shut up
    In measureless content.
    • Banquo to Macbeth
    • This is ironic because Banquo tells Macbeth that Duncan has given them gifts and he gave Lady Macbeth a diamond
  3. All's well.
    I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters:
    To you they have show'd some truth.
    • Banquo to Macbeth
    • Banquo is saying that he's been worried about the witches and prophecies.
  4. I think not of them:
    Yet, when we can entreat an hour to serve,
    We would spend it in some words upon that business,
    If you would grant the time.
    • Macbeth to Banquo
    • Macbeth lies to Banquo and says that he never thinks about the prophecies. In reality that's all he can think about.
  5. So I lose none
    In seeking to augment it, but still keep
    My bosom franchised and allegiance clear,
    I shall be counsell'd.
    • Banquo to Macbeth
    • Banquo tells Macbeth that if he ever needs anything, he can come to him.
  6. Is this a dagger which I see before me,
    The 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-oppressed brain?
    I see thee yet, in form as palpable
    As this which now I draw.
    • Macbeth to Himself
    • Macbeth is seeing a dagger lay before him because he's hallucinating
  7. Now o'er the one halfworld
    Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse
    The curtain'd sleep; witchcraft celebrates
    Pale Hecate's offerings, and wither'd murder,
    Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf,
    Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace.
    With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design
    Macbeth to Himself

    • Macbeth describes the world with an eerie sense by saying:
    • Nature is dead
    • Witches
    • Wolves
    • Bad Weather
    • People cannot sleep
  8. Moves like a ghost. Thou sure and firm-set
    Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear
    Thy very stones prate of my whereabout,
    And take the present horror from the time,
    Which now suits with it. Whiles I threat, he lives:
    Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives
    I go, and it is done; the bell invites me.
    Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell
    That summons thee to heaven or to hell.
    Macbeth to Himself

    (Literal meaning) He commands to the ground to be firm so his footsteps are silent

    (Figurative meaning) He commands the ground to level him out and keep him steady through his decision in killing Duncan.
  9. That which hath made them drunk hath made me
    What hath quench'd them hath given me fire.
    Hark! Peace!
    It was the owl that shriek'd, the fatal bellman,
    Which gives the stern'st good-night. He is about it:
    The doors are open; and the surfeited grooms
    Do mock their charge with snores: I have drugg'd
    their possets,
    That death and nature do contend about them,
    Whether they live or die.
    • Lady Macbeth to Herself
    • Lady Macbeth hopes Macbeth will act bold because she acted bold during the plan. She doesn't want him to back out of the plan in killing Duncan.
  10. Alack, I am afraid they have awaked,
    And 'tis not done. The attempt and not the deed
    Confounds us. Hark! I laid their daggers ready;
    He could not miss 'em. Had he not resembled
    My father as he slept, I had done't.
    • Lady Macbeth to Herself
    • Lady Macbeth reveals that she is actually womanly when she says that Duncan resembled her father and because of that she couldn't kill him.
  11. A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.
    • Lady Macbeth to Macbeth
    • Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth not feel guilty about Duncan's death because this is exactly what they wanted.
  12. There's one did laugh in's sleep, and one
    That they did wake each other: I stood and heard them:
    But they did say their prayers, and address'd them
    Again to sleep.
    • Macbeth to Lady Macbeth
    • This is the first signs of Macbeth losing his mind. He's hearing things from the next room that aren't real.
  13. One cried 'God bless us!' and 'Amen' the
    As they had seen me with these hangman's hands.
    Listening their fear, I could not say 'Amen,'
    When they did say 'God bless us!'
    • Macbeth to Lady Macbeth
    • This is the second sign of Macbeth losing his mind. He tells Lady Macbeth that the people next door were saying prayers to try and go to sleep. He claims that the prayers were stuck in his throat and he couldn't say them because he killed Duncan.
  14. These deeds must not be thought
    After these ways; so, it will make us mad.
    • Lady Macbeth to Macbeth
    • Lady Macbeth makes the suggestion of not talking about the killing of Duncan anymore because they'll eventually go crazy.
  15. Me thought I heard a voice cry 'Sleep no more!
    Macbeth does murder sleep', the innocent sleep,
    Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleeve of care,
    The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,
    Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
    Chief nourisher in life's feast,--
    • Macbeth to Lady Macbeth
    • Macbeth continues to talk anyway about the killing of Duncan. He says that he's cursed now and will never be able to sleep again because he killed Duncan in his sleep when he was defenseless.
  16. Still it cried 'Sleep no more!' to all the
    'Glamis hath murder'd sleep, and therefore Cawdor
    Shall sleep no more; Macbeth shall sleep no more.'
    • Macbeth to Lady Macbeth
    • Macbeth continues to tell Lady Macbeth that he's cursed and will never be able to sleep again.
  17. Who was it that thus cried? Why, worthy thane,
    You do unbend your noble strength, to think
    So brainsickly of things. Go get some water,
    And wash this filthy witness from your hand.
    Why did you bring these daggers from the place?
    They must lie there: go carry them; and smear
    The sleepy grooms with blood.
    • Lady Macbeth to Macbeth
    • Lady Macbeth is mad at Macbeth because he didn't follow the plan. He came out with the daggers and didn't smear the blood on the guards. She tells him to go back and put the daggers near the guards.
  18. I'll go no more:
    I am afraid to think what I have done;
    Look on't again I dare not.
    • Macbeth to Lady Macbeth
    • Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth that he will not go back to the scene of the crime because he's afraid of Duncan's ghost.
  19. Infirm of purpose!
    Give me the daggers: the sleeping and the dead
    Are but as pictures: 'tis the eye of childhood
    That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed,
    I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal;
    For it must seem their guilt.
    • Lady Macbeth to Macbeth
    • Lady Macbeth tells him that ghosts aren't real. She decides to take the daggers and finish the plan herself.
  20. Whence is that knocking?
    How is't with me, when every noise appals me?
    What hands are here? ha! they pluck out mine eyes.
    Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
    Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
    The multitudinous seas in incarnadine,
    Making the green one red.
    • Macbeth to Himself
    • Macbeth is going crazy he says that he can't wash off the blood from his hand just like he can't get rid of the guilt eating him up alive.
  21. My hands are of your colour; but I shame
    To wear a heart so white
    I hear a knocking
    At the south entry: retire we to our chamber;
    A little water clears us of this deed:
    How easy is it, then! Your constancy
    Hath left you unattended.
    • Lady Macbeth to Macbeth
    • Lady Macbeth says that a little water will and they should remain calm.
  22. Here's a knocking indeed! If a
    man were porter of hell-gate, he should have
    old turning the key.
    knock, knock! Who's there, i' the name of
    Beelzebub? Here's a farmer, that hanged
    himself on the expectation of plenty: come in
    time; have napkins enow about you; here
    you'll sweat for't.
    • Porter
    • Porter holds the key to the castle and says that he should also be the keeper of Hell. This is ironic because the Macbeth's castle is like Hell now because he killed Duncan.
  23. Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and
    urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes;
    it provokes the desire, but it takes
    away the performance: therefore, much drink
    may be said to be an equivocator with lechery:
    it makes him, and it mars him; it sets
    him on, and it takes him off; it persuades him,
    and disheartens him; makes him stand to, and
    not stand to; in conclusion, equivocates him
    in a sleep, and, giving him the lie, leaves him.
    • Porter to Macduff
    • Porter who is brought in for comic relief is drunk. This is ironic because someone who holds such a powerful position would normally be sober. He says three things happen when you're drunk. Sleep, urine, and lechery.
  24. The night has been unruly: where we lay,
    Our chimneys were blown down; and, as they say,
    Lamentings heard i' the air; strange screams of death,
    And prophesying with accents terrible
    Of dire combustion and confused events
    New hatch'd to the woeful time: the obscure bird
    Clamour'd the livelong night: some say, the earth
    Was feverous and did shake.
    • Lennox to Macbeth
    • Lennox tells Macbeth how disordered nature is right now and this represents the unnatural events occurring within the castle.
