Wednesday, January 18, 2012


“Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I draw.” ( 2. 1. 40-49)

Macbeth imagines the bloody dagger that he will use to kill Duncan. This quote shows the power of this thought in his head of using a dagger to kill Duncan. By following the dagger, Shakespeare shows us that this is a premeditated death, that Macbeth had time to reconsider his actions, but he was driven as if attracted by the magnetic force of the dagger to the murder scene. The significance of this quote is the power of the thought of murder in Macbeth’s mind that he actually imagines a dagger in front of him leading the way. This quote makes me believe that Macbeth has a mind of a deranged killer. It shows him losing his sanity and seeing hallucinations in front of him. Macbeth has lost touch with reality.

The scene of the imaginary dagger and Macbeth touching its tip and feeling for blood, has an eerie background sound. There isn’t much light. There seems like there is a heart beating rapidly. The walk through the dark tunnel shows the way that will summon him to heaven or to hell. This scene is significant because Macbeth thinks about murder and questions it as a wicked curse and how responsible he is for what he is about to do. We hear a bell indicating its time.

I thought this quote was portrayed very well in the video. Robert Goold used sound, close ups, lighting, movement , action, and setting, all so effectively to capture Macbeth’s mindset and his descent towards hell. I think this quote was better described visually than reading it in print. This performance was outstanding.

“Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.” (4 . 1. 10-11)

The witches chant as they wait for Macbeth to come. What is interesting is that Shakespeare casts the three women as witches whereas Robert Goold casts them as nurses or as angels of death. The witches are preparing for Macbeth to come to prepare for him the magic spell that will prepare him to kill. This quote could take some of the blame off Macbeth because it can be used to say that he had no conscious intention to kill, that the witches were to blame.

The scene looks like it came out of a rock video. The sounds and the flashing rays of light, the agitated actions of the nurses surrounded by blood splattered hanging plastic sheets and the wailing in the background are all so creepy. The nurses talk gently and then harshly holding long knives make the scene terrifying. The cinematic effects of sound, lighting, setting, props, and makeup are all very convincing.

The scene is presented as a musical production with the nurses acting as if they are the witches that Shakespeare intended for them to be. They are standing over and on top of dead bodies covered with sheets. It looks like a room in a morgue. This scene was much more effective experienced visually than simply reading Shakespeare. It was like experiencing an attack on the senses.

“Out, damned spot! out, I say!--One: two: why,
then, 'tis time to do't.--Hell is murky!--Fie, my
lord, fie! a soldier, and afeard? What need we
fear who knows it, when none can call our power to
account?--Yet who would have thought the old man
to have had so much blood in him.”( 5. 1. 30- 35)

This quote best describes the anguish of guilt that Lady Macbeth experiences at the murder of King Duncan. It captures the descent into madness she goes through when she sleep walks and is tortured by the smell and sight of blood on her hands. She tries to wash this blood out, and she cant. She says that “All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. (5. 1. 43) She knows that they have sinned and it cannot be undone.
“ What’s done cannot be undone” ( 5. 1. 37) “ Hell is murky” ( 5.1.31)
She has fear of going to hell for murder. Lady Macbeth is suffering a mental breakdown over the horror of this act.

This quote may actually portray Lady Macbeth in a better light because it shows that she was human and had remorse. Society has a way of looking more compassionately at people who feel sorry for their action. The fact that she feels guilt shows that she has a conscience, and this is very important to the readers or viewer because it makes us ask ourselves do we feel any empathy for her. Is she guilty by association?

The interesting part is that Shakespeare describes this scene with her sleepwalking, so she shows this side to her which is her sub conscience talking. It isn’t spoken while she is awake. I believe this is very significant because we can say something but not really mean it. Our sub conscience is what is real because we have no control over our thoughts and words when it comes our of our sub conscience. When we are awake we can control the direction of what we think or say, so it is significant that this quote was said while she was asleep.

The scene in the movie was very effective because we get a close- up shot of Lady Macbeth screaming in anguish which rings in our ears, and we feel the force of pain and suffering in her cries. When in agitation, she tries to wash off the blood to wash away her sins, she feels that she just can’t get rid of the blood. We know that she will suffer in hell for her action. Then the blood that pours out of the faucet shows how impossible it is to undo this act, and it shows the torture she must suffer for ever for being a part of a murder. The stream of blood is memorable and therefore very effective because it is human nature to feel disgust at the sight of blood. and when it is just pours out makes it even more sickening. Therefore Goold uses sound, action, props, close-up carefully editing the scene to show her anguished state of mind.

I believe this scene was terrifying and it reminded did me of horror films. When I think of this movie, this scene will stand out as one that best captures the consequences of abuse of power and the evil it creates. People will do anything to remain in power as Lord and Lady Macbeth show conspiring to and eventually killing Duncan. It also reminds me of God and that murder is a sin. Those who take the life of another person will pay for their sins by going to hell where they will suffer the agony of the damned. Robert Goold does an amazing job of having us hear and feel that an evil act has taken place which makes it have greater impact that simply reading Shakespeare’s words on paper.

