In Macbeth, please cite some quotes that show Macbeth's situation at the end of the play.

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robertwilliam's profile pic

robertwilliam | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Macbeth has gambled with fate, and lost. He played the game of the prophecies, believed that they would come true, and put his neck on the line. He is left with nothing, as he outlines in Act 5, no "troops of friends", no "honour", no "love". Life has lost its meaning.

Moreover, nothing can horrify him any more - he has become numb to suffering and fear:

I have supp'd full with horrors;
Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts,
Cannot once start me.

Macbeth is trapped in his castle, waiting for death to come to him. He has no fight left - but he knows he is going to be forced to fight:

They have tied me to a stake; I cannot fly,
But bear-like I must fight the course.

All he believes is the prophecies - they are the only truth left, now that his wife and all of his honour are gone. It's a very nihilistic world. And then, at the last, he renounces the witches too:

And be these juggling fiends no more believed,
That palter with us in a double sense...

All that's left for him in the world is death.

troutmiller's profile pic

troutmiller | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

A messenger comes to warn Macbeth about the army carrying limbs and branches of trees as they make their way to the castle.  "Within this three mile may you see it coming;
I say, a moving grove."  Macbeth realizes this is one of the apparitions coming true.

Macbeth says:

They have tied me to a stake; I cannot fly,
But, bear-like, I must fight the course. What's he
That was not born of woman? Such a one
Am I to fear, or none.

And let the angel whom thou still hast served
Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother's womb
Untimely ripp'd.

Macbeth is shocked and knows that he will be defeated. Soon after, he is beheaded and Malcolm receives his rightful crown.

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