These Macbeth quotes will warn you of the corruption that power and ambition for power can bring upon your life.
Our world is full of those who want to achieve.
Personal development and the quest to be better are constantly in the conversation.
And that can be a good thing.
Ambition can lead you to achieve things that others only dream of.
And power can be used to bring about important and necessary changes in the world.
However, Shakespeare’s Macbeth is a great example of what ambition for power can lead to.
Macbeth’s quest for political power was his ultimate demise.
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What are the benefits of reading these Macbeth quotes?
These Macbeth quotes will help you:
- understand ambition and power
- remind you that things are not always what they seem
- recognize the true motives of others
Macbeth was first published in 1623 and was set in Scotland and England.
It is Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy and is considered one of his crowning achievements.
Like many of Shakespeare’s plays, Macbeth was inspired by a true story.
In the 11th century, Macbeth became the king of Scotland after murdering King Duncan.
However, years later, Macbeth was killed by Duncan’s son, Malcolm.
Read the Macbeth quotes below, and once you’re done, check out our collection of The Fault in Our Stars quotes for living a meaningful life.
If you like this article, we suggest you explore our most popular quotes article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily encouragement.
Check out more inspirational quotes on our motivational quotes category page.
Macbeth quotes on ambition
1. “Thou wouldst be great art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it.”- Macbeth
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2. “’Gainst nature still! Thriftless ambition, that will ravin up Thine own lives’ means! Then ’tis most like The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.” – Macbeth
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3. “To be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus.” – Macbeth
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4. “I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself And falls on the other.” – Macbeth
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5. “Two truths are told As happy prologues to the swelling act Of th’imperial theme.” – Macbeth
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6. “My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, Shakes so my single state of man That function is smother’d in surmise, and nothing is but what is not.” – Macbeth
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7. “To me you speak not. If you can look into the seeds of time, And say which grain will grow and which will not, Speak, then, to me, who neither beg nor fear Your favors nor your hate.” – Macbeth
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8. But that myself should be the root and father Of many kings. If there come truth from them (As upon thee, Macbeth, their speeches shine) Why, by the verities on thee made good, May they not be my oracles as well, And set me up in hope? But hush, no more.” – Macbeth
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9. “Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires. The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.” – Macbeth
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10. “For mine own good All causes shall give way. I am in blood Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go o’er.” – Macbeth
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11. “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.” – Macbeth
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12. “Either thou, Macbeth, Or else my sword, with an unbattered edge, I sheathe again undeeded. There thou shouldst be; By this great clatter, one of greatest note Seems bruited. Let me find him, Fortune, And more I beg not.” – Macbeth
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Macbeth quotes about power
13. “If good, why do I yield to that suggestion Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair And make my seated heart knock at my ribs Against the use of nature?” – Macbeth
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14. “All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!… Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none. So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!” – Macbeth
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15. “My plenteous joys, Wanton in fullness, seek to hide themselves In drops of sorrow.” – Macbeth
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16. “And though I could With barefaced power sweep him from my sight And bid my will avouch it, yet I must not, For certain friends that are both his and mine, Whose loves I may not drop, but wail his fall.” – Macbeth
17. “Besides, this Duncan Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been So clear in his great office, that his virtues Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against The deep damnation of his taking-off.” – Macbeth
18. “Knock, knock! Who’s there, in th’ other devil’s name? Faith, here’s an equivocator that could swear in both the scales against either scale; who committed treason enough for God’s sake, yet could not equivocate to heaven. O, come in, equivocator.” – Macbeth
