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Macbeth Ambition Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line) from the Folger Shakespeare Library

Quote #10

She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
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!
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. (5.5.20-31)

In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. Or something along those lines. Here, Macbeth is realizing that all his striving was literally useless: Malcolm is going to be king; he himself is about to die; and his wife is gone. (So much for her ambition, too.) But if there's nothing to be gained, then what's the point of living at all? Macbeth doesn't leave us with much of answer. Are we just supposed to live our lives hopelessly until we die? Or is there a nobler way of putting up with life's ultimate futility?

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