Shakespeare's Macbeth

Visual/Verbal Collage

Theme Statement

Hubris (excessive pride and ambition) ultimately leads to one's complete desecration of character, reason, and happiness.

Quote 1


Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be

What thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature;

It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness

To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great,

Art not without ambition, but without

The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst highly,

That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false,

And yet wouldst wrongly win. Thou'ld’st have, great Glamis,

That which cries, “Thus thou must do,” if thou have it,

And that which rather thou dost fear to do,

Than wishest should be undone. (Lady Macbeth, 1.5.15-25)

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Quote 2

...I have no spur

To prick the sides of my intent, but only

Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself

And falls on th' other. (Macbeth, 1.7.25-28)

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Quote 3

Is this a dagger which I see before me,

The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.

I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.

Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible

To feeling as to sight? Or art thou but

A dagger of the mind, a false creation,

Proceeding from the heat-oppressèd brain?

I see thee yet, in form as palpable

As this which now I draw.

Thou marshall’st me the way that I was going,

And such an instrument I was to use.

Mine eyes are made the fools o' th' other senses,

Or else worth all the rest. I see thee still,

And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,

Which was not so before. There’s no such thing.

It is the bloody business which informs

Thus to mine eyes. (Macbeth, 2.1.33-49)

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Quote 4


'Gainst nature still!

Thriftless ambition, that will raven up

Thine own lives' means! (Ross, 2.4.27-29)

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Quote 5

Naught’s had, all’s spent,

Where our desire is got without content.

'Tis safer to be that which we destroy

Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy. (Lady Macbeth, 3.2.4-7)

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Quote 6

For mine own good,

All causes shall give way. I am in blood

Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,

Returning were as tedious as go o'er. (Macbeth, 3.4.134-137)

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