Which of the lines below from Act V of Shakespeare's Macbeth tell the audience Macbeth realizes his mistake and regrets his ambition?1. I have...

Which of the lines below from Act V of Shakespeare's Macbeth tell the audience Macbeth realizes his mistake and regrets his ambition?

1. I have liv'd long enough: my way of life
Is fall'n into the sear, the yellow leaf;

2. As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have; but, in their stead,

3. Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not.
Seyton!—

Expert Answers
favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The passage that most embodies Macbeth's regrets and recognition of his mistakes is the first one: "I have lived long enough. My way of life / Is fall'n into the sere, the yellow leaf" (V.3.26-27). Macbeth means his life has become something dry and withered, like a yellow leaf in the fall. It lacks the meaning and significance he thought it would have. Macbeth has grown old and has nothing good to show for it, none of the "honor, love, obedience, troops of friends" (V.3.29) he believes should come with age. Instead, Macbeth loses all of his friends due to his choices (I mean, he's killed at least two of them), is loved by no one, and is obeyed only because people are afraid to disobey him. Macbeth seems to recognize, then, that his lack of loyalty and his mistakes in judgment due to his ambition have cost him the life he wanted, the life he thought his actions would achieve for him.