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Starring: Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Corey Hawkins, Moses Ingram, Brendan Gleeson, Harry Melling, Ralph Ineson, Brian Thompson, Kathryn Hunter
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
A24 and Apple TV+ period drama written and directed by Joel Coen based on the play of the same name by William Shakespeare. The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021) follows Lord Macbeth (Denzel Washington), who’s convinced by a trio of witches (Kathryn Hunter) that he’s destined to become the king of Scotland. With the help of his ambitious wife, Lady Macbeth (Frances McDormand), he tries to seize the crown by any means necessary.
Our Favorite Quotes:'Present fears are less than horrible imaginings.' - Macbeth (The Tragedy of Macbeth) Click To Tweet
Witches: When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain? When the hurly-burly’s done. When the battle’s lost and won. Where the place? Upon the heath. There to meet with Macbeth. Fair is foul, and foul is fair. Hover through the fog and filthy air.
Witches: Weary sennights nine times nine shall he dwindle, peak and pine. The weird sisters, hand in hand. Posters of the sea and land. Thus do go about, about. Thrice to thine and thrice to mine. And thrice again to make up nine.
Witches: All hail, Macbeth. That shalt be king hereafter.
Banquo: Are ye fantastical? Or that indeed which outwardly ye show? 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 favor nor your hate.
Witches: Lesser than Macbeth, and greater. Not so happy, yet much happier. Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.
Macbeth: I know I am Thane of Glamis, but how of Cawdor? The Thane of Cawdor lives, a prosperous gentleman. And to be king stands not within the prospect of belief. Say from whence you owe this strange intelligence? Or why upon this blasted heath you stop our way with such prophetic greeting?
Banquo: [as the witches turn and start walking away] The earth hath bubbles, as the water has. And these are of them. Whither are they vanished?
Macbeth: And what seemed corporal melted as breath into the wind. Would they had stayed.
Banquo: [as the witches turn into crows and fly away] Were such things here as we do speak about? Or have we eaten on the insane root that takes the reason prisoner?
Macbeth: Your children shall be kings.
Banquo: You shall be king.
Macbeth: And Thane of Cawdor too. Went it not so?
Banquo: To the selfsame tune and words.
Angus: We are sent to give thee from our royal master thanks. Only to herald thee into his sight, not pay thee.
Ross: And, for an earnest of a greater honor, he bade me, from him, call thee Thane of Cawdor. In which addition, hail, most worthy Thane. For it is thine.
Banquo: What, can the devil speak true?
Macbeth: If the Thane of Cawdor lives, why do you dress me in borrowed robes?
Ross: Who was the thane lives yet, but under heavy judgment bears that life, which he deserves to lose.
Macbeth: This supernatural soliciting cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill, why hath it given me earnest of success, commencing in a truth? I am Thane of Cawdor. 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. If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me without my stir.
Macbeth: Come what come may. Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.
'There's no art to find the mind's construction in the face.' - Duncan (The Tragedy of Macbeth) Click To Tweet
Lady Macbeth: Glamis thou art, and Cawdor. And shalt be what thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature. It is too full of 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. What thou wouldst highly, that wouldst thou holily. Wouldst not play false, and yet wouldst wrongly win.
Duncan: Is execution done on Cawdor?
Malcolm: My liege. I have spoke with one that saw him die, who did report that very frankly he confessed his treasons, implored Your Highness’s pardon, and set forth a deep repentance.
Ross: Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it. He died as one that had been studied in his death to throw away the dearest thing he owed, as ’twere a careless trifle.
Duncan: There’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face. He was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust.
Duncan: O worthiest cousin. The sin of my ingratitude even now was heavy on me. Only I have left to say, more is thy due than more than all can pay.
Macbeth: The service and the loyalty I owe, in doing it, pays itself.
Duncan: Welcome hither. I have begun to plant thee and will labor to make thee full of growing.
Lady Macbeth: The raven himself is hoarse that croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan under my battlements. Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts. Unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe topful of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood. Stop up the access and passage to remorse, that no compunctious visitings of nature shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between the effect and it. Come to my woman’s breasts and take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers, wherever in your sightless substances you wait on nature’s mischief. Come, thick night, and pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, that my keen knife see not the wound it makes, nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark to cry, “Hold. Hold.”
Lady Macbeth: Thy letters have transported me beyond this ignorant present, and I feel now the future in the instant.
Macbeth: My dearest love.
'Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill.' - Macbeth (The Tragedy of Macbeth) Click To Tweet
Macbeth: Duncan comes here tonight.
Lady Macbeth: And when goes hence?
Macbeth: Tomorrow, as he purposes.
Lady Macbeth: O, never shall sun that morrow see. Your face, my Thane, is as a book where men may read strange matters. 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. He that’s coming must be provided for. And you shall put this night’s great business into my dispatch. Which shall to all our nights and days to come give solely sovereign sway and masterdom. Only look up clear. To alter favor ever is to fear. Leave all the rest to me.