“To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”
(5. 5. 21-30)

This quote symbolizes how Macbeth feels after all is said and done. It is significant because it explains his final analysis of the entire play. His wife is dead, and he doesn’t seem to care. “To-morrow, and to-morrow and to-morrow.” just shows that time passes as if there is no meaning to it. Macbeth seems to be saying that there is no meaning to life, that you just go through your days, and then you die. This quote shows Macbeth to be indifferent to life. People live, people die- its all meaningless, and he doesn’t care. It shows his character as ruthless and cold. All he cares about is himself and gaining power.

This scene then becomes an action packed drama full of killing that shows Macbeth to be ruthless. He says in anger that he will not yield , but then runs out of bullets. Yet. he never shows any fear. He grabs a knife and attacks MacDuff. He keeps repeating “ I was not born a woman” as if to reinforce that he is a man who has no fear. The scene is gruesome. The sounds of bullets firing, the images of blood and people dying is sickening and therefore effective.

In this scene Macbeth seems to be reflecting about life. Sir Patrick is very impressive playing this part. He sees the body of his dead wife removes the shed the covers her and then says this quote, but he doesn’t seem affected by death, like he is numb which is what I think happens to killers as they detach from reality.

Regarding this quote, I liked it better reading it than watching the movie. The movie on the whole was disgusting ,and Shakespeare would probably be rolling in his grave if he knew that his words were destroyed by this presentation of Macbeth as a war movie. For this quote viewing Shakespeare play made it less effective because the viewer is trying to take in all the images of people killing and dying when what I think Shakespeare was really trying to say was how was life was meaningless and Macbeth just did whatever he felt he had to do to hold on to his power. If it meant killing King Duncan, and losing his wife it didn’t make much difference. Life was just an act that you played a part in and then you died. I believed this quote makes us think of the day of judgment where every action has been recorded and we will pay for our sing and that there is actually meaning for our action.


  1. 1) I had one of the same quotes that you did, your last quote that was said by Macbeth. We both anyalized it simialrly, saying that Macbeth felt nothing when his wife died because he was to busy fighting his war that he could not mourn. Also that life, and what was happening was meaningless. How Macbeth said that this all meant nothing, that life meant nothing.
    3)I liked the “Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.” because it really reminded me of the witches and the big role that they played withing the story of Macbeth. Without them and their prophecies their would not be this whole big competition for power.
    4)I think one of the most interesting scenes in the play was the second time that they visited the witches because they were acting very strange and it almost made me uncomfortable which I believe is what they intended to do.

  2. 2*. I liked how you analyzed Macbeth. I thought you hit the nail on the head when you said in the end Macbeth seems indifferent to life. I also agreed with your thought that Macbeth sort of loses his sanity.

    3. I liked the witches’ quote “Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.” because it really added to the medieval witches’ believability. I like how you compared the scene to a rock concert with the lights and echoing noises. It was also a concise and to the point quote. I found it interesting that you think the blame for Macbeth’s deeds can be attributed to the Witches to some extent.

    4. I think Lady Macbeth’s quote about the “damned spot” is best portrayed in the film. When I saw that scene I fully thought Lady Macbeth had gone loony. Reading this quote I was a bit confused but in the film it was very clear. She seemed sleep deprived and crazy in the film.

  3. 2. I liked the way you wrote about Macbeth and his feelings toward his situation at the end. I also wrote about Macbeth when he pretty much gives up and knows he is going to die. I wrote that he still had hope because of the prophecies but i understand what your saying.
    3. The quote I liked the best is when Macbeth sees his dead wife and he says how he feels dumb and kind of gives up. I liked it because it kind of a culmination of the whole story and you know Macbeth is going down.
    4. I think that when Lady Macbeth is trying to get the spot out of her dress the story really turns and you really realize how much the power has turned from Lady Macbeth to Macbeth. She is acting very insecure and traumatized by what she has done.

  4. 2.) i like how you portrayed Macbeth and what he is really about. i just about agree with everything that you said about him, it really showed that you know the character a lot and you really understand him.
    3.) the quote that i like the best is the first one, it really showed a lot of description and how you had explained it was exactly perfect and you had hit it right on the head.
    4.) i think when lady macbeth is with that "spot" it really showed that in the movie and how it was so dramatic that she was crazy and she has guilt in her mind just does not want to show it.

  5. 1. (skip)
    2. We had some of the same charatcter quotes. Although they were not the same quotes, we characterized and analyzed them similarly. I had quotes from macbeth and lady macbeth as well, like you did.
    3. my favorite of your quotes was the first one. i liked how you explained it too, i thought you did a good job.
    4. The quote of yours that i thought was best was the second one. the witches portrayed it in the movie the same how they did in the book, but seeing the characters made it much clearer.

    *good job!

  6. 2. We had the same character quote for the three witches. We both thought that the witches were evil but very interesting. He said that they seemed like rock stars but I see them as the bad guys.

    3. My favorite quote he used was “Out, damned spot! out, I say!--One: two: why,
    then, 'tis time to do't.--Hell is murky!--Fie, my lord, fie! a soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to
    account?--Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him.”( 5. 1. 30- 35). I thought it was a very interesting passage and it was well written.

    4. The quote I think was translated to film the best was the three witches quote. I thought that the three witches were the best characters and their scenes were the most interesting.