19. “The son of Duncan Lives in the English court and is received Of the most pious Edward with such grace That the malevolence of fortune nothing Takes from his high respect.” – Macbeth
20. “’Tis call’d the evil: A most miraculous work in this good king, Which often, since my here-remain in England I have seen him do.” – Macbeth
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More Macbeth quotes and lines
21. “I dare do all that may become a man, who dares more is none…” – Macbeth
22. “It will have blood, they say. Blood will have blood.” – Macbeth
23. “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.” – Macbeth
24. “I must become a borrower of the night.” – Macbeth
25. “Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill.” – Macbeth
26. “Which shall to all our nights and days to come Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.” – Macbeth
27. “The near in blood,
The nearer bloody.” – Macbeth
28. “Our tears are not yet brewed.” – Macbeth
29. “Tis safer to be that which we destroy Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.” – Macbeth
30. “Fair is foul, and foul is fair Hover through the fog and filthy air. Fair” – Macbeth
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Memorable Macbeth quotes
31. “Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble!” — Macbeth
32. “Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.” — Macbeth
33. “Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under it.” — Macbeth
34. “What’s done cannot be undone.” — Macbeth
35. “…Who could refrain,
That had a heart to love, and in that heart
Courage to make love known?” — Macbeth
36. “False face must hide what the false heart doth know.” — Macbeth
37. “Where shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain? When the hurlyburly ‘s done, when the battle ‘s lost and won.” — Macbeth
38. “Things without all remedy should be without regard: what’s done is done.” — Macbeth
39. “Come what come may, time and the hour run through the roughest day.” — Macbeth
40. “Confusion now hath made his masterpiece.” — Macbeth
Memorable Macbeth Quotes
41. “I am afraid to think what I have done; look on’t again I dare not.” ― Macbeth
42. “What thou wouldst highly, that woulds thou holily; wouldst not play false, and yet wouldst wrongly win.” ― Macbeth
43. “They have tied me to a stake. I cannot fly, But, bear-like, I must fight the course.” ― Macbeth
44. “It will have blood they say; blood must have blood.” ― Macbeth
45. “I bear a charmed life.” ― Macbeth
46. “Thou canst not say I did it; never shake thy gory locks at me.” ― Macbeth
47. “He loves us not, he wants the natural touch.” ― Macbeth
48. “A little water clears us of this deed.” ― Macbeth
49. “Thriftless ambition, that wilt ravin up thine own life’s means!” ― Macbeth
50. “Had I but lived an hour before this chance, I had lived a blessed time.” ― Macbeth
More Macbeth Quotes
51. “And nothing is, but what is not.” — Macbeth
52. “My dull brain was wrought with things forgotten” —Macbeth
53. “Too nice, and yet too true!” — Macbeth
54. “Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse the curtained sleep.” — Macbeth
55. “Lesser than Macbeth and greater. Not so happy, yet much happier. Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.” — Macbeth
56. “I am in blood Stepped in so far, that, should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as goer”—Macbeth
57. “My hands are of your color, but I shame To wear a heart so white.” —Macbeth
58. “The Weird Sisters, hand in hand, Posters of the sea and land, Thus do go, about, about, Thrice to thine, thrice to mine, And thrice again to make up nine. Peace, the charm’s wound up.” —Macbeth
58.“Turn hell-hound, turn.” —Macbeth
59. “Be not lost So poorly in your thoughts.” — Macbeth
60. “I will not be afraid of death and bane Till Birnam Forest come to Dunsinane.” — Macbeth
Macbeth Quotes From Act 1
61. “Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts”— Macbeth
62. “If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me” — Macbeth
63. “There’s no art” — Macbeth
64. “The Prince of Cumberland!” — Macbeth
65. “Stars, hide your fires!” — Macbeth
66. “Let not light see my black and deep desires.” — Macbeth
67. “I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition, which overlaps itself And falls on the other.” — Macbeth
68. “I dare do all that may become a man; Who dares do more, is none.” — Macbeth
69. “We fail? But screw your courage to the sticking‐place, And we’ll not fail.” — Macbeth
70. “All is the fear, and nothing is the love, as little is the wisdom, where the flight so runs against all reason.” — Macbeth
What did you learn from these Macbeth quotes?
Ambition and power are typically words that we associate with positive outcomes.
It takes ambition to get ahead and achieve your dreams in life.
Having power can help you accomplish things you might not be able to do otherwise.
But if you don’t keep your drive for power in control, these Macbeth quotes show how wrong it can really go.
Macbeth ultimately lost his family and then his own life as well.
Finding the balance and making sure you use your ambition and power well is key.
You don’t have to be afraid to seek something more.
Just make sure you aren’t doing it at the cost of others.
What’s your biggest takeaway from these Macbeth quotes and lines?
Do you have any other favorite quotes to add?
Let us know in the comment section below.
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