Macbeth Quotes Analysis

1. Banquo says: Thou hast it now—King, Cawdor, Glamis, all/ As the weird women promised, and I fear/ Thou played’st most foully, for’t.

Literal Interpretation: Banquo: He has achieved all three statues (ranks) that the witches prophesised. Thane of Glamis, then Thane of Cawdor, and now King of Scotland. (And Banquo, perhaps begins to assume that Macbeth didn’t come by the throne because of his good deeds, but by the killing of Duncan.)

Symbolic/Thematic Interpretation: As far as theme and symbolism go for this portion, Banquo’s new awareness of the witches prophecy and the truth it brought forward will bring next to mind his own prophecy from the witches, in which he is greater than Macbeth and lesser, and although he will not be a king his offspring will.

2.Macbeth says: They hailed him father to a line of kings./ Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown/ And put a barren scepter in my grip

Literal Interpretation: Duncan was the father of princes (Donalbain and Malcolm) who will become kings in their own right (and himself from a line of kings). While Macbeth, knowing the meaning of the prophecy, himslef will never have sons to pass the throne onto.

Symbolic/Thematic Interpretation:

3. Lady Macbeth says: Naught’s had, all’s spent,/ Where our desire is got without content./ ‘Tis safer to be that which we destroy/ Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.

Literal Interpretation:

Symbolic/Thematic Interpretation:

4.Macbeth says: Better be with thee,/ Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent peace,/ Than on the torture of the mind to lie/ In restless ecstasy.

Literal Interpretation:

Symbolic/Thematic Interpretation:

5. Macbeth says: I am in blood/ Stepped so far that, should I wade no more,/ Returning were as tedious as go o’er.

Literal Interpretation:

Symbolic/Thematic Interpretation:

 

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