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Quotes

Quote #7

MACBETH There's comfort yet; they are assailable; Then be thou jocund: ere the bat hath flown His cloister'd flight, ere to black Hecate's summons The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums Hath rung night's yawning peal, there shall be done A deed of dreadful note. (3.2.4)

Hmm. It sounds like somebody's channeling the witches. When Macbeth talks about his plans for the murder of Banquo and Fleance, he starts sound a lot like the weird sisters. What's that all about?

Quote #8

HECATE Have I not reason, beldams as you are, Saucy and overbold? How did you dare To trade and traffic with Macbeth In riddles and affairs of death; And I, the mistress of your charms, The close contriver of all harms, Was never call'd to bear my part, Or show the glory of our art? And, which is worse, all you have done Hath been but for a wayward son, Spiteful and wrathful, who, as others do, Loves for his own ends, not for you. (3.5.1)

Even witches have to follow orders. In a way, the witches' disobedience seems like a parallel to the way Macbeth, "the wayward son," is insubordinate to King Duncan. The "supernatural" still has rules and hierarchy; what Macbeth is doing is unnatural, inverting the natural order of king and lord.

Quote #9

ALL Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble. (4.1.1)

And… this is maybe the most famous line in Macbeth. Here, they make all of Scotland sound like some nasty brew that they're whipping up over their fire. But if that's the case—then why does good triumph at the end?

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