"Stars, hide your fires . . . "

Halloween is always fun, but this year it's even better because my students and I are currently reading MACBETH, which is full of murder, intrigue and images of darkness--perfect for Halloween!

Macbeth, despite its basic premise that a man loses himself to ambition and dark desires, is actually a wonderful mirror of human nature, and a play which allows us to see the dark places in ourselves. At the start, Macbeth's wife fears he is "too full of the milk of human kindness," and he has a reputation as a valorous and worthy thane. He then makes a series of disastrous decisions that send him toward his demise.

One of the joys of reading Shakespeare is his wonderful gift with words and images which makes for memorable reading and a satisfying literary experience.

Here are some wonderful lines from MACBETH for your Halloween pleasure.

"Fair is foul and foul is fair

Hover through fog and filthy air!"

"Stars, hide your fires

Let not light see my deep and dark desires!"

"Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather The multitudinous seas incarnadine, Making the green one red."

"Nought's had, all's spent,Where our desire is got without content;'Tis safer to be that which we destroy

Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy."

"Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn, and cauldron bubble."

"By the pricking of my thumbs

Something wicked this way comes."

"Out, damned spot! out, I say!—One: two: why,then, 'tis time to do't.—

Hell is murky!—Fie, mylord, fie! a soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it,

when none can call our power to account?—

Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?"

"She should have died hereafter; There would have been a time for such a word. 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."

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