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Macbeth Monologue

In the following speech, Macbeth reflects upon his actions and his status. He has killed the King of Scotland and framed the king’s sons. Macbeth now sits on the throne, as the three witches prophesied. How is Macbeth characterized in this speech?

Macbeth: To be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus—
Our fears in Banquo[1] stick deep,

And in his royalty of nature reigns that
Which would be feared. ‘Tis much he dares;
And, to that dauntless temper of his mind,
He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valor
To act in safety. There is none but he
Whose being I do fear: and under him
My genius is rebuked, as it is said
Mark Antony’s was by Caesar. He chid the sisters,[2]

When first they put the name of King upon me,
And bade them speak to him; then prophetlike
They hailed him father to a line of kings.

Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown

And put a barren scepter in my gripe,
Thence to be wrenched with an unlineal hand,
No son of mine succeeding. If ‘t be so,

For Banquo’s issue have I filed my mind;
For them the gracious Duncan[3] have I murdered;
Put rancors in the vessel of my peace
Only for them, and mine eternal jewel
Given to the common enemy of man,
To make them kings, the seeds of Banquo kings!

Rather than so, come fate, into the list,
And champion me to th’utterance! (III.i.48-72)

[1] Banquo: Macbeth’s fellow soldier and closest friend

[2] The sisters: The three witches that originally gave Macbeth and Banquo their prophecies.

[3] Duncan: The King of Scotland, murdered by Macbeth

DMU Timestamp: August 14, 2020 20:51

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