Madness In Macbeth Quotes

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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.
William Shakespeare (Macbeth)
If I could mimic the dynamic of any Shakespearean marriage, I’d choose to mimic the Macbeths—before the murder, ruthless ambition, and torturous descents into madness and death, that is.
Jillian Keenan (Sex with Shakespeare: Here's Much to Do with Pain, but More with Love)
Sleeping was impossible, and we would often be found wandering the house, our white nightgowns gleaming in the darkness, a trio of Lady Macbeths, driven mad by the mercury.
Eleanor Brown (The Weird Sisters)
Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621) was a profoundly important analysis of human states of mind - a kind of early philosophical/ psychological study. He sees 'melancholy' as part of the human condition, especially love melancholy and religious melancholy. His concerns are remarkably close to those which Shakespeare explores in his plays. Ambition, for example, Burton describes as 'a proud covetousness or a dry thirst of Honour, a great torture of the mind, composed of envy, pride and covetousness, a gallant madness' - words which could well be applied to Macbeth.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
That’s the trouble round here,’ snapped Larry. ‘Nobody counts! And before you know where you are you’re knee deep in animals. It’s like the bloody creation all over again, only worse. One owl turns into a battalion before you know where you are; sex-mad pigeons defying Marie Stopes in every room of the house; the place is so full of birds it’s like a bloody poulterer’s shop, to say nothing of snakes and toads and enough small fry to keep Macbeth’s witches in provender for years. And on top of all that you go and get twelve more dogs. It’s a perfect example of the streak of lunacy that runs in this family.’ ‘Nonsense, Larry, you do exaggerate,’ said Mother. ‘Such a lot of fuss over a few puppies.’ ‘You call eleven puppies a few? The place will look like the Greek branch of Crufts’ Dog Show and they’ll probably all turn out to be bitches and come into season simultaneously. Life will deteriorate into one long canine sexual orgy.
Gerald Durrell (The Corfu Trilogy)
it is bewitching to watch both men [Burton and Gielgud] struggle for Shakespeare's meaning while they squirm as individuals beneath the weight of their own psychologies. This is the problem for every interpretive artist who ever drew breath. He must be true to the writer and true to himself. He literally serves two masters. To expect the interpreter to be a puppet who conceives and executes the ideal Hamlet (or Puck or Lady Macbeth or Merton of the Movies) is to deny the human condition. An actor can discipline his effects in order to avoid distortion of the play - giving up, sometimes, his most popular tricks - but to expect him to reject the totality of his personality in order to imitate The Character is madness. The actor is stuck with the character, but the character is also stuck the actor. Directors sometimes pretend that the character is everything and that the actor must adjust no matter how uncomfortable it makes him, but the actors job is to preserve himself somehow - not by distorting the play... but by admitting his own limitations, by knowing what he can make real for the audience and what he can't. If the actor has been miscast, he cannot compensate for the error by destroying his God-given nature on the stage. It is the producer's job to know beforehand how flexible the actor is.
William Charles Redfield (Letters from an Actor)
There is usually something pretty odd about sisters that come in triplicate. Consider pretty little Cinderella and her ugly and dance-mad relations. Consider Chekhov's trio, high and dry in the provinces and longing gloomily for Moscow. Consider Macbeth's friends, bent keenly over the cauldron and intent on passing that Culinary Test for the Advanced Student.
Arthur Marshall (Life's Rich Pageant)
Madness, of all things, is the most unforgivable in a woman.
Ava Reid (Lady Macbeth)
The tragedy we know today came to us patched together with lines lifted from the works of another playwright, Thomas Middleton. Since Macbeth was not considered one of Shakespeare’s last plays, it’s difficult to explain why the tragedy had to be cobbled together in that manner. Was it possible that Macbeth, due to its bloodthirsty portrayal of Scottish royalty, had been censored by James I? Was Macbeth always the shortest play in the canon, or was its brevity the result of censorship? Could its author have suffered dire consequences as a result of a king’s displeasure, and was that the reason “the Scottish play” had always been associated with bad luck?
Lee Durkee (Stalking Shakespeare: A Memoir of Madness, Murder, and My Search for the Poet Beneath the Paint)
Few crimes were considered more scurrilous than suicide, as in Sonnet 66 (“ Tired with all these, for restful death I cry”), as in: Cassius, Brutus, Portia, Romeo, Juliet, Othello, Ophelia, Lady Macbeth, Mark Antony, Cleopatra, Charmian, Goneril, and Eros. During Shakespeare’s life, suicide was considered an act of murder against God, Nature, and King, a trinity of stigmas so severe that even a nobleman who offed himself would have his assets seized. Only one man in England had a samurai approach to the art of self-destruction, and that was Shakespeare himself, who seemed to admire it under certain circumstances.
Lee Durkee (Stalking Shakespeare: A Memoir of Madness, Murder, and My Search for the Poet Beneath the Paint)