  25. O gentle lady,
    'Tis not for you to hear what I can speak:
    The repetition, in a woman's ear,
    Would murder as it fell.
    • Macduff to Lady Macbeth
    • This is ironic because Macduff is telling Lady Macbeth that would not be able to handle the information of Duncan being killed, but she was actually involved in the killing
  26. Had I but died an hour before this chance,
    I had lived a blessed time; for, from this instant,
    There 's nothing serious in mortality:
    All is but toys: renown and grace is dead;
    The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
    Is left this vault to brag of.
    • Macbeth
    • Macbeth says that if he would've died before Duncan he could've remained loyal to him and he would feel like life is actually worth living.
  27. Those of his chamber, as it seem'd, had done
    Their hands and faces were an badged with blood;
    So were their daggers, which unwiped we found
    Upon their pillows:
    They stared, and were distracted; no man's life
    Was to be trusted with them.
    • Lennox to Macbeth
    • Lennox recaps what he saw in the chamber and says that it looked like the guards had killed Duncan.
  28. Who can be wise, amazed, temperate and
    Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man:
    The expedition my violent love
    Outrun the pauser, reason. Here lay Duncan,
    His silver skin laced with his golden blood;
    And his gash'd stabs look'd like a breach in nature
    For ruin's wasteful entrance: there, the murderers,
    Steep'd in the colours of their trade, their daggers
    Unmannerly breech'd with gore: who could refrain,
    That had a heart to love, and in that heart
    Courage to make 's love known?

    • Macbeth killing the guards:
    • Gives him outraged patriotism
    • Takes away the fact that him and his wife could be witnesses
  29. Why do we hold our tongues,
    That most may claim this argument for ours?
    • Malcom to Donalbain
    • Malcom says that they should just run away because they could be the next ones killed.
  30. What should be spoken
    where our fate,
    Hid in an auger-hole, may rush, and seize us?
    Let 's away;
    Our tears are not yet brew'd
    • Donalbain to Malcom
    • Donalbain tells him that they can't run away because it'll look like they're the ones who killed their father
  31. And
    when we have our naked frailties hid,
    That suffer in exposure, let us meet,
    And question this most bloody piece of work,
    To know it further. Fears and scruples shake us:
    In the great hand of God I stand; and thence
    Against the undivulged pretence I fight
    Of treasonous malice.
    • Banquo to Macduff
    • Banquo doesn't accuse Macbeth, but he looks to God for guidance. This foreshadows that he's actually suspicious of Macbeth.
  32. What will you do?
    Let's not consort with them:
    To show an unfelt sorrow is an office
    Which the false man does easy. I'll to England
    • Malcom to Donalbain
    • Malcom will run away to England.
  33. To Ireland, I; our separated fortune
    Shall keep us both the safer: where we are,
    There's daggers in men's smiles: the near in blood,
    The nearer bloody.
    • Donalbain to Malcom
    • Donalbain decides to go to Ireland and he says that he feels like someone in the family, maybe Macbeth, is the killer
  34. Ah, good father,
    Thou seest, the heavens, as troubled with man's act,
    Threaten his bloody stage: by the clock, 'tis day,
    And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp:
    Is't night's predominance, or the day's shame,
    That darkness does the face of earth entomb,
    When living light should kiss it?
    • Ross to the Old Man
    • Ross tells the Old Man about his image of entombing the earth. This foreshadows more darkness to come within the play
  35. They were suborn'd:
    Malcolm and Donalbain, the king's two sons,
    Are stol'n away and fled; which puts upon them
    Suspicion of the deed.
    • Macduff to Ross
    • Macduff says that Malcom and Donalbain look extremely suspicious now because they ran away.
  36. 'Gainst nature still!
    Thriftless ambition, that wilt ravin up
    Thine own life's means! Then 'tis most like
    The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.
    • Ross to Macduff
    • Ross tells Macduff that Macbeth will be crowned as king and Macduff doesn't support this
  37. That would make good of bad, and friends of
    • Old Man
    • The Old Man gives advice to Macduff to watch out for Macbeth
Card Set
English: Macbeth Act II Quotes
Must know the speaker listener and the interpretation of each quote
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