25 Inspirational Macbeth Quotes On Power And Ambition

The story of Macbeth is about a Scottish king who was just 19 when he led his army to kill the powerful and renowned Prince Hamlet. It is a tragic story, which has been adapted into many different versions. The play has been staged in many other countries across the world. It has become an iconic piece of literature and is still being performed today worldwide.

A standard version of the play starts with introducing Macbeth (the protagonist) and his first meeting with Hamlet (the antagonist). These two characters are introduced in various ways; some have them as friends, some have them as enemies, some even don’t know each other. Nonetheless, they are trained to feel for the situation they will be entering when they meet each other.

Here are some most inspiring and thoughtful Macbeth quotes describing what ambition for power can lead in anyone’s life.

25 Inspirational Macbeth Quotes On Power And Ambition

1. “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.” ― Macbeth

2. “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

3. “Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under ‘t.” ― Macbeth

4. “To be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus.” ― Macbeth

5. “Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.” ― Macbeth ― Macbeth

6. “My noble partner You greet with present grace and great prediction Of noble having and of royal hope, That he seems rapt withal. 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

7. “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

8. “There’s daggers in men’s smiles. The near in blood, The nearer bloody.” ― Macbeth

9. “To know my deed, ’twere best not know myself.” ― Macbeth

10. “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? Present fears Are less than horrible imaginings. My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, Shakes so my single state of man That function is smothered in surmise And nothing is but what is not.” ― Macbeth

11. “Two truths are told As happy prologues to the swelling act Of th’imperial theme.” ― Macbeth

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

13. “Be bloody, bold, and resolute. Laugh to scorn the power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth.” ― Macbeth

14. “Things without all remedy should be without regard: what’s done, is done.” ― Macbeth

15. “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

16. “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

17. “Thou wouldst be great art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it.”- Macbeth

18. “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

19. “Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests; I bear a charmed life, which must not yield to one of woman born.” ― Macbeth

20. “The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step On which I must fall down, or else o’erleap, For in my way it lies. 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

21. “Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under ‘t.” ― Macbeth

22. “’Gainst nature still! Thriftless ambition, that will ravin up Thine own lives’ means! Then ’tis most like The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.” ― Macbeth

23. “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

24. The Sleepwalking Lady Macbeth by Johann Heinrich Fussli

25. “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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