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by William Shakespeare

Macbeth Versions of Reality Quotes

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

Quote #4

Your face, my Thane, is as a book where men
May read strange matters. To beguile the time,
Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye,
Your hand, your tongue; look like th' innocent
But be the serpent under't. (1.5.73-78)

Whenever flowers and serpents come into it, we're ready to suspect Eve and that pesky snake. And sure enough, here's a woman convincing a man to share in her own, nasty little vision of the way things should be.

Quote #5

See, see, our honour'd hostess!—
The love that follows us sometime is our trouble,
Which still we thank as love. […]
                                    Fair and noble hostess,
We are your guest to-night. (1.6.13-15;30-31)

Hope you have your highlighters handy, fair Shmoopers: whenever you see the word "fair," it's a good bet you'll want to uncap them. Since we already know that "fair is foul," Duncan's attempted compliment comes with a big helping of dramatic irony.

Quote #6

                            I am settled and bend up
Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.
Away, and mock the time with fairest show.
False face must hide what the false heart doth
   know. (1.7.92-96)

Macbeth is starting to get the hang of this whole deception thing: he's calling on his entire body ("each corporal agent") to help him out, telling his "false face" to hide the treachery of his "false heart."

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