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I need explanation of this quoteSeyton—I am sick at heart, When I behold—Seyton, I...

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hni | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted October 11, 2011 at 2:06 PM via web

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I need explanation of this quote

Seyton—I am sick at heart, When I behold—Seyton, I say!—This push Will cheer me ever or disseat me now. I have lived long enough. My way of life(25) Is fall'n into the sear, the yellow leaf, And that which should accompany old age, As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends, I must not look to have; but, in their stead, Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honor, breath,(30) Which the poor heart. would fain deny and dare not

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arkaless | College Teacher | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted October 11, 2011 at 7:26 PM (Answer #1)

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Seyton!--I am sick at heart,
When I behold--Seyton, I say!--This push
Will cheer me ever, or disseat me now.
I have lived long enough: my way of life
Is fall'n into the sear, the yellow leaf;
And that which should accompany old age,
As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have; but, in their stead,
Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honour, breath,
Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not. Seyton!

These are the lines spoken by Macbeth in act 5 scene 3. Macbeth addresses Seyton to ventilate the burden of his heart as the English brigade led by Malcolm march towards the Dunsinane castle. The quoted lines betray Macbeth's sense of bitterness and disillusion.The battle ahead would be an either or event for him: either he would get a boosting by winning over his challengers or he would be thrown out of power. A sense of tragic desolation seems to have overtaken him. He resorts to the imagery of withering and degeneration(the sear, the yellow leaf) typical of late autumn as Macbeth imagines to have fallen into an autumnal i.e. terminal state of life. Since he has chosen to condemn himself, he would not be entitled to those natural things of life(honour, love, obedience, troops of friends) as expected by a man in his old age. On the contrary, Macbeth would be receiving deep curses from others, people only showing him an appearance of honour and respect.

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