Duncan: This castle hath a pleasant seat. The air nimbly and sweetly recommends itself unto our gentle senses. This guest of summer, temple-haunting martlet, does approve, by his loved mansionry, that the heaven’s breath smells wooingly here. No jutty, frieze, buttress, nor coign of vantage, but this bird hath made his pendent bed and procreant cradle. Where they most breed and haunt, I have observed, the air is delicate.
Macbeth: [as Duncan spends the night at their castle] If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly. If the assassination could trammel up the consequence, and catch with his surcease success, that but this blow might be the be-all and the end-all here. But here, upon this bank and shoal of time, we’d jump the life to come. But in these cases we still have judgment here. That we but teach bloody instructions, which, being taught, return to plague the inventor. This evenhanded justice commends the ingredience of our poisoned chalice to our own lips.
Macbeth: He’s here in double trust. First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, strong both against the deed. Then, as his host, who should against his murderer shut the door, not bear the knife myself. 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. And pity, like a naked newborn babe, striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubim, horsed upon the sightless couriers of the air, shall blow this horrid deed in every eye, that tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself and falls on the other.
Macbeth: How now. What news?
Lady Macbeth: [referring to Duncan] He has almost supped.
Macbeth: Hath he asked for me?
Lady Macbeth: Know you not he has?
Macbeth: We will proceed no further in this business. He hath honored me of late. And I have bought golden opinions from all sorts of people, which would be worn now in their newest gloss, not cast aside so soon.
Lady Macbeth: Was the hope drunk wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since? And wakes it now, to look so green and pale at what it did so freely? From this time such I account thy love. Art thou afeard to be the same in thine own act and valor as thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that which thou esteem’st the ornament of life, and live a coward in thine own esteem, letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would”, like the poor cat in the adage?
Macbeth: Prithee, peace. I dare do all that may become a man. Who dares do more is none.
Lady Macbeth: What beast was’t, then, made you break this enterprise to me? When you durst do it, then you were a man. And, to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man.
'Double, double, toil and trouble. Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.' - Witches (The Tragedy of Macbeth) Click To Tweet
Lady Macbeth: I have given suck, and know how tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me. I would, while it was smiling in my face, have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums, and dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done to this.
Macbeth: If we should fail?
Lady Macbeth: We fail. But screw your courage to the sticking place, and we’ll not fail.
Lady Macbeth: When Duncan is asleep, whereto the rather shall his day’s hard journey soundly invite him, his two chamberlains will I with wine and wassail so convince that memory, the warder of the brain, shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason a limbeck only. When in swinish sleep, their drenched natures lie as in a death. What cannot you and I perform upon the unguarded Duncan? What not put upon his spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt of our great quell?
Macbeth: Bring forth men-children only. For thy undaunted mettle should have composed nothing but males.
Macbeth: [to Lady Macbeth] I am settled, and bend up each corporal agent to this terrible feat. Away, and mock the time with fairest show. False face must hide what the false heart doth know.
Banquo: [to Fleance] There’s husbandry in heaven. Their candles are all out. A heavy summons lies like lead upon me, and yet I would not sleep. Merciful powers, restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature gives way to in repose.
Macbeth: [walking towrads Duncan’s room to kill him] Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee. I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible to feeling as to sight? Or art thou a dagger of the mind, a false creation, proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain? I see thee yet, in form as palpable as this which now I draw. Thou marshal’st me the way that I was going. And such an instrument I was to use. Mine eyes are made the fools o’ the other senses, or else worth all the rest. I see thee still, and on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood, which was not so before. There’s no such thing. It is the bloody business that informs thus to mine eyes. Thou sure and firm-set earth, hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear thy very stones prate of my whereabout. I go, and it is done. The bell invites me. Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell that summons thee to heaven, or to hell.
Lady Macbeth: [just as we see Macbeth killing Ducnan] It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman, which gives the stern’st good night. He is about it. That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold. What hath quenched them hath given me fire. The doors are open, and the surfeited grooms do mock their charge with snores. I have drugged their possets, that death and nature do contend about them, whether they live or die.
Lady Macbeth: I am afraid they have awaked, and ’tis not done. The attempt and not the deed confounds us. Hark. I laid their daggers ready. He could not miss them!
'Things without all remedy should be without regard. What's done is done.' - Lady Macbeth (The Tragedy of Macbeth) Click To Tweet
Macbeth: Hark. This is a sorry sight.
Lady Macbeth: A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.
Macbeth: [referring to the Duncan’s servants] There’s one did laugh in his sleep, and one cried, “Murder!” that they did wake each other. I stood and heard them. But they did say their prayers, and addressed them again to sleep.
Lady Macbeth: The grooms were lodged together.
Macbeth: One cried, “God bless us,” and, “Amen,” the other, as they had seen me with these hangman’s hands. Listening their fear, I could not say “amen” when they did say, “God bless us.”
Lady Macbeth: Consider it not so deeply.
Macbeth: But wherefore could not I pronounce “amen”? I had most need of blessing, and “amen” stuck in my throat.
Lady Macbeth: These deeds must not be thought after these ways. So, it will make us mad.