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Macbeth Time Quotes

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

Quote #7

                       Boundless intemperance
In nature is a tyranny. It hath been
The untimely emptying of the happy throne
And fall of many kings. (4.3.80-83)

Note that the problem isn't the king's death—it's that the king's death was "untimely," thanks to Macbeth's boundless intemperance. In other words, Macbeth simply didn't have the patience. Maybe if he'd waited he would have become king in due time—and not at the wrong time.

Quote #8

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. (5.5.20-26)

You can interpret this speech six ways to Sunday, but it seems pretty clear that, however he feels about his wife, Macbeth is pretty sure that he no longer has a future.

Quote #9

                           Despair thy charm,
And let the angel whom thou still hast served
Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother's womb
Untimely ripped. (5.8.17-20)

Hey, "untimely"! We just saw it in the "untimely emptying of the happy throne" (4.3.7), so there's definitely something going on with that word. Is an untimely birth the only antidote to an untimely death?

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