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Macbeth The Supernatural Quotes

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

Quote #4

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 favors nor your hate. (1.3.61-64)

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.

Quote #5

Were such things here as we do speak about?
Or have we eaten on the insane root
That takes the reason prisoner? (1.3.86-88)

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.)

Quote #6


[…] 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 th' access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
Th' 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!" (1.5.45-61)

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?

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