Macbeth - Memorable lines

Four tragedies - Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Othello, the Moor of Venice, Macbeth and King Lear - David Bevington and David Scott Kastan 1988, 2005

Memorable lines


FIRST WITCH When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

SECOND WITCH When the hurlyburly’s done, When the battle’s lost and won.


Fair is foul, and foul is fair.

Hover through the fog and filthy air.

(WITCHES 1.1.11—12)

So foul and fair a day I have not seen.

(MACBETH 1.3.38)

… oftentimes to win us to our harm

The instruments of darkness tell us truths,

Win us with honest trifles, to betray ’s

In deepest consequence.

(BANQUO 1.3.123—6)

Two truths are told,

As happy prologues to the swelling act

Of the imperial theme.

(MACBETH 1.3.128—30)

This supernatural soliciting

Cannot be ill, cannot be good.

(MACBETH 1.3.131—2)

Nothing in his life Became him like the leaving it.

(MALCOLM 1.4.7—8)

Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o’th’ milk of human kindness

To catch the nearest way.

(LADY MACBETH 1.5.16—18)

Thou wouldst be great, Art not without ambition, but without

The illness should attend it.

(LADY MACBETH 1.5.18—20)

The raven himself is hoarse That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan

Under my battlements.

(LADY MACBETH 1.5.38—40)

Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here …

(LADY MACBETH 1.5.40—1)

If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well

It were done quickly.

(MACBETH 1.7.1—2)

… that but this blow Might be the be-all and the end-all!

(MACBETH 1.7.4—5)

Letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would,”

Like the poor cat i’th’ adage?

(LADY MACBETH 1.7.45—6)

We fail?

But screw your courage to the sticking place

And we’ll not fail.

(LADY MACBETH 1.7.60—2)

Bring forth men-children only!

(MACBETH 1.7.73)

False face must hide what the false heart doth know.

(MACBETH 1.7.83)

Is this a dagger which I see before me,

The handle toward my hand?

(MACBETH 2.1.34—5)

The bell invites me. Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell

That summons thee to heaven or to hell.

(MACBETH 2.1.63—5)

Had he not resembled My father as he slept, I had done’t.

(LADY MACBETH 2.2.12—13)

Methought I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more!

Macbeth does murder sleep,” the innocent sleep,

Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care …

(MACBETH 2.2.39—41)

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.

(MACBETH 2.2.64—7)

What’s done is done.


We have scorched the snake, not killed it.

(MACBETH 3.2.15)

Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck,

Till thou applaud the deed.

(MACBETH 3.2.48—9)

Come, seeling night, Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day.

(MACBETH 3.2.49—50)

… I am cabined, cribbed, confined, bound in

To saucy doubts and fears.

(MACBETH 3.4.24—5)

It will have blood, they say; blood will have blood.

Stones have been known to move, and trees to speak.

(MACBETH 3.4.123—4)

Double, double, toil and trouble;

Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

(WITCHES 4.1.10—11)

Eye of newt and toe of frog,

Wool of bat and tongue of dog …

(SECOND WITCH 4.1.14—15)

How now, you secret, black, and midnight hags?

(MACBETH 4.1.48)

Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn

The power of man, for none of woman born

Shall harm Macbeth.


Macbeth shall never vanquished be until

Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill

Shall come against him.


Saw you the Weird Sisters?

(MACBETH 4.1.136)

Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell.

(MALCOLM 4.3.23)

What, all my pretty chickens and their dam

At one fell swoop?

(MACDUFF 4.3.219—20)

Out, damned spot! Out, I say!


All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.

(LADY MACBETH 5.1.50—2)

Thou lily-livered boy.

(MACBETH 5.3.15)

I have lived long enough. My way of life

Is fall’n into the sere, the yellow leaf.

(MACBETH 5.3.22—3)

Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased …

(MACBETH 5.3.42)

Therein the patient Must minister to himself.

(DOCTOR 5.3.47—8)

I have supped full with horrors.

(MACBETH 5.5.13)

She should have died hereafter;

There would have been a time for such a word.

(MACBETH 5.5.17—18)

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!

(MACBETH 5.5.19—23)

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.

(MACBETH 5.5.24—8)

Lay on, Macduff, And damned be him that first cries, “Hold, enough!”

(MACBETH 5.8.33—4)

The time is free.

(MACDUFF 5.8.55)