'Macbeth' - Act 5 Key Quotations

"unnatural deeds do breed unnatural troubles"

- DOCTOR -

CONTEXT:

The doctor observes the manifestation of Lady Macbeth's madness and guilt: her sleepwalking.

THEMES:

Duality; Nature; Guilt

LANGUAGE:

Adjective = "unnatural" links back to the old man in Act 2, Scene 4.

Verb = "breed" - echoes the growth of evil from the start of the play.

"His title hangs loose about him, like a giant's robe upon a dwarfish thief."

- ANGUS -

CONTEXT:

Others are noticing how the crown no longer seems to fit Macbeth as it once might have done. The weight of the position, as well as all that he did to obtain it, is now taking visibly its toll on Macbeth.

THEMES:

Duality

LANGUAGE:

Simile - "dwarfish thief" reduces Macbeth to the status of a petty criminal.

"Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased?"

- MACBETH -

CONTEXT:

Before the final battle, Macbeth has a moment of clarity and looks at himself from the outside.

THEMES:

Thought; Duality; Madness; Guilt

LANGUAGE:

Verb = "minister" carries religious connotations.

Motif = "mind diseased" continues motif of decay. Is he talking about Lady Macbeth's mind or his own?

"A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

- MACBETH -

CONTEXT:

Macbeth faces up to his own mortality and death (ironically) like a hero.

THEMES:

Duality; Death; Responsibility

LANGUAGE:

Adjective = "fury" - lots of anger.

Phrase = "signifying nothing" - what did Macbeth truly achieve? Any hope of a legacy dies with him.