Macbeth’s soliloquies and asides

Here is a guide to some of the important soliloquies in ‘Macbeth’, spoken by the protagonist himself.

Act I Scene 3 Line 128
The witches have just made their predictions and Ross and Angus have brought news of his new title of Thane of Cawdor. The attractions of ‘the imperial theme’ begin to unsettle Macbeth. His latent ambition is evident.

Act I Scene 4 Line 48
In this aside, Macbeth is aware of the evil nature of his desires, ‘my black and deep desires’, yet he avoids accepting moral responsibility for what he plans.

Act I Scene 7 Line 1
Macbeth’s better judgement seems to prevail and he realises the folly of murdering the virtuous Duncan. Lady Macbeth’s arrival just as he finishes is a key moment in the plot.

Act II Scene 1 Line 33
A dagger points the way to Duncan’s chamber. Macbeth is intent on murder, his mind is made up. His moral sense has become corrupted.

Act III Scene 1 Line 48
Though acknowledging the immorality of what has happened, Macbeth now determines to shape his future and challenge fate. Banquo must die. The tyrant in him is emerging.

Act IV Scene 1 Line 144
In the immediate aftermath of his second encounter with the witches, Macbeth feels he must act impulsively from this point on and the first to suffer will be Macduff’s clann.

Act V Scene 3 Line 20
The emptiness of Macbeth’s life is the subject of this speech. He has thrown away his soul for nothing.

Act V Scene 5 Line 9
Lady Macbeth’s piercing death cry does not startle Macbeth. He is numbed and has lost all human feeling.

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