William Shakespeare

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Manhood Theme Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
Themes and Colors
Ambition Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
Nature and the Unnatural Theme Icon
Manhood Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Macbeth, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Manhood Theme Icon

Over and over again in Macbeth, characters discuss or debate about manhood: Lady Macbeth challenges Macbeth when he decides not to kill Duncan, Banquo refuses to join Macbeth in his plot, Lady Macduff questions Macduff's decision to go to England, and on and on.

Through these challenges, Macbeth questions and examines manhood itself. Does a true man take what he wants no matter what it is, as Lady Macbeth believes? Or does a real man have the strength to restrain his desires, as Banquo believes? All of Macbeth can be seen as a struggle to answer this question about the nature and responsibilities of manhood.

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Manhood Quotes in Macbeth

Below you will find the important quotes in Macbeth related to the theme of Manhood.
Act 1, scene 3 Quotes
And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
Win us with honest trifles, to betray's
In deepest consequence.
Related Characters: Banquo (speaker), Macbeth, Weird Sisters
Related Literary Devices:
Page Number: 1.3.135-138
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 1, scene 4 Quotes
Stars, hide your fires!
Let not light see my black and deep desires.
Related Characters: Macbeth (speaker)
Related Literary Devices:
Page Number: 1.4.57-58
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 1, scene 7 Quotes
I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself
And falls on the other.
Related Characters: Macbeth (speaker)
Related Literary Devices:
Page Number: 1.7.25-28
Explanation and Analysis:
I dare do all that may become a man;
Who dares do more, is none.
Related Characters: Macbeth (speaker)
Related Literary Devices:
Page Number: 1.7.51-52
Explanation and Analysis:
Macbeth: If we should fail.
Lady Macbeth: We fail?
But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we'll not fail.
Related Characters: Macbeth (speaker), Lady Macbeth (speaker)
Page Number: 1.7.68-71
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, scene 5 Quotes
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. 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.
Related Characters: Macbeth (speaker)
Related Literary Devices:
Page Number: 5.5.22-31
Explanation and Analysis: