How we cite our quotes:
MACBETH She should have died hereafter; There would have been a time for such a word. To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, 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. (5.5.2)
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?