The Supernatural Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
BANQUO If you can look into the seeds of time, And say which grain will grow and which will not, Speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear Your favours nor your hate. (1.3.2)
Let's assume that the witches are actually supernatural beings. (Just go with it.) Banquo is showing us how to approach the supernatural: very carefully. He doesn't want any favors from them, and he's not afraid of ticking them off. Although, considering how they feel about chestnuts, maybe he should be a little more cautious.
BANQUO Were such things here as we do speak about? Or have we eaten on the insane root That takes the reason prisoner? (1.3.3)
Translation: "Are we tripping?" (We would insert a cautionary PSA about saying "No" to drugs, but we think Macbeth is a pretty good cautionary tale on its own.)
LADY MACBETH […] The raven himself is hoarse That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan Under my battlements. Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood; Stop up the access and passage to remorse, That no compunctious visitings of nature Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between The effect and it! Come to my woman's breasts, And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers, Wherever in your sightless substances You wait on nature's mischief! Come, thick night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark, To cry 'Hold, hold!' (1.5.3)
Does Lady Macbeth actually believe she's calling on spirits? In other words, is she herself a witch of some kind? Or is this all just a metaphor for evil thoughts? It matters, because it affects how we read her madness at the end. Is she being driven crazy by these spirits, or is she having a psychotic break from realizing how awful her actions were?