The Beauty of Language

A brave Scottish general named Macbeth receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the Scottish throne for himself. He is then wracked with guilt and paranoia. Forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion, he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler. The bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of madness and death.

There are two main reasons why one should love this play:

First off, Lady Macbeth is an amazing character. Others might criticize her for being the morally reprehensible of the two protagonists, planting ideas in her husband’s head that he would not have otherwise formed, encouraging him toward evil deeds that he would not have otherwise committed. I disagree. She may have made a mistake helping to plan Duncan’s murder, but if anything Lady Macbeth is the one with her moral faculties still intact—she exhibits a profound sense of remorse at the end of the play that Macbeth recognizes as nothing short of an ailment for which to seek a cure. While Macbeth is off slaughtering anyone who might threaten his regal standing, his wife is at home rubbing the blood off her hands until the blisters explode and she suffocates in a pool of her own doing. Much like the character Kurtz from heart of Darkness, they were both over powered by their lust for wealth and fame but were both successful in dying knowing that they remained human by still having a sense of guilt associated with thier actions.

The second reason to love this play is the eloquence of the language. There are passages in this play that describe human emotion so briefly, yet so profoundly it triggers goosebumps. These are some of my favorites:

On mastering the act of equivocation:

To beguile the time,

Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye,

Your hand your tongue: look like the innocent flower,

But be the serpent under it.

This right here is my favourite quote from the whole story of Macbeth. Reasons:I find this both very eery and conforting at the same time. This quote right there as given Macbeth a title of How to pull a Fascade 101. Coming from Lady Macbeth – the main driver of the plot – the cunning, manipulative individual she is, I thought of this as a way for Shakespeare giving the readers a glimpse of the true personality of who she is. One of the many reasons why I just can’t get my head off of this quote is how relatable it is. We all have been in a situation where we find ourselves not exactly haooy with the company of people we are sorrounded by but instead of letting out our fustration, anger, or perhaps hatred, we put on fascade that everything is all right and jolly. Infact, those around us at the time might believe themselves to be one of your most admirable acquintance but little did they know that you just pulled a Lady Macbeth line on them.

It also speaks to the human condition of trying to fit in…….

On expressing one’s grief:


What, man! ne’er pull your hat upon your brows;

Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak

Whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break.

On not having enough gumption:

Yet do I fear thy nature;

It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness

To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great;

Art not without ambition, but without

The illness should attend it.

On contemplating ambition’s worth:

Nought’s had, all’s spent,

Where our desire is got without content:

’Tis safer to be that which we destroy

Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.

On being past the point of no return:

All causes shall give way: I am in blood

Stepp’d in so far that, should I wade no more,

Returning were as tedious as go o’er.

On the futility of life:

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.

On the finality of death:

There’s nothing serious in mortality:

All is but toys: renown and grace is dead;

The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees

Is left this vault to brag of.


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One thought on “The Beauty of Language

  1. Maryam:

    Wow! I still can not see myself having such insight when I was in grade ten, you really know how to dive into a text and give me reasons to love it all over again.

    As you well know, I absolutely despise Lady Macbeth as a character. To me, she is a shallow and selfish woman who knows nothing about anything but her own emotions. It only makes sense that I began to feel a little bit, as the commoner would say, ‘Triggered’, as you praised Lady Macbeth:

    First of all, you said that “she exhibits a profound sense of remorse at the end of the play”. I’m rather curious why you saw that. Perhaps it’s just me, but Lady Macbeth did not seem remorseful at all. She was more concerned about her well being, the blood on her hands, and how SHE can no longer cope with the stresses of what SHE did. It makes no sense. Her goal was to casually slip into being a queen by manipulating her husband into doing all the dirty work for her, and all of a sudden when she realizes that she has to deal with a bit of blood, she gets all queasy and acts like a five year old who does not want to play the game any more because they are losing. Seriously, lady?

    Now you called her part in the murder of Duncan a ‘mistake’. It was possibly the only intentional act on her part. Everything after that was a direct result of that single intentional action.

    Taking those two into account, you know who Lady Macbeth reminds me of?


    Someone who gets the ball rolling by encouraging some other people to get someone isolated and killed, and it then escalates from there, but the person who started it no longer has a part in it. Reminds you of someone? Hitler, among most of his top officers, never did visit one of his death camps for the sole reason of being disgusted by what was going on there. Still reminds you of someone? Hitler had a top man who literally went insane after spending a night in the very concentration camp he was supposed to oversee for the day after, driven insane by the tortured screams that carried across the night. Now, let me ask you – Does this remind you of someone?

    In conclusion, I truly despise Lady Macbeth for doing what she did, and then getting all whiny about blood on her hands after it was done. From all our hearts, Lady: Grow up.

    After that rant, on to the rest of your post. You provided us some awesome examples of quotes from the play that were significant in many ways, I really would have liked to see you develop some response to some of them though!

    I really like your insight into the character of Lady Macbeth, much as I disagree, but that is a conversation for another post.

    Thanks for making this!

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