Select four passages that, in your view, represent Shakespeare's ability to stimulate people’s imaginations and appeal to their senses.The quotations must provide excellent examples of imagery.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Here are four passages from "Macbeth" that are replete with imagery:

  1. Double, double, toil and trouble;/Fire burn and caldron bubble./Fillet of a fenny snake,/In the caldron boil and bake;/Eye of newt and toe of frog,/Wool of bat and tongue of dog,/Adder's fork and blindworm's sting,/Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,/For a charm of pow'rful trouble,/Like a hell-broth boil and bubble./Double, double, toil and trouble/Fire burn and caldron bubble. (IV, i, 10-21)
  2. Thou art too like the spirit of Banquo.  Down!/Thy crown does sear mine eyelids.  And thy hair,/Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the first./A third is like the former.  Filthy hags!/Why do you show me this?  A fourth! Start, eyes!/What will the line stretch out to th' crack of doom?/Another yet! a seventh!  I'llsee no more./And yet the eighth appears, who bears a glass/Which shows me many more; and some I see/That twofold balls and treble scepters carry:/Horrible sight! Now I see 'tis true;/For the blood-boltered Banquo smiles upon me,/And points at them for his. What, is this so? (IV,i,112-124)
  3. ...Besides, this Duncan/Hath borne his faculities so meek, hath been/So clear in his great office, that his virtues/Will plead like angels trumpet-tongued against/The deep damnation of his taking-off;/And pity, like a naked newborn babe,/Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubin horsed/Upon the sightless couriers of the air,/Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,/That tears shall drown the wind.  I have no spur/To prick the sides of my intent, but only/Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself/And fall on th' other. (I,vii,16-28)
  4. 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!  Make thick my blood,/Stop us th' access and passage to remorse/That no compunctious visiting of nature/Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between/Th' effect and it!  Come to my woman's breasts,/And take my milk for gall, you murd'ring ministers,/Wherever in your sightless substances/You wait on nature's mischief!  come, thick night,/And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,/That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,/Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,/To cry "Hold, hold!" (I,v, 39-54)

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