Some important quotes from ‘Macbeth’ Act 1

Be sure that you know and understand each of these quotations.


First Witch – Second and Third Witch

‘When shall we three meet again

In thunder, lightning, or in rain?’


All three witches

‘Fair is foul, and foul is fair’


Sergeant – Duncan

‘but all’s too weak;

For brave Macbeth, – well he deserves that name, –

Disdaining fortune, with his brandish’d steel,

Which smok’d with bloody execution,

Like valour’s minion carv’d out his passage

Till he fac’d the slave.’


Ross – Duncan

‘Assisted by that most disloyal traitor,

The Thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict;

Till that Bellona’s bridegroom, lapp’d in proof,

Confronted him with self-comparisons’


Duncan – Ross

‘No more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceive

Our bosom interest. Go pronounce his present death,

And with his former title greet Macbeth.’


Macbeth – Banquo

‘So foul and fair a day I have not seen.’


Banquo – Macbeth

‘And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,

The instruments of darkness tell us truths’


Macbeth – aside

‘This supernatural soliciting

Cannot be ill, cannot be good. . .

. . . and nothing is

But what is not.’


Macbeth – Banquo

‘At more time,

The interim having weigh’d it, let us speak

Our free hearts each to other.’


Duncan – Malcom

‘There’s no art

To find the mind’s construction in the face.’


Duncan – court

‘We will establish our estate upon

Our eldest, Malcolm, whom we name hereafter

The Prince of Cumberland.’


Macbeth – aside

‘The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step

On which I must fall down, or else o’er-leap,

For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires!

Let not light see my black and deep desires’


Lady Macbeth – soliloquy

Yet I do fear thy nature;

It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness

To catch the nearest way; thou wouldst be great,

Art not without ambition, but without

The illness should attend it.’


Lady Macbeth – soliloquy

‘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.’


Lady Macbeth – Macbeth

‘Look like the innocent flower,

But be the serpent under’t.’


Duncan – Lady Macbeth

‘Fair and noble hostess,

We are your guest tonight.’


Macbeth – soliloquy

‘If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well

It were done quickly; if the assassination

Could tramme up the consequence, and catch

With his surcease success; that but this blow

Might be the be-all and the end-all here . . .

. . . I have no spur

To prick the sides of my intent, but only

Vaulting ambition, which o’er-leaps itself

And falls on the other.’


Macbeth – Lady Macbeth

‘We will proceed no further in this business:

He hath honour’d me of late; and I have bought

Golden opinions from all sorts of people,

Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,

Not cast aside so soon.’


Lady Macbeth – Macbeth

‘Was the hope drunk,

Wherein you dress’d yourself? Hath it slept since,

And wakes it now, to look so green and pale

At what it did so freely? . . .

. . . Letting ‘I dare not’ wait upon ‘I would’,

Like the poor cat i’ the adage?’


Macbeth – Lady Macbeth

‘I dare do all that may become a man;

Who dares do more is none.’


Lady Macbeth – Macbeth

‘I have given suck, and know

How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me:

I would, while it was smiling in my face,

Have pluck’d my nipple from his boneless gums,

And dash’d the brains out, had I so sworn as you

Have done to this.’


Lady Macbeth – Macbeth

‘But screw your courage to the sticking-place,

And we’ll not fail.’


Macbeth – Lady Macbeth

‘Bring forth men-children only;

For thy undaunted mettle should compose

Nothing but males.’


Macbeth – Lady Macbeth

‘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.’

4 thoughts on “Some important quotes from ‘Macbeth’ Act 1”

  1. Thanks Mrs Meighan for publishing these ‘Macbeth’ quotes. Should be a great tool for the fifth years as they study and revise the play.

  2. Hi everybody,
    I think Macbeth is a complex character and I find him intriguing. I really injoyed Act 1. I have to go study bye! 😉

  3. Thank you Sean! You are right, Macbeth is an intriguing character – can you elaborate on this any further? What exactly is it about him that makes him so fascinating?
    Best of luck with the study!

  4. I think the website is a great idea and it really helps when learning and understanding important quotes . I think that it really helped before the tests in the character based question because the key quotes help the ideas that we learned in class . Thanks very much for putting up this great resource 🙂

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