Quotes

Macbeth/#1/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Yes, as sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion, if I say sooth.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 2, Line 39.Captain to King Duncan. A wounded Captain, returning from the “violence in the Western Isles” has told Duncan of Macbeth’s heroics on the battlefield. But he quickly adds, “The Norwegians began a fresh assault.” Duncan asks “Did not this dismay our captains, Macbeth and Banquo?” The Captain answers with this quote, saying they were about as dismayed by the Norwegians as eagles are of sparrows or a lion is of a hare.

Macbeth/#2/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Oftentimes, to win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness tell us truths,
to betray us in deepest consequence.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 3, Lines 135-138.  Banquo to Macbeth.  The three witches (The Weird Sisters) greet the two soldiers and tell Macbeth (now the Thane of Glamis) that he will also be named the Thane of Cawdor and that he will become king. The witches tell Banquo that “his children shall be kings.” Ross and Angus, two Scottish noblemen, enter and confirm to Macbeth that as a result of his military valor the king has also named him the Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth quickly comes to believe the witches’ prophecies; Banquo remains suspect, offering this quote.

Macbeth/#3/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “The causes of present fears are less than horrible imaginings.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 3, Lines 150-151. Macbeth to himself.  Thinking of the witches, Macbeth says “This supernatural soliciting cannot be ill, cannot be good.” He continues, saying “If ill, why does it begin with truth? If good, why doth my hair stand on end and my heart knock at my ribs?”

Macbeth/#4/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Come what come may, time and hour runs through the roughest day.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 3, Lines 163-164.  Macbeth to himself.  Macbeth’s mind is racing. He decides that “if chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me without my taking action.” He wants to believe that what the witches told him will come to be. He believes in the witches. He offers this quote.

Macbeth/#5/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Let not light see my black and deep desires.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 4, Line 58.
Macbeth to himself.  King Duncan has just told Macbeth and others that Malcolm, the king’s older son, is heir to Scotland’s throne. To himself, Macbeth says “That is a step on which I must fall down or o’erleap, for in my way it lies.”

Macbeth/#6/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Thy nature is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness to take the direct’st
way.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 5, Lines 17-18.  Lady Macbeth to herself.  Lady Macbeth has just read Macbeth’s letter that tells her of the witches’ prophecies. Speaking of her husband, she offers this quote. She, speaking of her husband, says “Thou art not without ambition, but without the ruthlessness that should attend it.”

Macbeth/#7/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “O, never shall sun that morrow see.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 5, Lines 71-72.  Lady Macbeth to herself.  Lady Macbeth has been told that King Duncan does plan to spend the night with them at their castle at Inverness. Macbeth had told her that the king planned to stay with them one night. Her ambitious mind works quickly. She offers this quote, suggesting that King Duncan shall not see the next day’s sun.

Macbeth/#8/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Look like th’ innocent flower, but be the serpent under ‘t.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 5, Lines 76-78.  Lady Macbeth to Macbeth.  Her plans are to see that King Duncan is murdered the night he visits the Macbeths in their castle at Inverness. She says to him “Your face, my thane, is as a book where men may read strange matters. Bear welcome in your eye, your hand, your tongue.” She then offers her husband this quote.

Macbeth/#9/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “If it were done when ‘tis done, then ‘twere well it were done quickly.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 7, Lines 1-2.
Macbeth to himself.  Macbeth has a long talk with himself over the frightening issues that would be associated with the murder of the king. This quote is one of his thoughts. Weighing the issues, he decides that he “will proceed no further in this business.” But that’s before he has a talk with his wife about it.

Macbeth/#10/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “He’s here in double trust.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 7, Line 12.
Macbeth to himself.  Macbeth is tormented by the thought of murdering King Duncan. He says “First, being his kinsman and his subject argue against the deed; then, as his host, I should shut the door against his murderer, not bear the knife myself.” Fair enough.