What are some quotes of dramatic significance from Macbeth? Example:“This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air/ Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself/ Unto our gentle senses”Duncan says this...

What are some quotes of dramatic significance from Macbeth?


“This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air/ Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself/ Unto our gentle senses”

Duncan says this just as he's entering Macbeth's castle. The dramatic significance could be how much danger he's in but has no idea of, like a lamb to the slaughter


Expert Answers
sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Your quote by Duncan is from Act 1, scene 6. A similar quote by Duncan is as follows:  "There's no art to find the mind's construction in the face" (1.4).  He is speaking of the traitorous Thane of Cawdor in whose face he couldn't read betrayal. Yet he doesn't realize how true his statement is and how much it will come to haunt him:  he won't see Macbeth's traitorous plans in his face either.

Duncan also says of the original Thane of Cawdor:  "He was a gentleman on whom I built/An absolute trust" (1.4).  This lets the audience know that Duncan's trust will ironically be betrayed by two Thanes of Cawdor: he fully trusted the first as he will do with Macbeth.

A quote from Macbeth is as follows:  "Stars, hide your fires;/Let not light see my black and deep desires:.." (1.4)  This quote lets the audience know, for the first time, that the witches' prophesy has affected Macbeth so much that he is contemplating a black desire.  This is a small hint to the murder plot that will soon unfold.

davmor1973 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Fair is foul and foul is fair," spoken by the Weird Sisters in the twelfth line of Act I Scene 1, has great dramatic significance in Macbeth. It sets the scene for the entire play, embodying the numerous paradoxes interwoven into the text and displayed in the actions of the various characters, most notably Macbeth himself. At the start of the play, Macbeth is renowned throughout the kingdom as a brave and noble warrior, whose epic feats on the battlefield have earned him near-universal admiration and respect. Yet in the paradoxical world foreshadowed by the witches' prophecy, accepted moral values are unceremoniously turned upside-down. Macbeth becomes a dark shadow of his former self, murdering a king and establishing himself upon his blood-soaked throne as a cruel and ruthless tyrant. Appearances are deceptive, and Macbeth's initial appearance is the most deceptive of all.

malibrarian eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of my personal favorites is by the Second Witch:

Second Witch:
By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
Open, locks,
Whoever knocks!

Macbeth enters after this, which indicates that Macbeth has indeed become "something wicked" (Act IV, scene i). The dramatic significance relates to characterization: Macbeth embodies wickedness as conjured by the Witches and has become the emblem of the power of fate.